November 29, 2019

Glossmeters & Gloss Measurement

What is a Glossmeter?

Is an optical measuring instrument that measures the specular reflection of a surface (gloss level) of a surface. Gloss is measured by projecting a light beam at a fixed angle and intensity onto the surface being measured and the amount of reflected light at and opposite but equal angel

Geometries for Gloss measurements

There are a number of key geometries for glossmeters (gloss meters) and gloss measurement, each being best suited for a particular type of coating, material or gloss range. For non-metal materials such as inks, paints and plastics the amount of light reflected increases with the angle of illumination and is either diffusely scattered depending on its colour or some of the light is absorbed into the surface. Metals tend to be more reflective therefore less sensitive to different angles of measurement.

Selecting the right angle for the Glossmeter test

The angle reference is the angle between the incident and reflected light. The three common angles are 20°, 60°, and 85° these cover most of industries coatings applications.

Gloss Range 60° Value Notes
High Gloss >70 GU If measurement exceeds 70 GU, change test setup to 20°
Medium Gloss 10 – 70 GU
Low Gloss <10 GU If measurement is less than 10 GU, change test setup to 85°
Glossmeter Light Reflection

Gloss Light Reflection

In addition to the angle above 45° is used for the gloss measurement of plastic films, ceramics, anodised aluminium and textiles. 75° is for measurement of paper and paper products.

Measuring Gloss flow

Gloss unit

The unit of measurement for gloss is the Gloss Unit (GU). The GU is a scaling based on a polished black highly reflective gloss standard with a defined refractive index having a specular reference of 100 GU at the angle specified. This gloss standard is used to establish the upper  range of the glossmeter and the 0 being established on a perfectly matt surface. This scaling works well for most non-metallic surfaces and coatings as they normally fall within this range. For other more reflective materials such as polished metals and mirrors a scale of up to 2000 GU can be achieved using a mirror gloss standard.

Gloss Measurement Standards

Comparison of standards for gloss measurement

Standard              20°          60°          85°          45°          75°

High Gloss           Medium Gloss   Low Gloss            Medium Gloss   Low Gloss

Coatings, plastics and related materials  Ceramics              Paper

ASTM C346                                                         X

ASTM D523         X             X             X

ASTM C584                         X

ASTM D2457       X             X                             X

BS3900 D5           X             X             X

DIN 67530            X             X             X

DIN EN ISO 2813               X             X             X

EN ISO 7668        X             X             X             X

JI Z 8741               X             X             X             X             X

TAPPI T480                                                                          X

For more information visit Wikipedia 

Gloss meters for sale from AML Instruments 

For Service and Calibration of Gloss Meter by AML Instruments

We’re here to help

Let us help you