Our film thickness guide

If you are new to buying polythene and plastic bags, you may need a little guidance on how we measure the thickness of the plastic. Polythene is produced in different sizes and strengths to suit different applications. The following polythene film thickness guide aims to provide advice on film material and thickness so that you can make an informed purchase.
Micrometer used to measure film thickness

The following table lists common film material and gauge and the properties of each in terms of strength and clarity.

Film property chart
Thickness in gaugeThickness in micronsStrengthClarityUsage
Low density polythene film
388LowExcellentGeneral purpose film where load carrying is not required.
10025LowExcellentGeneral purpose film where load carrying is not required.
12030MediumExcellentGeneral purpose film. Extra thickness makes packing easier.
15038MediumGoodThis film can protect against goods with smooth edges.
18050Medium/goodGoodProtects items with smooth edges.
20050GoodOKSuitable for heavy awkward items.
25063Very goodSlightly cloudySuitable for protecting heavy and abrasive items. Slightly cloudy but packed goods are still visible.
30075Very goodSlightly cloudySuitable for storing heavy machine parts. Slightly cloudy but packed goods are still visible.
500127Excellent strengthCloudyProtect items with sharp edges. Eliminate punctures and tears from abrasive items.
550137SuperbCloudyOur strongest film available. Carpet like film suitable for holding sharp and abrasive items.
High density polythene film
7218OKCloudyA strong thin material with a crinkly feel.
Polypropylene film
15038GoodSuperbExtremely hard wearing film.
20050GoodSuperbExtremely flat film. Suitable for flat packing shirts.

The thickness of material used in our products are listed as gauge and micron. In the US 'mils' is used to measure thickness – one mil is one thousandth of an inch or 0.0254mm.

One micron is about 4 gauge so that. One micron is equal to one thousandth of a millimeter (0.001mm).

A 20 microns or 80 gauge bag is able to hold items up to about 1.5kg. Making it really only good for light duty protection from dust and moisture.

Heavy duty polythene bags are 125 microns or 500 gauge 125 microns is 0.125mm thick. 125 microns is extremely tough and highly resistant to tears and punctures. In terms of capacity 125 microns bags are able to hold up to about 20kg.

The following table provides a conversion chart between gauge, micron, mill, millimeter and inch.

Thickness conversion chart
GaugeMillMicronMillimeterInch
300.37.60.00760.0003
400.4100.01010.0004
500.512.50.01270.0005
600.6150.01520.0006
750.75190.01900.0007
800.80200.02030.0008
900.9230.02280.0009
1001250.02540.0010
1201.2300.03040.0012
1501.5380.03800.0015
1601.6400.04060.0016
1801.8450.04570.0018
2002500.05080.002
3003750.0750.003
40041000.10.0039
4304.3107.50.10750.0042
4504.5112.50.11250.0044
50051250.1250.0049
60061500.150.0059
70071750.1750.0069
80082000.20.0079
90092250.2250.0089
1000102500.250.0098
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