What Is Paper Gsm?

Save

In the paper industry, the abbreviation 'gsm' refers to "grams per square meter." In other words, a square meter of a specific type of paper will weigh a certain number of grams. This designation tells paper consumers how dense the paper is, which generally indicates quality. This connotation differs from the way paper is designated in the United States, which is measured in pounds per 500 sheets. A conversion chart must be used to compare pounds to gsm.

Definition of gsm

  • According to the University of Cambridge, gsm is "an abbreviation for 'grams per square meter,' a measure of density. It is often used to give the density of paper." The abbreviation is not capitalized. It can also be written g/m2, which is the notation preferred by the International System of Units (SI). In the paper industry of Europe and other regions that employ the metric system, a sheet of paper of size A0 is exactly one square meter. The weight of an AO sheet of any kind of paper is the gsm for that kind.

Examples

  • Although the quality, and therefore the gsm, of the same type of paper can vary among manufacturers, there are some generally accepted standard gsm designations for common paper types.

    For example, paper used for the pages in a standard telephone book is usually about 60 gsm. Regular copy or laser printer paper is around 80 gsm. Inkjet paper can vary from 120-310 gsm. Photo prints are about 250 gsm.

What This Means in the USA

  • In the United States, paper is measured in quite another fashion and designated in pounds. A sample of 500 sheets of the standard size for a particular paper is weighed, and that weight in pounds is assigned to the paper.

    Confusion arises among consumers because the standard sheet size varies for different uses of paper. For instance, the sheet size for copy paper is different from the sheet size for book pages. Both of these are different from the sheet size for cover paper.

An Example Comparison

  • As an example, consider the paper used for copy machines or laser printers. The standard sheet size of this paper is 17 inches by 22 inches. Therefore, 500 sheets of a common density of this paper can weigh 20 lbs. and is referred to as 20-lb. paper.

    On the other hand, the standard sheet size for offset book paper is 25 inches by 38 inches. 500 sheets of a similar quality of this paper weighs 50 lbs. and is referred to as 50-lb. paper.

    That same paper is designated at about 75 gsm.

Conversion Charts

  • A conversion chart is the most expedient way to compare the designations of paper in pounds and gsm. Each printer and paper manufacturer has its own variation on the paper types, which can mean that the weights will differ from other sources. When doing business with any paper firm, make sure to use their own chart for printing purposes. However, a general conversion chart is useful when comparison shopping. Charts with general guidelines for conversion can be found online.

References

  • Photo Credit An image of a stock of old copy-book image by Mykola Velychko from Fotolia.com
Promoted By Zergnet

Comments

Resources

You May Also Like

  • How Is the Weight of Paper Determined?

    Paper comes in all shapes, sizes and colors. The range of paper styles is as numerous as the number of uses for...

  • What Is GSM?

    GSM, an acronym for Global System for Mobile Communications, is a digital mobile phone technology that is popular in Europe, Asia and...

  • How do I Convert Pounds to GSM?

    The abbreviation GSM stands for grams per square meter. GSM is the internationally accepted unit of measurement of fabric and paper, including...

  • What Weight Is 10 pt. Paper?

    Many of the terms in the printing industry for weights and measures have always been confusing. How paper weight in pounds or...

  • How to Buy Card Stock

    Card stock is paper that is thicker than regular printing and writing paper. Because of its durability, card stock has numerous uses...

  • How to Measure the Quality of a Bath Towel

    A bath towel’s quality is measured by its gram weight, which is a number that represents how many grams the towel weighs...

  • How to Convert Microns to Gsm

    A micron, a metric unit, equals one-millionth of a meter. Gsm stands for “grams per square meter.” In the context of measuring...

  • How to Convert Paper Weights

    The weight of a certain type of paper is presented differently depending on the location where the paper is being produced and...

  • How to Convert a GSM to an MM

    The raw material making up a sheet of paper varies somewhat between brands and types of paper, but a person can obtain...

  • How to Print Photos on Watercolor Paper

    Over the years the chemistry of painting has changed drastically, but now the availability of computer printing techniques allows photographers to print...

Related Searches

Check It Out

How to Build and Grow a Salad Garden On Your Balcony

M
Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!