Traditionally, gauge is used to measure the thickness of plastic film or wire, but to better understand gauge, it helps to convert it into a more readily used measuring system such as the metric system. Different materials require a different conversion formula. Other materials, such as sheet metal and tennis racket strings, do not follow a clear formula, and charts are available on the Internet for converting these materials from millimetres to gauge.
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Convert all inches to millimetres. Multiply the inches by 25.4 millimetres to find the metric equivelant. Since 1 inch equals 2.54 centimetres and there are 10 millimetres per centimetre, use 25.4 millimetres per inch. For instance, for a plastic sheet that is 0.01 inches thick: 0.01 x 25.4 = 0.254 millimetres.
Divide the millimetres in thickness of a wire by 10 to find the metric wire gauge thickness because the metric wire gauge equals 10 times the thickness of the wire in millimetres. For instance, if the wire measures 0.9 millimetres across: 0.9/10 = 9-gauge wire.
Find the gauge for plastic film by dividing the millimetres by 0.01 to determine the gauge. For example: 0.254 millimetre/0.01 = 25.4 gauge.
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