A film applicator is a device used to evenly spread a substance, such as paint, ink, or cosmetics, over a substrate such as a drawdown card.
Applicators are usually metal bars that are manufactured to high tolerances to give consistent, repeatable results. Each bar will give a "theoretical wet film thickness" or, in other words, the thickness of the coating that should remain on the drawdown card after application. Even with high manufacturing tolerances, the actual wet film thickness can vary from 50% to 90% of the gap.
Film applicators follow the ASTM standard D823.Applicators can be used either manually or automatically.