How to Determine Your Adhesive Thickness

What is a wet mil film gauge?

A wet film gauge is a tool used to quickly and easily measure the thickness of your adhesive coating after it has been applied to your substrate. As indicated by the name, the tool measures thickness in units of mils. One mil is equal to a thousandth of an inch.

Why should I use a wet film gauge?

Measuring the thickness of your adhesive coating, particularly in labeling, ensures consistent adhesive application. But why should you be concerned? Too much adhesive can cause labels to swim or float. Not enough adhesive, and you may see labels falling off, flagging, or becoming difficult to pull from the magazine feed during application.

These types of issues can lead to field failures and downtime, decreasing your productivity and costing your company thousands of dollars. While it’s typical for operators to “eyeball” their adhesive application, knowing how to measure your adhesive thickness can save your company time and money.

A recent customer of ours has been able to prevent these types of issues. Their process requires that they dismantle and re-set up their labeling equipment each day; therefore, it was important to ensure consistent adhesive coverage. After providing this customer with on-site training, they were able to measure their adhesive thickness with a wet film gauge. This allowed them to check and make sure their adhesive application was consistent.


adhesive thickness film gauge

How do you use a wet mil gauge?

 4 simple steps:

  1. Press the teeth of the gauge into the adhesive coating
  2. Look for adhesive on the teeth of the gauge
  3. Find a tooth with no adhesive on it, adjacent to a tooth with adhesive on it
  4. The tooth with adhesive will be your mil thickness

A wet film gauge is a useful tool to determine your adhesive mil thickness and make sure it is consistent each time. Doing so will help increase your adhesive performance and decrease the possibility for field failures.

For more information on using a wet film gauge or other ways you can improve your process, contact one of our technical service analysts at 1-800-844-1740 or use the contact button below.