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Dipstick vs. F-Meter Flatness Testing

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Going back to a subject a few weeks ago concerning testing slab flatness with a Dipstick versus a F-Meter, I just got thru with my own unofficial preliminary test.  

I walked 4 different lines with a Dipstick and the new F-meter for comparison.  The following are some comments on this very brief comparison.

1.  When walking slow with the F-meter, its answers were very close to the Dipstick.  I saw no real difference in the answers.  38 vs 39   27 vs 26 etc.

2.  When I walked fast with the F-meter, the Flatness number was still very close to the F-meter, but the Level number was off noticeably.  32 vs 25.  It does appear speed may have an effect on the level number.

3.  As far as time to test was concerned.  When I walked fast, the Dipstick took 10.5 minutes to go 118' and the F-meter took 6.5 minutes.  A 4 minute difference, but on shorter runs of about 60', the times were very close.  The new F-meter has some initial start and finish things to do that are the same regardless of length of run.  You see the time savings on the longer runs but not the shorter runs.

4.  I was on a freshly poured slab, no obstructions or trash.  If the slab is trashy, I would lose some time for the F-meter but not as much loss for the dipstick.

5.  The new F-meter must pause every 10' to reset where the old F-Meter was not this way.  At the end of the run, you have to reverse the F-meter and wait for answers. 

I am still going to compare them some more, but thought I let you know what I see so far.  It would be helful if F-Meter would add a palmtop directly to the F-meter to display the graph rather than having to connect it to a laptop.  We like to see the results of each run as we test rather than wait till later.  The Contractors want to see how they are doing on each area since they try different techniques for finishing.  The graph helps show them the high and low spots while the project is fresh in their mind.

Ron Martin
Tuscaloosa, AL


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