Is there a method to test for thermal oxide on a painted steel part after the paint has cured? I'd rather the method be nondestructive but it only being destructive in the presence of thermal oxide is also acceptable.

I am specifically looking for laser oxide under 3mils of polyurethane, if that helps.

  • $\begingroup$ Are looking for oxide that was present at the time that the paint was applied or an oxide layer that later forms under the paint? $\endgroup$
    – hazzey
    Aug 26, 2015 at 1:49
  • $\begingroup$ Oxide layer before paint.... specifically laser oxide $\endgroup$ Aug 26, 2015 at 1:52
  • $\begingroup$ What is laser oxide? There is a technique for removing oxidation using lasers, known as laser oxide removal, but, to my knowledge, there isn't a type of oxidation called laser oxide. $\endgroup$ Aug 26, 2015 at 11:47
  • $\begingroup$ @ChrisMueller Laser oxide is a thin, loosely adhering oxide layer on the cut edge of steel parts generated when oxygen is used as an assist gas during laser cutting operations. Laser oxide removal is the removal of laser oxide by chemical or mechanical means. This is what these phrases mean in my bubble... I have heard of what you're talking about though. $\endgroup$ Aug 26, 2015 at 13:59
  • $\begingroup$ @user38826 Thanks for the clarification. $\endgroup$ Aug 26, 2015 at 15:00

1 Answer 1


This article written on May 02 2012 states that no non-destructive methods exist currently, other than a scanning Kelvin probe (which requires long measurement times).

However, it states that research is in progress into using Pulsed Phase Thermography. According to the article it's got teething problems but has proved that it's possible.


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