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Paper Weight

Paper Weight
by Tina Victorin on 03/01/05 at 04:59:00


I'm trying to find a conversion of paper, europe (uses gram/square meter) and USA (pound/?) Is there such a place on the net or can we soon find one on this absolutely fab web site?  ::)

Re: Paper Weight
by Robert Fogt on 03/02/05 at 01:46:59

That will be a pain.

I found this site here:

Thats alot of reading, but what you are looking for is nearly at the bottom of the page. Which I will summerize here:

The U.S. paper industry has managed to come up with a truly bizarre way of specifying the density of paper. Instead of providing you with the obvious quotient of mass per area (e.g., in grams per square meter, ounces per square yard, whatever), they specify the total mass M of a ream of N pages of some size XY. This means, you have to know four (!) values in order to understand how to calculate the (scalar) density of the paper. For example "20 lb paper" can mean that a ream of 500 pages in format 2436 in has a total mass of 20 pounds. These ream sizes of 500 24 in 36 in = 278.70912 m are somewhat typical in newsprint applications but not universal, as 1722 in, 2538 in and other reference sheet sizes are used as well! With 453.59237 g/lb and 278.70912 m/ream, we get roughly 1 lb/ream = 1.63  g/m for this particular ream size. It is a big pain if you have to do these conversions yourself and you really should complain to paper suppliers who still do not manage to communicate the proper g/m values (commonly called "grammage" in both English and French) for their products.

Obviously that is very complicated. If you provide me the paper size and paper weight of the U.S. paper I can help you create the conversion.

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