Vehicle Coating Negatively Impacted by an Insufficient Stone Chip Resistance

Stone Chip Resistance Test

Applied Technical Services performs the stone chip resistance test to determine a coating’s durability in the face of flying debris. Our environmental testing group performs this method on samples that clients send for coating testing.
Also referred to as stone chip or gravelometer testing (named after the test equipment), this method holds specific importance for automotive companies because of how it relates to their products. Gravel and other road debris inevitably kick up as cars run them over, and these projectiles can damage the paint of vehicles they impact. As no car owner will tolerate paint so insubstantial that anticipated usage conditions would cause it to fail, companies in the automotive industry understand the importance of testing their coatings to ensure maximum resistance to chipping.
The Gravelometer and How the Method Works
ATS performs this testing using specialized equipment known as the gravelometer. As the name might suggest, this machine fires gravel using pressurized air. Our automotive testing experts mount a test sample of standard proportions into the target compartment, subject it to flying debris for a specified period, and then remove the specimen for visual inspection. After gently wiping it with a clean cloth to remove any condensation, technicians then use adhesive tape to remove loose paint flakes. Depending on the test standard requested by the client, results will either be compared against a catalog of standard results or categorized according to the number, dimensions, and severity of chips incurred by the sample. Because coatings display differing physical characteristics as they are cooled and heated, ATS will perform this entire process — gravel impact, cleaning, visual assessment — multiple times on samples at a variety of temperatures to obtain relevant performance data.
Many standard testing specifications cover procedures for conducting stone chip resistance testing, with some being decided by standards organizations and some created by automotive OEMs. ATS performs this method in accordance with SAE J400, ASTM D3170, and DIN ISO 20567-1 Part 1, as well as to client specifications upon request. Our lab has numerous certifications relevant to this testing, such as ISO 17025 accreditation from the A2LA to perform each of the above standards.
ATS: A Trusted Automotive Testing Partner
Applied Technical Services has offered testing, inspection, and consulting engineering capabilities of peerless quality since 1967. In the 50+ intervening years since our founding, we have grown to serve clients on a local, regional, national, and international scale. Although we serve an array of different industries — ranging from consumer products to power generation to aerospace to construction — our stone chip resistance testing services will mostly benefit the automotive industry.
Quality Is Our Guiding Principle
ATS holds providing our clientele with services of excellent quality as one of our core values. Because we are always trying to improve the customer experience, our labs perform all testing and analysis services in accordance with our quality management system. We exclusively perform stone chip resistance testing in our Marietta Super Lab, which is ISO 9001 registered. This designation means that an exhaustive third-party audit affirmed that ATS’ procedures are consistent with the internationally recognized standards of effective quality assurance practices. By closely adhering to these principles of quality management, ATS has prepared our personnel to continually improve the quality of our services.

We take a variety of steps to help ensure our clients enjoy a positive experience, such as guaranteeing clear, detailed, and accurate reporting of test results. Our myriad testing experts pledge to deliver their findings in a timely manner, averaging 5–7 business days. Should clients call with questions regarding the status or results of their testing, customer service representatives facilitate contact with the most appropriate testing personnel. These technicians remain accessible to clients, responsive to their needs, and engaged in helping to answer their questions.

If your company needs to have a stone chip resistance test performed on a sample coating, contact ATS today — we take a closer look!

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