Understanding What Paper Quality Means

I know that I’ve been using “80 grams” paper, but I didn’t really understand why it was called “80 grams” until today.

What does gsm mean?

GSM is an abbreviation for grammage, or grams per square metre. It indicates the weight of a square metre of paper. Standard copy paper in Singapore is approximately 80 gsm, which means that a standard A4 sheet weighs 5 grams, and a 500 sheet ream weighs 2.5 kg.

Is gsm the same as thickness?

Not exactly. Thickness is measured in microns (millionths of a metre, or thousandths of
a millimetre). Standard copy paper typically has a thickness of about 100 microns, so
a 500 sheet ream is about 5cm thick. If two sheets have the same density, then their
thicknesses will be directly proportional to their grammage.

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Alvin Poh lives in Singapore, and is interested in marketing, techy stuff, and likes to just figure out how the two can work with each other. He can also be found on Google+.

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