Polythene sheeting is incredibly useful and versatile as a packaging material, with the ability to be blown to precise thicknesses. 1000 gauge polythene is considered heavy duty; it’s not the thickest available (we can provide super heavy duty polythene up to 1200 gauge), but it’s close!
1000 gauge polythene is the same thickness as 254 microns, or 0.254 millimetres. However – in the industry, this number is usually rounded down, so that 1 micron = 4 gauge. It’s much simpler to work out and far more practical.
So, in practical terms, 1000 gauge is a quarter of a millimetre. That doesn’t sound like much; but polythene is ridiculously strong stuff, and even at 1000 gauge, it’s strong enough for temporary roof or window repairs. Usually, sheets of this thickness are used for packaging large and heavy items – like finished furniture or large auto parts. The thickness prevents nicks and scratches, while also offering a low level of impact absorption, and tearing is much less likely than with a thinner film.
To make understanding how thick 1000 gauge polythene is a little bit easier, we’ve put together a quick conversion table – and some comparisons that give you a more familiar sense of scale.
Polythene gauge conversion table
Here are some example gauges of polythene with their equivalent micron and mm measurement – starting with our thinnest 32 gauge polythene.
Polythene thickness conversion: gauge, micron, mm
These figures offer an approximate, practical conversion for common gauges of polythene and the equivalent micron thickness.
|Gauge thickness||Micron thickness||Millimetre thickness|
As you might have seen in this conversion, one micron is one thousandth of a millimetre. But how do these thicknesses compare in the real world?
What is a micron, in context?
One micron is smaller than a bacteria cell – which isn’t a very helpful scale, considering most of us don’t have a microscope!
So let’s try to find some more relatable items for scale:
- A human hair is 99 microns thick – just shy of 400 gauge
- 250 microns (the equivalent thickness of 1000 gauge polythene) is the same thickness as 3 sheets of paper
- A birthday card is in the region of 300 microns thick (approximately 1200 gauge)
- One lone spaghetti strand is about 1,700 microns thick – or 6,700 gauge
How can a material so thin be so strong?
Polythene sheeting, even at modest thicknesses, is far stronger than most materials of the same weight, and extremely cheap to produce. This is partly why it’s such a great packaging material.
Read more – How Is Polythene Made?
Polythene’s high strength to weight ratio is thanks to the way it is made. During a controlled chemical reaction, single, free-floating molecules of ethylene gas are formed into long, repeating chains – producing a plastic solid. These long chains can be melted together, creating a flexible yet immensely strong material, with the properties we’ve come to know and love.
Custom polythene from 32 gauge to 1200 gauge
Get polythene in the exact thickness you require, from NPF Packaging. Our polythene packaging products can be made to any thickness from 32 gauge to 1200 gauge, with custom blends, additives and recycled content percentages.
We’ll help you find the right packaging solution. Send us a message, or call us on 01773 820415, to tell us what you need.