Glossary

A

  • Abrasion Resistance: the inherent ability of a surface to inhibit deterioration or destruction by friction. Also called rub resistance, it relates to the toughness of an ink or coating.
  • Abrasion Test, Paper: used to determine dry rub, wet rub, wet bleed, smear and rub qualities, incorporating several types of motion. Also for the testing of surface areas, under a variety of load conditions.
  • Abrasion Test, Textiles: used for testing a specific textile application such as pilling, scrub resistance, fabric adhesion and chalking.
  • Absorbency: That property of a porous material, such as paper, which causes it to take up liquids or vapors (e.g., moisture) with which it is in contact, and allow penetration into its bulk.
  • Accuracy: 1. the degree of freedom from error in a measurement; 2. The total of all deviations from a specified straight line. Usually the sum of non-linearity, repeatability, and hysteresis is expressed as a percent of full scale output.
  • Acrylic: 1. a class or group of plastics that exhibit fairly high impact strength, rigidity, and compatibility with other plastics. Often used as base compounds in formulating ink and adhesive systems. 2. An optically clear cast resinous plastic that can be screen printed and heat-formed.
  • Acrylic Ink: screen printing ink containing acrylic polymers used for screen printing on some plastics and other substrates, especially where outdoor exposure may be involved.
  • Additive: any compound which, when combined with another reduces, improves flow or workability, or otherwise changes the composition to a predetermined state.
  • Additive Colors: the primary colors red, green and blue, which when added together as colors of light, product white.
  • Adhesion: a mechanical or chemically reactive bond between surfaces. Adhesion to a smooth surface may rely on polar adhesion.
  • Adhesion Test: any of a variety of test methods used to determine the adequacy of ink or coating adhesion to a substrate.The cross-cut take test is commonly used.
  • Air-dry: the property of any ink that will dry without the use of forced air or heating ovens.
  • Air Pollutant: dust, fumes, mist, smoke and other particulate mater, vapor, gas, odorous substance, or any combination there of.
  • Aluminum Ink: a printing ink whose principal pigment consists of aluminum, finely pulverized into flaky particles, and when printed gives a “silver” color appearance.
  • Anodizing: the process of adding a protective oxide film to metal by an electrolytic process.
  • ANSI: acronym for American National Standards Institute; formerly the American Standard Association.
  • Application: 1. an adhesive-coated film emblem, or decal affixed to a designated substrate; 2. an ink or color screen printed directly onto a substrate; 3. often used as a general term to designate a particular screen printed project.
  • Artwork: term for the image that will be used on your product.
  • Automatic Conveyorized Drying: a widely used means of drying screen prints without racking, which incorporates a conveyor belt with a drying or curing chamber.
  • Automatic Feeder: a device for picking up single sheets from a pile and moving them one at a time into the printing area of the press to be printed.
  • Automatic Machine (Automatic Press): a machine which completes partial or full operation cycles by means of energy other than human motion; i.e., a fully automatic screen press loads, prints, and discharges the print without manual effort on the part of the operator other than the switching on and off of the energy source, usually electricity, or controlling machine speed. In some presses, may include ink feeding
  • Automatic Peel: a feature generally found on larger automatic screen printing presses, whereby the screen is lifted mechanically behind the moving squeegee, by spring or cam device.

B

  • Baffle Mark: a mark or seam on a bottle resulting from an imperfect mold joint between the blank mold and the baffle.
  • Baking: heat treatment by convection, infrared, or other heat source of an ink or coating deposition to improve durability and hasten ultimate drying.
  • Bar: a standard unit of pressure equal to 100,000 Newtons per square meter.
  • Base: 1. a firm true surface on which the substrate is placed for printing; 2. A modifying additive for screen printing inks; 3. a specific type of resin which determines the character of the ink in manufacture, such as acrylic base, oil base, vinyl base, etc.
  • Batch: a quantity of material produced by any manufacturing or treatment process for one operation.
  • Batch Consistency: a preservation of uniformity in the formulation or manufacturing of screen printing inks, plastic compositions, etc., to ensure succeeding batches exactly matching proceeding batches of like formation in all respects
  • Belt Conveyor: a moving belt system for transporting prints from one processing stage to the next as from dryer to packing area, in almost any conceivable order. Belt may be made of metal, mesh, heavy cloth, web straps, wires, etc.
  • Belt Speed: the rate of travel, usually measured in inches or feet per minute, of the belt of any conveyor dryer system.
  • Blade: the flexible printing edge of a squeegee which may be made from various elastomers of polyurethane, neoprene, or rubber.
  • Blanks: 1. cardboard or metal sheets, or other umprinted substrates used for making displays and signs; 2. unprinted garments or piece goods.
  • Blank Ware: undecorated glass or ceramic ware.
  • Bleeching: the removal of color or other material by chemical action.
  • Bleed: 1. the spreading or migration of an ink component or dye in an area where it is not wanted; 2. the spreading or running of a pigment
  • Bleeding: 1. the diffusion or migration of color from a film of ink to the surrounding surface, to a surface from which it comes into contact, or into a succeeding application of ink or coating; 2. The diffusion or migration of dye from a fabric to the ink or coating previously applied. Usually initiated by heat
  • Blockout: an emulsion process used to cover pin holes and to block out any area of the screen that you do not want ink to pass through. Pin holes will cause unwanted dots on your image.
  • Blow Back: reversal of the vacuum action of a vacuum printing table, which aids in the fast removal of printed substrate
  • Blow Molding: process in which thermoplastics are forced into a hollow mold by air pressure.
  • Board: a heavyweight, thick sheet of paper or other fibrous material, usually in a thickness of 0.006″ or greater. Another term for cardboard.
  • Bonding Agent: An ink additive, used to enhance adhesion of ink to nylon jacket material.
  • Bottle Press: a screen printing press capable of printing on cylindrical or other three-dimensional shapes.
  • Break: 1. release of screen fabric from substrate surface at completion of printing stroke; 2. Tear in screen fabric and/or stencil caused by excessive stress or impact; 3. Nonproductive rest period; 4. The gap allowed in an incomplete circumferential print of the screen on a cylindrical object; 5. Term used to designate a tear or other defect in web face material or release liner. such defects are usually spliced and the location indicated by a protruding signal or flag; 6. varnishes “break” when the resin separates.
  • Brittleness: the property of a material or ink film which causes it to break or otherwise fail when bent or creased.
  • Bronze Screen: a printing screen method of fine mesh, phosphor bronze wire fabric, used mainly for printing wallpaper.
  • Budget: an educated estimate of expenses required to operate a business for a set period of time, usually one year. There is a need for two budgets; one for total operation and one by cost center or manufacturing division.
  • Bulk: a measure of the thickness of the pile of a specified number of sheets of paper stock under a specific pressure.
  • Burn: To expose an emulsion coated screen to a light source to create an image.
  • Byproduct: a chemical substance produced during the manufacture, processing, use or disposal of another substance or mixture.

 

C

  • Cabinet Oven: a device for thermal treatment by convection, mounted on a floor stand, usually used for testing in the lab, or for very low production of small parts.
  • Caliper: a term used to designate thickness, as of sheet material. The thickness is usually expressed in mils or points, both being terms expressing thousandths of an inch. (.050 is expressed as 50 point usually for paper stocks; or 50 mils when plastics are designated by thickness).
  • Catalyst: an ink additive that will improve an ink’s adhesion properties.
  • Centipoise: a unit of measure of viscosity equal to one hundredth (0.01) of poise. Water has an approximate viscosity of one centipose at room temperature.
  • Ceramic Coatings: an inorganic, essentially non-metallic, coating suitable for use at or above red heat.
  • Ceramic Ink: an ink containing ceramic pigments and flux that is applied to a ceramic substrate, by screen printing or stamping.
  • Ceramics: technology concerned with the manufacturing of products from inorganic, non-metallic substances and materials, that are subjected to a high temperature during manufacturing and use.
  • Ceramic Screen Printing: the decoration of ceramic articles by screen printing techniques.
  • Ceramic Substrate: the ceramic wafers, chips, or other forms such as steatite compositions, on which electronic circuitry may be printed.
  • Certification Mark: a mark used by a person other than the owner of the mark, certifying origin, quality, material, or other characteristics.
  • Clean Room: an enclosed area in which airborne particles, temperature, relative humidity and pressure are controlled to specific requirements.
  • Clogging: a condition that occurs when ink dries on the screen. Typically seen with solvent based inks.
  • Coarse Mesh: screen printing fabric with low mesh count, because of large (comparatively so with fine mesh fabrics) openings or apertures between the woven threads or strands.
  • Coefficient of Thermal Expansion: the fractional part of it length that a material elongates when raised one degree in temperature.
  • Coating Stroke: a heavily print stroke used to increase the opacity of a print by increasing ink thickness.
  • Colorfast: the ability for a product to hold its colors over repeated washings or adhesion testings.
  • Color Separation: the separating of each color in a design into a separate screened image. Each individual separated color will then be printed in registration with each other to reproduce the original image.
  • Color Sequence: the order in which colors are screen printed onto a substrate; important to the correct trappings of color.
  • Colors, Primary: the three basic colors, which, when properly selected and mixed, produce any hue. The three primary light (spectral) colors are green, red, and blue; the three primary ink colors are yellow, magenta, and cyan.
  • Commercial Acceptance: a term used to denote customer’s approval of the degree of accuracy in color matching, register, and/or print quality.
  • Commercial Register: in process color reproduction, allowable misregister, usually by no more than one row of dots.
  • Conductive Ink: an ink for the screen printing of electronic circuits which contains materials that permits electric current flow through through the printed line or pattern.
  • Conductor: an element or substance which has many free electrons which permits a free flow of electric energy within its mass.
  • Consistency: 1. The relative stiffness (body) of an ink or coating; 2. Describes the apparent viscosity of an ink or varnish when shearing forces of varying degrees are applied to it in various way.
  • Constant Viscosity: a property of certain liquids, the ratio of shear stress over shear rate being constant.
  • Container Printing: a general term designating the screen printing of containers of various shapes with labels, directions, and/or ornamental designs, directly onto the surface of the container which may be glass or plastic, or depending on the fabricated shape, other types of substrates.
  • Container Printing Machine: a machine designed to accommodate various shapes of containers holding them in position for imprinting.
  • Convection Oven: a heat chamber in which air of elevated temperature is introduced in static form, in which drying can take place under uncirculated heat. When air is circulated, then Force Drying is taking place.
  • Conventional Ink: color mixed with vehicle for application in other than a dry state, except those containing frits or florescent pigments, or special purpose inks such as solder resists, conductive inks, and other designed for functional, rather than aesthetic results, usually.
  • Conveyor Dryer: an ink drying system which incorporates a drying chamber with a belt conveyor. Additional features may include an exhaust system, a cooling chamber, a UV lamp, etc. Belting materials may be metal or heat resistant synthetics.
  • Copy Area: 1. the portion of printing screen through which the design is to be printed; 2. The area of a sign or display that carries the message.
  • Copyright: the exclusive right of reproduction to an article or design, granted by law for a definite period of time.
  • Corner Box: a simple gauge for maintaining register in mounting of thin sheets to heavy stock or any similar operation.
  • Corona Discharge: an electrical, film treating method whereby the atmosphere (corona) around the substrate is ionized, encouraging oxidation and reducing surface tension for improved ink adhesion.
  • Corrigation: a method for lessening the shrinkage in material such as cotton.
  • Corrugated Board: laminate made of flat sheet paper stock and corrugated paper stock. Single face stock has one flat sheet laminated to one corrugate; double faced stock has a flat sheet on each side of the corrugate; double wall has a single faced sheet adhered to a double faced sheet, with flat faces outside.
  • Coverage: a term indicating the amount of area a given volume of ink will cover when applied to a given substrate.
  • Crocking: tendency of a printed image to come off when subject to abrasion testing.
  • Cure: the resolving of coating material into a usable or specific state by heat or chemical action other than baking in the usual sense or firing.
  • Cure Time: the time/temperature combination required to bring organic decoration to the desired level of hardness, caustic and chemical resistance.
  • Curing: 1. a drying process usually requiring elevated temperature of a film that cannot be dried by oxidation; 2. in textile decoration, the application of heat to remove volatile and set the emulsion of pigment dye into the textile fibers; 3. a two (or more) part chemical reaction that, when completed, resembles a dried appearance.
  • Curing Oven: a chamber in which drying and/or some change of a freshly printed ink surface takes place during the drying process, to improve adhesion, solidify the film or otherwise convert film characteristics by means other than by solvent evaporation.
  • Curing Unit: a UV curing reactor that houses a UV energy emitter used for the polymerization of ultraviolet curable inks, coatings, and adhesives.
  • Cylindrical Press: 1. a screen printing press so constructed that the substrate, wrapped around a rotating drum, contacts the printing surface of a moving printing screen, being discharged onto a conveyor after printing; 2. a press used for die cutting.
  • Cylindrical Printer: a mechanical arrangement for screen printing cylindrical forms such as bottles, metal drums, etc.

D

  • Debug: 1. testing of a computer program, and/or correcting errors; to bring any newly installed unit of equipment up to operating mode dependability.
  • Deburring: the process of removing edge deformations caused by cutting and/or drilling dielectric supports for printed circuits.
  • Decal: originally an abbreviated form of decalcomania, the French designation of a design printed on special paper for transfer to a substrate.Current usage includes pressure sensitive markings as well as water-slide transfers, or any or all designs that are eternally processed prior to application to end product or service.
  • Decorating: a term used to indicate the stripping of both ink residues and stencil film coatings from the fabric of the screen printings.
  • Decorated: an object which has ben embellished, adorned, marked, and/or made more attractive aesthetically or functionally by means of color detail applied to the surface as in glass ware, textiles, etc.
  • Diameter: the measurable distance across a circle with respect to a straight line passing through the center.
  • any variations of tools designed for cutting in a per-designed pattern or form of utilization of pressure or mechanical motion to contact the cutting edge to the surface to be cut.
  • Direct Labor: those jobs functions strictly involved in the direct production of a product or conversion process.
  • Direct Labor Cost: equals the total direct labor for a specific time provided, dived by the quantity of material produced or converted during that period.
  • Direct Printing Screen: a direct printing screen is made by coating the screen printing fabric with an emulsion, usually, per-sensitized, allowing the coating to dry, then exposing to a positive and developing to form the stencil.
  • Disappearing Guide: a register guide (or stop) that mechanically retracts into the printing table on an automated press during the printing cycle.
  • Discoloration: any change from the original color, or an unintended inconsistency of color.
  • Display Board: a thick paperboard used for screen printed advertising display.
  • Dot Gain: dots increase in size due to ink build up on the bottom of the screen. This condition occurs when printing halftones.
  • Double Face: 1. a sign or display printed on both sides of a sheet; 2. paper or other sheet substrate which has been prepared for printing on both sides.
  • DPI (Dots per inch): the measure of printing resolution (number of individual dots a printer can produce in a linear one inch space).
  • Drier: an agent that, added to a compound such as ink, will promote more rapid drying.
  • Drop Shadow: an effect to give your artwork a “shadow” effect, making it appear three dimensional.
  • Dryer: a conveyor unit with one or more heating elements used for the purpose of curing solvent based inks on a product.
  • Durometer: direct Unit of measure for the “hardness” of rubber, which is applied to the squeegee blade.
  • Durometer Gauge: an instrument of measuring the degree of hardness of an elastomer or rubber, such as used in squeegee blades.

E

  • Efficiency: productivity measured as total direct labor divided by clock hours worked, divided by a weighted base rate.
  • Effluent: 1. waste material (from an industrial source) in liquid form; 2. the releasing of pollutants into the environment generally with regard to discharge into waters.
  • Elasticity: that property of plastic or other material which permits partial or complete recovery of original form after deformation or elongation.
  • Emulsion: photosensitive chemical that when applied to a screen makes a stencil.
  • Enamel: 1. in glass decorating, a dry substance composed of a mixture of frit and pigment for application to various types of glass; 2. a term rather loosely applied to a screen printing ink or coating that dries hard and with some degree of gloss.
  • Epoxy: a solvent based ink that is abrasion resistant.
  • Ergonomics: the application of biotechnology and engineering principles to improve the work environment with regards to safety, efficiency, and precision.
  • Erythema: an irritation of the skin, typically exhibited by redness, which can be caused by exposure to UV light rays.
  • Exposure: exposing an emulsion coated screen to light to create a stencil. Also known as “burning” a screen.
  • Exterior Banners: screen printed messages on textile materials or other substrates designed to be placed out of doors, thus subject to weather and other environmental influences.

F

  • Fahrenheit: a widely used thermal scale in which zero is 32 degrees below freezing. 212 degrees Fahrenheit represents the temperature at which water boils at sea level.
  • FESPA: acronym for Federation of European Screen Printing Association.
  • Fine Mesh: screen printing fabrics with relatively high mesh counts per inch and relatively small apertures between the threads.
  • Flash Cure Unit: an Infrared unit to partially cure a product so that the second print applied will achieve the desired opacity.
  • Flat-Bed Press: a screen printing press in which the substrate is placed on a flat surface prior to printing in contact with a flat printing screen which is attached by a carrier held on vertical posts or in clam-shell fashion.
  • Flat Screen Printing: screen printing on any substrate which is not normally shaped or contoured on it’s surface.
  • Flood Bar: the device on a screen printing press comprised of a thin metal (or plastic) blade, which has the function of spreading a thin film of ink uniformly over the printing screen, in the opposite direction of and proceeding the printing stroke.
  • Flooding: the application of an ink coating on top of the printing screen without printing.
  • Flow Rate: actual speed or velocity of the fluid movement.
  • Fluidity: the ease of flow of a material; as a general rule, the greater the viscosity the less the fluidity.
  • Force Drying: any system of drying of screen printing inks, industrial coatings, ect., by application of influenced beyond normal atmospheric conditions.
  • Four-Color Process: a printing technique to achieve printing the entire color spectrum by using four ink colors (Cyan, Yellow, Magenta and Black).
  • Free Shrink: term used to define the irreversible and rapid reduction in linear dimension of a plastic film exposed to given temperatures, expressed as a percentage of the original dimension.
  • Full Color Printing: a term used to mean four color process printing, though a fifth or sixth color may also be added.
  • Full Contact Printing: screen printing in which the printing screen is contact with the substrate at all points during the printing process.

G

  • Ganging: Multiple images placed on the same screen.
  • Glaze: a thin vitreous coating, either colored or clear, that attaches itself firmly to the body of the ceramic ware, imparting a gloss and smoothness to the surface.
  • Gray Scale: Image tone consisting only of white to black shadings.
  • Grit: the abrasive material on a grinding belt or wheel for sharpening squeegee material.

H

  • Halftone: A color or grayscale image that has been converted into a series of large and small dots.
  • Hardness: 1. degree of solidity of an imprint with relation to impact resistance, chemical resistance, and resistance to markings or deterioration by mechanical stress; 2. term applied to degree of glass appearance of a fired glass enamel decoration; 3. resistance of a plastic or rubber material to indentation.
  • Hard Squeegee: a squeegee with a very stiff blade.
  • H.D.P.E: abbreviation for high density polyurethane, a plastic commonly used for manufacturing in-mold decorated bottles.
  • Heat Curing: 1. in textile printing, the subjection of printed substrate to stream heat to set the dyes and drive off volatiles; 2. in other screen printing, the application of dry heat for predetermined interval to drive off volitiles and speed drying and in some instances to harden the printed film on the substrate.
  • Hickeys: an imperfection in screen printed coatings due to many things such as dirt, harden specks of inks, etc., having attached to the wet surface.
  • High Gloss: a type of surface having extreme smoothness and excellent light reflecting qualities is said to have a “high gloss”.

I

  • Image Area: The area on a screen where the image appears (what will appear on product).
  • Ink: A printable liquid substance. Different products will have different ink specifications.
  • Ink Additives: Added to ink to alter its printing capabilities.

M

  • Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS): Informational sheets supplied by the manufacturer indicating the composition of substance and health and safety data of the product.
  • Mesh: Fabric used for screens.
  • Mesh Count: The number of threads in one square inch of screen fabric (mesh). The higher the number, the finer the mesh and the thinner the screen opening.
  • Micro-registration: a mechanical adjustment typically on the base of a screen printing press used for precise movement and alignment in relation to the screen.

N

  • Newton: The unit of measurement for screen tension.

O

  • Off-contact: The method of printing, which leaves a small gap between the screen and the substrate.
  • Overcured: Exposing your product excessive heat, which will result in a print that will crack and fade prematurely.

P

  • Plastisol: A ink used primarily for textile printing.
  • Process Colors: Cyan, Yellow, Magenta and Black (CMYK).
  • Proof: A test print.

R

  • Reducer: An ink additive used to lower the viscosity of the ink.
  • Registration: The process of lining up the screens with one another to replicate the original artwork.
  • Registration Mark: “Crosshair” target marks used for aligning a screen image to the source art.
  • Retarder: An chemical ink additive that will slow down the drying or curing of an ink.

S

  • Screen: A wooden or metal frame with mesh tightly attached to it for screen printing.
  • Screen Printing: Printing method where ink is driven through a screen with a squeegee.
  • Shelf Life: The length of time a product can be stored before it loses its efficacy.
  • Solvent: A liquid that dissolves a solid.
  • Squeegee Angle: The more of an angle the squeegee is held, the more ink that will be deposited on the substrate (displaying a more opaque image).

T

  • Tension Meter: Device used to measure screen tension in newtons.
  • Trap: An outline placed around a fill color to compensate for mis-registration.

U

  • UV Inks: Certain types of inks that when exposed to conventional or LED UV light will harden or cure.
  • UVSP: UV Spin Cure. System used for curing cylindrical products.

V

  • Vacuum Table: An aluminum table with tiny holes drilled for vacuum. The vacuum table is to be used in conjunction with a vacuum pump system for hold down of lightweight products.
  • Viscosity: Measurement for the “thickness” or “thinness” of an ink.

W

  • Water Based Ink: Inks that can be air dried.
  • WPI: Watts per inch.