What is gloss?

Gloss is the attribute of the surface which causes it to have a shiny appearance and therefore is the visual perception of any object. However, the effects are solely based on the interaction of the light with the surface.

The spectrum starts off at high gloss and ends at matte. To measure how glossy your surface is use a glossmeter. This will tell you where your surface lies on the scale, of glossy or matte.

Glossmeter

Why measure gloss?

The gloss of a surface can be influenced by a range of factors. One of these factors being the smoothness achieved for the surface in the polishing process.  Due to the fact that manufacturers design their products to have maximum appeal, the surface of one object may be smoother than the other, depending on the overall design. An example of this is furniture. Some furnishings are designed at high gloss whereas others are matte. It all depends on what range of gloss would suit the product you are designing.

Customers notice the difference between a high gloss unit compared to a low gloss unit. However, potential buyers will also notice a difference between a slight difference in gloss and therefore the gloss levels of every product you sell the same of should be the same.

How do I measure gloss with a gloss meter?

Gloss is measured by directing a constant intense light beam at a surface, at a fixed angle. You should monitor the amount of reflected light from the angle, however, different surfaces do require different reflective angles and therefore it is important to ensure that you know the angle you should be measuring at before you start. This particular experiment is carried out using a gloss meter and measuring the specular reflectance.