3 min read

Occasionally, bottles can only be recycled if they’re over or under a certain wall thickness. It might not be easy to tell this thickness with the naked eye, but there are other ways to do so. For instance, there’s a little tool the professionals use, called a wall thickness gauge. It uses magnetic technology to measure the thickness of a water bottle’s walls. These machines may be pricy, but it’s an important test. Here are the three steps to figuring out how thick your favorite water bottle is.

water bottle

1.     Buy a Wall Thickness Gauge

If you want to know how thick your water bottle is, take out your tactical wallet and buy a thickness gauge. This is a useful tool for figuring out how thick your new water bottle is. Unfortunately, they’re not cheap. The displays alone can cost up to $5,000. These are more for companies than individuals, due to that price. And for some parts, there’s a long wait time, so you won’t be able to order it and use it the next day. The time and price go up as you order accessories and spare parts, of course. Fortunately, though, once you buy one, it’ll last a long time. The companies that make these machines know what they’re doing, and they’ll be available to help you if you need it.

2.     Setting Up the Gauge

When you get your gauge, you need to set it up.

First, you put the batteries in. This is easy to do, and shouldn’t take too long. Then you attach the sensor to the base, with the ball attached to the end. If you purchased any peripherals or accessories, those should be added too. If you need any help with these steps, consult your manuals.  When everything is connected, turn it on just to see if it all works. If it doesn’t, check the manual’s troubleshooting section If it does, move on to calibration. Calibration can be done with a wire target. If it reads correctly, then you’re ready to measure the thickness of your favorite water bottles. Keep trying if it doesn’t, adjusting as necessary. Once you’ve gotten it right, it’s time to start the measurement.

3.     Using the Gauge

The first thing you should do is turn on your gauge. Place the probe on one side of the wall, and the magnetic ball on the other. Slightly touch the sensor to the point where the ball is, and note the reading before moving the probe. Always note the lowest reading. Continue taking these readings in other parts of the bottle, rolling the ball around as needed. If the ball comes loose from the magnetic probe, just move the probe to where the ball landed. When all the parts are measured, average them. You’ll finally know just how thick your favorite water bottle is.

What Can I Do with This Information?

If you’re an individual, these readings are more for the sake of curiosity and knowing just how strong your bottle is. If you know how thick your bottle is, you won’t worry as much if it falls off your black Cinch belt. This information is more useful to manufacturers of PET products.

titanium black cinch belt

They need to know that the bottle is consistent, not using more plastic than it needs to, and will stay strong no matter what life throws at it. They combine the gauge test with others, such as a drop test and a pressure test, to make sure the bottles are at the highest quality they can be. If you want to send the manufacturing company a letter with your findings, they might find it interesting and could use the information in their next batch of water bottles. So, by testing them on your own, you could help the company make better bottles.

In Conclusion

There are three simple steps to measuring the thickness of your PET water bottles. First, you need to get the proper equipment. A wall thickness gauge is expensive, but it’s a vital tool for this. Second, you need to get it set up properly. Setups vary between machines, so be sure to check your manual. Calibrate your machine before the first test to ensure accuracy. Once everything is working and calibrated, it’s time to test. Roll the ball and probe around until you get a good reading. It’s easy and fun to measure the thickness of your Trayvax Nalgene water bottle.


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