Gloss Meter Basics

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What Do Gloss Meters Do?

A Gloss Meter is a device used to calculate surface gloss with specular reflection. Gloss is measured through projecting a light beam onto a surface at a specified intensity and angle, then by calculating the amount of light reflected through the opposite angle.

Various types of geometries are used for measuring the coating, each depending on the surface type being measured. Metals tend to be more reflective and are less dependent on the angle.

Types of Gloss Meters:

Selecting the exact angle of operation is critical to calculate and maximize precision. There are three significant forms of Gloss Meters on the market, including instruments with a single angle of 60°, a combination of 20° and 60°, and one that joins 20°, 60° and 85° angles. Two additional angles are required; a 45° angle is used for video, ceramic, and anodized aluminum measurements, while 75° is used for paper. It is necessary to note that shininess is tested through similarities in various documents.


A Gloss Meter is used to measure a surface’s reflection and sparkle. Gloss projects light emissions at a constant level, by pointing a meter at the surface, it calculates the reflected light at the reverse angle. Specific settings are necessary for the calculation, each according to the surface being measured.

For non-metals, such as plastics and coatings, the reflected light intervals are at a further point of illumination when the light reaches the surface, and are either fed inside or dissipated by the surface’s shading.

Factors Affecting The Selection of a Gloss Meter

Low Gloss of 85°

Enhanced precision of low gloss, where the measurement of the surface is done by using an 85° grazing angle. This angle can indicate when the surface needs to be measured at 60°, which is 10GU below. It can measure variations in the texture, and the angle has a wider spot of measurement.

Medium Gloss of 60°

The standard measurement angle of 60° should be used to calculate all the gloss rates. This angle of 60° acts as the standard angle for all products. Why pick that line, then? One obtains more robust ratios for an intense gloss with reciprocal angles of 85° or 20°.

High Gloss of 20°

20° is an acute measuring angle and tends to give better resolution to surfaces with high gloss. With this geometry, surfaces which weigh 70 GU or more are also calculated at a normal angle of 60°. The angle of 20° is more vulnerable to haze effects, which affect the surface appearance. With the 20° measurements, the contrasting shine of the two samples are seen more clearly.

Glossmeter of 45°

Glossmeter of 45° is mostly used in industries making films and ceramics.

Glossmeter of 75°

The vinyl and paper processing industries primarily use Gloss Meter of 75°


A conventional Gloss Meter may contain mechanically fixed components consisting of a specific light source configured to quantify parallel light beams on the surface, and a detector positioned to collect the reflected rays. This method notes that the illumination must include a combination of the source and the detector correctly to produce luminous efficiency.

A variety of instruments are available commercially and are designed using reference criteria, typically constructed of polished, smooth, with value 100 for increasing geometry to adhere to the requirements above.

Angle measurement in Gloss Meter process:

Choosing an appropriate gloss meter relies on the surface and degree of polish. Gloss Meters define the angles of measurement used; the measurement angle implies the distance between the reflecting light and the device. The angles should be chosen depending on the expected gloss level, such as 60°, meaning a high gloss level greater than 70GU. When the value at 60° is above 70GU, adjust the test configuration to 20 °. The standard 60V gloss scale is 10-70GU, and the weak gloss level is less than 10GU. Shift test configuration to 85 ° if the value is less than 10GU.

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