Surface coatings on automotive components need to endure the wear caused by flying gravel and road debris. Stone chip resistance testing with a gravelometer provides insight on the durability of your components.

Whether your component is intended for an industrial, military, or consumer vehicle, it is important to understand how it will stand up to impact from sand or gravel, and how different environmental conditions will affect its susceptibility to damage. Element’s comprehensive automotive testing includes stone chip resistance testing for a wide variety of components.

What is gravelometer testing?

A gravelometer is a device that uses compressed air to propel gravel, sand, or other debris at a vehicle component. This allows technicians to assess how well the surface holds up to this type of wear and how the component is likely to behave over time, using the methods specified by SAE and ASTM standards. Because different environmental conditions like extreme temperature can affect a material’s resistance to chipping, stone chip resistance testing can be conducted under different lab-simulated environmental conditions.

How are the results of stone chip resistance testing assessed?

After testing with the gravelometer, the component is wiped down and any loose fragments of coating are gently removed with tape. The surface appearance of the component is then compared to standard transparencies provided by SAE. This allows the technicians to provide a chipping rating, making it easy to objectively compare the performance of one surface coating to another. Technicians can also provide other information about the component’s performance during testing, based on customer requirements.

The Element advantage

Element is the preferred testing partner of the US’s leading automotive manufacturers. We provide testing for essentially every component, material and system used in the automotive industry, including custom testing for innovative designs and materials.

Stone chip resistance testing is just one of the many tests Element labs can provide. To learn more about how you can save time and money by using a single testing partner for all your automotive testing requirements, contact us today.

Our team of over 9,000 Engaged Experts in North America, Europe, The Middle East, Australia, Asia and Africa are ready to help you.