Thickness measurement of steel objects: How does it work?


What is a thickness gauge?

A thickness gauge is a device that can be used to quickly and easily measure the thickness of steel, e.g. ship hulls and steel sheet piles. The device is used in various sectors, such as industry, hydraulic engineering and infrastructure, but it is most commonly used to ensure that steel thickness complies with industry standards and regulations. It not only measures the thickness and density of the steel, but is also used as an additional quality assurance tool in industries such as hydraulic engineering to measure the uniformity of the steel and detect hidden damage or imperfections.


Explanation of the thickness measurement method

With the addition of the Cygnus ROV Thickness Gauge to our ROVs, inspectors can easily produce a clear report of what is happening beneath the vessel’s surface. The Cygnus Thickness Gauge is easy to mount on the ROV as the cable connects the gauge directly to the laptop. When the ROV is in the water, the pilot swims directly to the inspection site with the drone. To note the exact location of the inspection, press the nose of the thickness gauge lightly against the inspection surface.

The thickness gauge then emits various ultrasonic waves and uses these vibrations to accurately determine the thickness of the material. The gauge is very accurate: to within a tenth of a millimetre. A second operator keeps a watchful eye on the laptop and records all the data with a click. Notes can also be made if necessary. It has never been so easy to carry out inspections safely and quickly.



The Cygnus ROV thickness gauge measures metal thickness and quickly identifies areas of corrosion without removing protective layers. By emitting an echo, the gauge measures the density of the metal by measuring the delay in the return of the reverberation. To get a perceptible impression, the Cygnus thickness gauge emits multiple echoes.






The first echo determines the thickness of the protective coating. Ignoring the time delay of the protective coating for the next two echoes, the Cygnus system automatically documents the findings. With these reports, inspectors can accurately determine the integrity of the vessel and make a sound decision on a maintenance schedule.



CaviBlasting is a unique and innovative method of removing fouling in a cost-effective and safe way. The technological basis of the blaster is the physics of hydrodynamic cavitation. The system generates high-energy cavitation in a controlled way. Simply put: a combination of water and small bubble implosions is sprayed onto an object with great force, removing fouling.

You can clean chains, propellers, hulls, walls and pretty much anything underwater with it. This is a safe and cost-effective alternative to using divers to clean a structure or taking the structure or vessel out of the water for cleaning.

On the Revolution ROV there is a possibility to fight against currents and the small corrections of the caviblaster. This can be done with the DVL. This is the best way to work on spot cleaning to clear metal objects of fouling. This ensures the most effective steel thickness measurement.

For more possibilities on steel thickness measurement, or other possibilities of underwater drones, please contact us here.

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