BYK Gardner micro-TRI-gloss Glossmeter

Sarah Hunter taking gloss measurements on treated iron samples

This instrument is used to measure the reflectivity or shininess of a surface. These data are useful in experiments examining surface appearance changes before and after treatments or weathering.  In conservation, it is important to know whether surface coatings, cleaners or treatments will change the nature of the object’s appearance.  We frequently use this instrument in conjunction with the colorimeter to characterize sample surfaces.

The instrument has three different angles of measurement, which make it possible to measure gloss of matte, semi-gloss, and high-gloss surfaces.  The data are reported as gloss-units, and are measurements of the amount of light detected after it is bounced off the substrate’s surface.  The instrument can take multiple measurements of a surface and report the average gloss and standard deviation.

Diagram of the angles used to measure gloss on various surfaces.

Current projects using this instrument include crude oil removal from historic materialsherbicide effects on building materials, and aging of adhesives used in fossil conservation.





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National Center for Preservation Technology and Training
645 University Parkway
Natchitoches, LA 71457

Email: ncptt[at]
Phone: (318) 356-7444
Fax: (318) 356-9119