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Tips for making a gloss meter purchase
As a customer, you can call PCE Instruments' technical support hotline for assistance with finding the right gloss meter to meet your needs. Our technical support specialists will ask you specific questions about your application or your project, and then recommend a suitable gloss measuring product for your measurement task. Below you also will find some tips that you should take into consideration when selecting or buying a gloss meter.
- Measuring range in gloss units
- Measurement geometry
- Service and support
Measuring range in gloss units
The unit of measurement used by a gloss meter is called a gloss unit (GU). PCE Instruments sells a variety of gloss measuring devices that cover the gloss measuring spectrum from matte to mirror gloss. PCE Instruments' diverse gloss meter products have different measuring ranges to accommodate gloss measurements of paints and varnishes as well as polished metals, mirrors and similarly glossy surfaces. For example, for determining the gloss of paints and varnishes, as a rule, a measuring range from 0 to 100 gloss units is sufficient. For determining the gloss of polished metals, mirrors, etc., a measuring range up to 2000 gloss units may be required.
At the bottom of a gloss meter, there is a light source that, when activated, emits a light beam that strikes the surface of the test piece. The measurement geometry describes the angle at which the light beam is emitted.
Due to their nature, certain kinds of surfaces require certain measuring angles to ensure accurate gloss measurement. The most common measuring geometries are 20 °, 60 ° and 85 °. Typically, the 20 ° measuring angle is used for high-gloss measurement, the 60 ° measuring angle is used for medium gloss measurement and the 85 ° measuring angle is used for matte gloss measurement (some gloss meter models offer 45 ° and 75 ° measuring angles for speciality gloss measurement). Some gloss meters are combination devices with the capability to measure gloss at multiple angles, while other gloss meters offer only one measuring angle. It is important to consider the unique requirements of your application before purchasing a gloss meter. If you plan to measure gloss on different types of surfaces, a combination device may best meet your needs.
Gloss measurement is an essential practice for many quality assurance professionals. Products (and their packaging) must be consistent and must meet necessary safety requirements. PCE Instruments' gloss meters help quality control professionals comply with these internally and externally regulated standards. The product descriptions and operating instructions for PCE Instruments' gloss meters contain valuable information about which measuring instruments respectively correspond to what external standards. For example, DIN 67530 is a German standard for gloss measurement geometries. DIN 67530 is nominally the same as ISO 2813, ASTM D523 and BS 3900, Part 5.
Service and support
PCE Instruments differs from other online shops by providing real customer service and support. We try to find the best, most effective solutions for our customers and maintain mutually beneficial and long-lasting business relationships. Give us a call at +44 (0) 2380 987 035 for PCE Instruments UK or +1 (561) 320-9162 for PCE Americas Inc. to experience our customer service and technical support firsthand.
Gloss and luxury
Until just a few years ago, it was normal for car owners to shine their cars to perfection. On some cars, an astonished observer could see his or her reflection even better than a bathroom mirror. It feels like these times are long gone. Now, more and more consumers choose matte paints and varnishes on cars. These finishes were created according to the saying, "Less is more." And yet these coatings are a sign of luxury and currently on demand in the luxury automobile market. This just goes to show how important the correct choice of color and gloss (evaluated by a color and gloss meter) is for enterprises.
In physics, it is taught that the angle of incidence is equal to the angle of reflection, but this statement is overly simplified and cannot be applied in all cases. The statement that the outlet angle is equal to the angle of incidence, when the light hits a completely smooth surface, is absolutely correct. If the incident light is not influenced by any unevenness on the surface, it can also come out unhindered at an appropriate angle. However, since this is rarely the case, the visual perception of different surfaces, with regard to gloss properties, is often different.
When it comes to gloss measurement, surfaces can be graded as high gloss, matte and silk matte. High gloss occurs when a surface is smooth and completely polished. With high gloss, the light that hits the surface is emitted directly in the main reflection direction. In this case, the reflection angle is equal to the angle of incidence. For matte or silk matte surfaces, the light scatters in very different directions. In this way, the objects are not reflected, but are perceived by the human eye as blurred.
A gloss meter generally takes the directed reflection as a basis. This directed reflection is recorded at a reflection angle by a detector, and the evaluation of this record provides conclusions on the surface nature, because the beam intensity of the light is measured. To be able to differentiate all the surfaces and to measure them correctly, there are gloss meters with different measuring ranges. In gloss measurement, these measuring ranges are called measurement geometries and are divided according to the grades of the gloss.
Gloss grades and measurement geometries
There is a clear difference between gloss measurement and color measurement. In the case of color measurement, the focus is placed on the diffusely reflected portion of the entire surface reflection. It is important to understand that gloss measurement is concentrated on the reflections at an output angle. Although, it is a fact that the color of the specimen is partly included in the assessment of the gloss determination. However, this is the case only to a certain extent, but nevertheless, the color and brightness of the test pieces should be similar during comparative tests. Such an assessment can help, but is often not sufficient enough. Therefore, the test specimen should be measured at a 60 ° angle. If at a measurement geometry of 60 °, the measurement value is more than 70, a measurement geometry of 20 ° should be used. For the case when the measured value is less than 30 when using a measurement geometry of 60 °, a measurement geometry of 85 ° must be used. To obtain usable measurement results in comparative measurements, it is essential that the measurement geometries are not changed during the comparison. Changes in the measurement geometries can lead to incorrect measurements and measurement results that cannot accurately be compared with each other.