Gloss Meters

To the average person, measuring the gloss of a product may seem somewhat pedantic; after all, gloss means shiny and matt means dull doesn’t it? However, this is not all there is to it. Experts in the manufacture of paper, plastic, metal and other goods are aware of the complexities associated with gloss levels and how this affects the overall look of the finished product; therefore they require gloss meters to ensure the quality of their goods.



Gloss is defined as a shine or lustre on a smooth surface; there are different intensities of gloss and which one is used on a material is central to making it appeal to potential customers. Gloss meters are used to measure the level of gloss on a surface and this information is important for two reasons. The first is that once the appropriate gloss level for the product is decided upon, the machinery can be set to this level and the following goods will be produced to this specification. The second is for quality control; if a gloss level is agreed, then all batches of the product must be made to the same standard. Using a gloss meter to monitor the gloss of the finished product ensures that any mistakes or imperfections can be picked up on immediately and rectified, meaning that minimal material is lost due to it being substandard.

In order to measure the level of gloss, a known amount of light is shined on the surface at a particular angle and the angle and strength of the light reflected is used to calculate the gloss level. The universal measurement angle is 60° which can be used for all gloss levels; angles of 85° are used for low levels of gloss and 20° for high gloss. This is because they give more accurate results with very matt or high gloss surfaces.

There are other factors which affect the overall visual appearance of surfaces such as haze and orange peel which can be caused during the coating, drying, application or curing of the surface. Unfortunately, whilst these defects can de detected by the eye, a standard glossmeter will not be able to pick up on these imperfections. This is because the gloss level of the surface is unaffected. In order to check for haze and orange peel, experts use upgraded gloss meters such as the Rhopoint IQ. This has upgraded features to be able to check for orange peel or haze, as well as test the level of gloss traditionally.

If you think that your company could benefit from using a gloss meter, get in contact with Rhopoint Instruments today. They are a leading supplier of state-of-the-art gloss meters and IQ machines; with a reputation for excellent customer service they will be able to advise you on the best product for your industry and supply it to you as soon as possible. Give them a call today on 01424 739 622 or email