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Coating Characterisation

TWI has wide experience in characterising coatings. Whether it’s a thermal spray coating, a metal plating, a thin-film coating, or a ceramic sol-gel coating – we can help you by characterising its properties.

We are an independent body and as such our members often approach us to assess and compare the performance of a variety of third-party coatings.  Naturally, our experience in testing coatings is also valuable when conducting failure analysis of coated components and when developing new coatings. We can work to international standards or to customer-defined specifications.

The following are some of the more commonly used tests:

  • Nano-indentation testing to assess the toughness, adhesion and mechanical properties
  • Scratch testing to ASTM C1624
  • Vickers microhardness testing to ASTM E384
  • Bond strength (adhesion) testing to ASTM C633 or BS EN582 or ASTM D4541 or ASTM B571
  • Shear testing to ASTM F1044
  • The 'Tubular Coating Tensile' or TCT test method: This was developed at the Helmut Schmidt University [Schmidt T, 2008: Tubular Coating Tensile Test, Helmut Schmidt University, Hamburg, Germany]. It requires no adhesive and can therefore be used to evaluate porous coatings. It was primarily developed for measurement of the cohesive strength of cold spray coatings and has not yet achieved standard test status. Whilst the ASTM C633 and other similar tensile adhesion test methods measure the tensile adhesion of a coating in a direction normal to the coating/substrate interface; the TCT test measures the cohesive strength parallel to the interface. The coating is subjected to a tensile stress parallel to the interface.
  • Corrosion testing (immersion, galvanic, potentiodynamic, potentiostatic, hot gas, molten salts, and many others)

For more information, please email

For more information please email: