Why Is Packaging Thickness Important?

While certainly quality plays a part as well, if the thickness of your packaging film is not up to par, your product packaging will fail due to ripping, bursting, or leaking.

Packaging constructed of thinner plastic materials is less efficient at preventing oxygen and other external contaminants, causing your product to deteriorate faster.

When it comes to creating your product packaging, you do not want to stretch your material too thin. Among the benefits that we offer is guaranteeing our film is of the right quality and thickness to ensure the effectiveness and longevity of your custom pouch packaging.

How is Film Thickness Measured?


To ensure the strength of your packaging and barrier functionality, product manufacturers and packaging designers usually measure and stipulate film thickness. This specification employs a variety of test procedures such as burst and tear testing and other various film migration experiments.

This formulation employs a battery of test methods, including burst testing, tear testing, and various film migration experiments. Throughout the manufacturing process, these tests, such as thickness measurement, are repeated as part of Quality Assurance (QA) inspection.

To determine how much thickness variance there is in the film, you must measure multiple points throughout the length of the film. Buyers usually have criteria in mind that a producer must adhere to.

Gauge to Mil to Micron Conversion


For those who have never dealt with laminated plastic materials or coex film materials before, gauge conversions can be a little strange. When working with flexible barrier materials, the Mil to Micron conversion is generally the most significant.

Having a reference chart with all of the plastic thickness measurement units used in packaging might be beneficial. Convert mils to microns, microns to mils, microns to millimeters, and more with this handy chart.

GAUGEMILMICRONMMINCHCM
300.307.60.00760.00030.000762
400.40100.01010.00040.001016
500.5012.50.01270.00050.00127
600.60150.01520.00060.001524
750.75190.01900.00070.001905
800.80200.02030.00080.002032
900.90230.02280.00090.002286
1001.0250.02540.00100.00254
1201.2300.03040.00120.003048
1501.5380.03800.00150.00381
1601.6400.04060.00160.004064
1801.8450.04570.00180.004572
2002.0500.05080.00200.00508

Plastic gauge measures differ from wire gauge measurements, and the greater the gauge, the thicker the film.

Sample Packaging Materials and Their Standard Thicknesses

  • Saran Wrap for Home Use - Typically 35-40 ga.
  • Ziplock Bags for Home Use - Typically 1.5-2 Mil
  • Trash Bags with a Thickness of Typically 2-3 Mil

Commonly Used Stretch Film Thicknesses

  • Hand Stretch Film, 47 Gauge
  • Hand Stretch Film, 63 Gauge
  • Hand Stretch Film 80 Gauge
  • Hand Stretch Film 120 Gauge
  • Machine Stretch Film 50 Gauge
  • Machine Stretch Film, 63 Gauge
  • Machine Stretch Film 80 Gauge
  • Machine Stretch Film 150 Gauge

Commonly Used Heat Shrink Film Thicknesses

  • Polyolefin Shrink Film 60 Gauge
  • Polyolefin Shrink Film 75 Gauge
  • PVC Shrink Film 75 Gauge
  • Polyolefin Shrink Film, 100 Gauge

Commonly Used Packaging Tape Film Thicknesses

  • Packing Tape 1.6 Mil
  • Packing Tape, 1.8 Mil
  • Packing Tape, 2.2 Mil
  • Packaging Tape, 3.1 Mil

Summary: Smart Info You Should Know About Packaging Film Thickness

  • Gauge is often used for thicknesses less than 1 mil.
  • Micron (um or Micrometer) is a metric system thickness measurement. Mils is a US unit of measure.
  • To convert mils to microns, you multiply mils x 25.4.
  • Measurements in microns are generally rounded to the nearest whole number.
  • The size of the "bubble" that develops when producing the plastic determines the thickness of the blow film. Most commercial laminated plastics are at least 2 mil (50.8um) thick but can be anything from 2 mil to 5.5 mil thick.
  • Mil-Spec packaging materials can be as thin as 10 mil or as thick as 20 mil.

These conversions can be tricky. Starting your custom pouch project may seem daunting, but there are many free resources you should not forget to use to your advantage.

If you still can’t work it out, do not hesitate to give us a call or email service@pouch.me. Our consultations are free, and our Press and Production veterans will help you get the results you are after.


- Custom Packaging Material Thickness FAQs -


How do you measure the thickness of packaging materials?

The bigger the micron/gauge/millimeter, the thicker the polythene, is a common ground between the measures. Divide the gauge of polythene by four to get the micron equivalent. By multiplying the micron by 1000, you will get the thickness in millimeters.

How do you convert gauge to microns?

Gauge is calculated as (100) x (mils), therefore 0.3 mils equals 30 gauge. You multiply mils by 25.4 to convert to microns.

How many microns are in a gauge?

For easy reference, please see the prepared table below:

GAUGEMILMICRON
1001.025
1201.230
1501.538
1601.640

What gauge is 60 micron?

For easy reference, please see the prepared table below:

GAUGEMILMICRON
500.5012.5
600.6015
750.7519
800.8020


How do you convert gauges to MM?

For easy computation and reference, please see the prepared table below:

GAUGE NOINCHMETRIC
00.324"8.2mm
10.300"7.6mm
20.276"7.0mm
30.252"6.4mm


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