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.
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 gauge||Thickness in microns||Strength||Clarity||Usage|
|Low density polythene film|
|38||8||Low||Excellent||General purpose film where load carrying is not required.|
|100||25||Low||Excellent||General purpose film where load carrying is not required.|
|120||30||Medium||Excellent||General purpose film. Extra thickness makes packing easier.|
|150||38||Medium||Good||This film can protect against goods with smooth edges.|
|180||50||Medium/good||Good||Protects items with smooth edges.|
|200||50||Good||OK||Suitable for heavy awkward items.|
|250||63||Very good||Slightly cloudy||Suitable for protecting heavy and abrasive items. Slightly cloudy but packed goods are still visible.|
|300||75||Very good||Slightly cloudy||Suitable for storing heavy machine parts. Slightly cloudy but packed goods are still visible.|
|500||127||Excellent strength||Cloudy||Protect items with sharp edges. Eliminate punctures and tears from abrasive items.|
|550||137||Superb||Cloudy||Our strongest film available. Carpet like film suitable for holding sharp and abrasive items.|
|High density polythene film|
|72||18||OK||Cloudy||A strong thin material with a crinkly feel.|
|150||38||Good||Superb||Extremely hard wearing film.|
|200||50||Good||Superb||Extremely 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