Friday, August 02, 2013

How to choose sheet protectors:
Part 3 – Material Gauge

Previously we talked about how the weights of sheet protectors offer a different touch and feel, and durability for different uses. Now let’s have a look at what actually affects the weight – and that is the material gauge.

When we talk about material gauge, we are basically referring to the thickness of the material that is being used. Now, there is no set industry standard that says a certain material gauge equals to a certain weight class. So with that said, what we’re about to tell you is based on years of experience in working with sheet protectors and what we think should be the standard and how it’s set with our products.

When measuring gauge, there are basically two metrics that can be used – Mil and Micron. Mil equals to one thousandth of an inch and is the most used measurement by manufacturers and retailers. Micron or micrometer equals to one thousandth of a millimeter or one millionth of a meter, and is probably the more accurate measurement but is not commonly used within the sheet protector industry in North America as it does refer to the metric system of measurement. With our products, we list both Mil and Micron as measurements so we can be as informative as possible for our customers.

Now let’s see how Mil and Micron relates to weight. The graph below shows that the higher the Mil or Micron, the heavy the sheet protector.

The idea is simple –the higher Mil or Micron then heavier sheet protector. So the real question is what’s the number of Mil or Micron that constitutes to a certain weight class of the sheet protectors? Now this is where there is no real industry standard and again what we suggest is based our years of experience. See table below.

Weight Name:
Gauge in Mil
Gauge in Micron
Weight per 100 pages*
Super Heavy Weight
4.33 Mil
110 micron
3.65 Lb / 110 micron
Heavy Weight
2.76 - 3.54 Mil
70 - 90 micron
2.46 Lb / 80 micron
Standard Weight
1.97 - 2.36 Mil
50 - 60 micron
1.66 Lb / 55 micron
  Light Weight
1.30 - 1.93 Mil
33 - 49 micron
Not available

We hope with this information you now have a better understanding of how material gauge and weight affect the classification of sheet protectors, allowing you to make the most informed choice when buying sheet protectors from us.

Finally, come back in a few days to check out the last part of our series and learn how not to get cheated when buy sheet protectors!

Have a good weekend everyone!

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