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Thickness Conversion for Gauge vs Mil vs Micron

Industrial sellers of packaging materials are accustomed to different terms for describing the thicknesses of plastic products. To help navigate the differences and conversions factors here is a quick breakdown of the terminology, what it means and how to convert it quickly.

What is Gauge (ga)? This unit of measure can be most commonly recognized for wiring, but when it comes to packaging products the rule of thumb is the higher the gauge the thicker the product. But, don’t make the mistake in assuming the higher the gauge the stronger the product. With increased innovations and multi-layered films the hot term “down-gauging” has allowed customers to save big by taking advantage of cutting-edge technologies.

What is Mil (mil)? This is probably the easiest unit of measure to understand as it is 1/1,000th of an inch.  Common household products like zipper-closure lunch bags will be about 1.5-2 mils thick, but your construction-grade trash bags might reach 4 to 6 mil thick. Converting from mil to gauge is easy – just multiple the mil thickness by 100. For example a 2 mil thick bag has a gauge of 200.

What is Micron (mu)? Where mil is a US measurement, micron is a metric unit of measure. To convert gauge to micron, divide gauge by 4. To convert micron to millimeter, divide micron by 1000.

Sometimes you just need a quick conversion chart to see the difference between the units of measure. Check out the following chart as a quick reference guide. For further clarification and to fully understand what a thickness means for your problem or goals – contact us. We’ll talk about multi-layer film, overall strength/containment properties and more.

 

Gauge (ga) Mil Inch (in) Micron (mu) Millimeter (mm) Centimeter (cm)
30 .30 .0003 7.6 .0076 .000762
40 .40 .0004 10 .0101 .001016
50 .50 .0005 12.5 .0127 .00127
60 .60 .0006 15 .0152 .001524
75 .75 .0007 19 .0190 .001905
80 .80 .0008 20 .0203 .002032
90 .90 .0009 23 .0228 .002286
100 1.0 .0010 25 .0254 .00254
120 1.2 .0012 30 .0304 .003048
150 1.5 .0015 38 .0380 .00381
160 1.6 .0016 40 .0406 .004064
180 1.8 .0018 45 .0457 .004572
200 2.0 .0020 50 .0508 .00508

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