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Updated 13 March 2010

F-style can – A rectangular base can fitted with a screw cap.

5-Phenyltetrazole – A high process temperature exothermic foaming agent generating nitrogen gas.


Facing(s) – A marketing term indicating the outwardly visible panel of a carton at retail display (facing panel) or the number of cartons displayed in a given set of vertical and horizontal dimensions; i.e., 8 facings in a 2’ x 2’ display rack.

Failure – Event in which a component of the package does not perform one or more of its required functions within the specified limits under specified conditions (ref. ISO 11607 – 2003(E)).

Failure analysis – Logical, systematic examination of an item to identify and analyze the probability, causes and consequences of potential and real failures (ref. ISO 11607 – 2003(E)).

Far-Red Radiation – A part of the visible radiation (700-800nm). The ratio of far-red/red can have a special effect on crops by influencing their growth and development.

FBB See: Folding Box Board

FEA – finite-element analysis

Felt – (1) The absorbent layer of fabric applied to the top side of the paper sheet as it is formed. The felt usually passes between a series of press rolls which squeeze out more water. The upper side of the paper sheet is often called the felt side. (2) The porous belt which carries the newly formed paperboard through the papermaking machine until the sheet is stable enough to continue without support.

FEP – Tetrafluorethylen-Hexafluorpropylen.

Fibre (AE: fiber) (1) A small thread-like cellulose unit of vegetable growth obtained from plants such as trees, sugar cane, cotton, jute, etc., from which paper and board are made. (2) In packaging, this designates converted paperboard products such as fibreboard, fibre boxes, fibre containers or fibre drums. (3) A term used to define pulp after the basic preparation in the paper-making process. Generally, the pulp is some combination of softwood and hardwood fibre.

Fibre loss – Undesirable loss of fibre material from pulp during processing.

Fibreboard (AE:  fiberboard) (1) The general term indicating boxboard that contains centre plies of a different furnish than used for the top and bottom liners. (2) Board made from defibrated wood chips on a wet-lap forming machine; used as a building board

Fibrillation – A structural change occurring in the walls of chemical pulp fibres during beating.

Filament – A fibre of an indefinite length.

Filler – (1) The inner ply or plies of a multiple layer boxboard. (2) An inert inorganic material such as china clay, titanium dioxide, chalk, talc and so on, used in coating paper or board to modify the properties improving whiteness, opacity, porosity, smoothness, to improve ink receptivity, and enhance sheet formation.

Filler content – Ratio of material originating from filler and coating chemicals to original mass of pulp.

Film – A non-fibrous, non-metallic flexible material, generally transparent, used as windows in cartons; or for overwraps and laminates. It is extruded, cast or calendered.

Film-card pack

Final package – Primary containment system in which the product is sterilized (excluding shelf cartons and shipping containers) that protects the contents to the intended level over a specific period of time. Note: The intended level may be e.g. a barrier to physical, microbial or chemical challenges (ref. ISO 11607 – 2003(E)).

Fine paper – High-quality printing, writing or office paper produced mostly from chemical pulp. May be either coated or uncoated

Finish – (1) The material surrounding the neck opening of any container; designed to accommodate a particular closure. (2) The term used to designate the density of boxboard and the change in smoothness incidental to change of weight. There are four standard finishes designated by numbers 1 to 4; the number 1 indicating the lowest density and number 4 the highest density.

Finishing – Property enhancing processes carried out after web is formed and bonded; includes embossing, printing, creping and coating.

Finite Element Analysis (FEA) –

Fitment – A device used as a part of a closure assembly, designed to accomplish a specific purpose, such as a powder shaker, sprinkler or dropper.

Fittings – Any parts (other than ends) necessary to complete the closure of a can, including plugs, screw necks, spouts, bungs, caps and more.

Flame Lamination – Flame lamination is often used to bond film and/or fabric to soft polyurethane foams. The process, shown below, involves the passing of the soft foam over an open flame, which creates a thin layer of molten polymer. The film and/or fabric are quickly pressed against the foam while it is still in the molten state. The strength of the bond depends upon the film, fabric and foam selected and the processing conditions (i.e., gas type, flame height and spread, foam burn-off and nip pressure).

Flame lamination is a continuous process that, depending on the equipment, adheres fabric or film to one or both sides of the foam in a single pass. (source: http://www.dow.com/)

Flap – One of the closing members of a folding carton, an envelope or corrugated container.

Flat zipper pouch – It is flat, usually square, and not gusseted. Flat zipper pouches are used for samples, portion-size bags, and for special promotions.

Flavorseal Post Pasteurization Shrink Bags


Flexible Packaging – Non-rigid packaging structures used to package and protect various food and non-food products in the retail and industrial business forum. Covers a wide range of packaging that can be single and multi-layered and is supplied in reels or bags. It can be paper/poly/foil or nylon or a combination of materials which are supplied either plain/printed/coated and/or laminated to provide long shelf life properties. End products packaged include confectionery, snack foods, frozen foods, soups and pharmaceuticals.


Rexam flex-loc_closureFlex-Loc closure – Trademark of Rexam – Lined tamper-evident closure ideal for carbonated soft drinks, bottled water and specialty drink products.

Flexography – (1) A printing process by which fluid, quick drying ink is transferred by a relief-moulded, flexible rubber plate to a fast-moving web through rotary action. (2) A web printing process that uses flexible rubber or photopolymer plates with a raised image and fast-drying water-based ink. For years, flexography was restricted to printing that did not require top quality (e.g., milk cartons), but improvements in inks and plate technology now make flexography a competitor for some jobs previously printed gravure and offset. Flexography allows lower-cost printing for long runs of low to moderate print quality.

Flint – Transparent, clear glass.

Flock – Finely cut cloth fibres blown or shaken on adhesive-coated boxboard or cartons to produce a velour or suede finish.

Flocked paper – Paper with a velvet-like, smooth unglazed surface.

Rexam flods_closureFlods closure – Trademark of Rexam – Linerless tamper-evident closure ideal for bottled water, carbonated soft drinks, juice drinks and specialty drink products.

Flowed-in-gasket – A gasket formed by a liquid material (vinyl or latex) poured (or flowed) directly into a gasket groove and cured in place, usually by baking; e.g. plastisol.

Fluff pulp – A special pulp used in baby nappies and sanitary towels
Fluorescence – An optical process by which energy is transferred from a certain range into a longer wavelength range.

Fluorination – A chemical reaction that introduces fluorine into a compound.

Fluorination Barrier Treatment – Fluorination prevents container paneling and distortion and reduces chemical permeation, weight loss, odor emission and flavor or fragrance loss.  The process exposes the surfaces of plastics and other materials to elemental fluorine under strictly controlled conditions of time, temperature, and pressure.  Hydrogen atoms on the exposed surfaces are replaced with fluorine atoms, creating a permanent fluorocarbon barrier on all exposed surfaces.  Some common benefits of fluorination are: Reduces solvent and chemical permeation by up to 1000 times; Available for use on all polyethylene and polypropylene containers and replaces glass, metal, or more costly plastic resin containers with a safe, cost effective alternative.
Chemicals and Products that presently use Fluorinated Bottles are: Acetone, Auto Additives, Charcoal Lighter, Degreaser, Electronics Industry Chemicals, Health and Beauty Care Products, Insecticides, Kerosene, Lubricants, Maintenance Chemicals, Paint Thinners (turpentine, etc.), Plant Growth Products, Waxes, Cleaners and Polishes (various), Weed Killers and Herbicides, Wood Preservatives.
(source: http://www.thecarycompany.com/containers/plastic_bottles/fluorination.html)

Flute, Corrugation – This refers to the wave shapes, or ridges, that are pressed into a sheet of material that has been softened by steam. This material is then sandwiched between flat sheets of material to form corrugated fibreboard. Flute serves as protective cushioning and helps strengthen a carton. Different widths and configurations offer distinctive performance advantages.

Flutes – Depending upon the stacking strength, puncture resistance, crush strength required for the carton, one of the three commonly corrugations are used in single-wall, general-purpose cartons. A-Flute has excellent stacking strength, B-Flute has good puncture resistance and C-Flute has the optimum combination of both. The letters A, B, C, E, F and G define the type of corrugated material in terms of the number of corrugations per unit length and the height of the corrugations – specifically these are:

Flute     Corrugations     Height of
per metre           corrugation (mm)
A            105 – 125              4.5 – 4.7
B            150 – 185              2.1 – 2.9
C            120 – 145              3.5 – 3.7
E            290 – 320            1.1 – 1.2
F            410 – 420             0.7 – 0.8
G            550 – 560             0.5 – 0.6

Fluting – Paperboard used to make the corrugated layer in corrugated board.

Foamboard – C1S paperboard designed for lamination to a foam backing for point-of-purchase displays, posters, and signs.

Foaming Agents – May be chemical dry powders (azodicarbonamide, bicarbonate/acids, phenyltetrazoles) that generate gas or physical (compressed carbon dioxide, nitrogen, air or hydrocarbons) that are already a gas in the polymer melt process.  Foam concentrates are formulated with chemical foaming agents.

Foaming ink

Foil – (1) General term for hot stamping material, consisting of a film carrier (usually polyester) coated with a release agent, a colour (lacquer) coat or metallised aluminium, and an adhesive coat, in that order. (2) Thin gauged aluminium used in packaging as a laminate to board, or as an overwrap, to increase eye appeal and to provide functional properties such as resistance to heat, grease and water. (3) A thin gauge (0.2285-0.325 mils) aluminium foil laminated to plastic films to provide maximum oxygen, aroma and water vapour barrier properties. Although it is by far the best barrier material, it is increasingly being replaced by metallised films, (see MET-PET and MET-OPP) because of cost.

Foil Stamping – The impressing of lettering or a design through foil upon a carton blank by means of a heated die or type. Also called “hot stamping”.

Fold endurance See Folding Strength

Folding Box Board (FBB) – A multi-ply coated paperboard suitable made predominantly from mechanical pulp but with bleached chemical pulp liners, for the manufacture of folding cartons, primarily found in Europe. The board typically has a centre core of mechanical pulp which provides bulk at lower basis weights. European designations: GC1 (white back folding boxboard), GC2 (cream back folding boxboard).

Folding Carton – (1) Generally accepted designation of containers made by bending grades of plain or printed boxboard, cut and creased in a variety of sizes and shapes; delivered to the user in a flat, or glued and collapsed form. (2) Multi-layer paperboard cartons which are printed/coated and cut into carton blanks. The carton blanks also incorporate creases, which enable the carton to be formed for packaging the customer’s product.

Folding Strength – This test (MIT Folds) measures the amount of times a strip of paper or board can be bent, creased, and folded before rupture. A lower internal bond allows greater folding endurance. Folding strength is important in many converting applications. Also known as fold endurance.

Formation – The dispersion of fibres in a sheet of paper; degree of uniformity of fibre distribution. The more uniform and tightly bound the fibres, the more level and smooth the paper and the better the sheet will print and look. It is usually measured by the uniformity of the light transmitted through the paper. Poor formation of paper will affect calliper, opacity, and strength properties.

Formers – These are more advanced de-watering systems with pressure or suction to provide higher production speeds and improved board properties.

Form/fill/seal – A system where packs are formed (typically from film or foil), filled and closed in one continuous operation.

Form-fill-seal bags

Forte – A 36 point solid fibre board that provides compression strength equal to or greater than F, G, and N mini-flute board. Combines an extremely smooth and bright coated facing stock with a virgin kraft board to enable excellent graphic reproduction without washboarding. Supports demanding print production techniques, such as embossing and foil stamping. Forte is designed to be an alternative to mini-flute board for construction of small- and medium-size packaging. Intended for high-end corrugated packaging.

Forty-eight/Forty (48/40) – Term referring to a pallet size of 48” by 40” which optimizes space utilization of trailers and most warehousing systems.

Fourdrinier Machine – Paperboard making machine (usually makes solid board) using an endless travelling wire screen on which the furnish is deposited. The screen shakes as it travels, knotting the fibres into a homogeneous sheet. Some grain direction discernible.

Frame – Structural description of the end and/or side wall components of a tray type of folding carton, die-cut and scored to form a shoulder or enclosing border to protect and enhance the display of the contents.

Fraunhofer-Institut für Verfahrenstechnik und Verpackung (IVV) – Freising, Germany has developed a test of concerning how inert PET is. Bringing the material in contact with a sample of four classes of chemicals (alcohols, ester, ketones, hydrocarbons and halogenated hydrocarbons) and measuring the remigration of residues in a test filling medium PET material can be examined in relation to undesired migration of chemicals in food. As different PET plastics are produced varying from producer to producer the migration from chemicals of the packaging material itself and chemicals of poisonous fillings such as pesticides, cleaning agents, industrial chemicals and organic poisons such as aflatoxins turning the use, the reuse and even the recycling of plastics as food packaging a danger for the consumer. (source: http://www.ourfood.com/Packaging.html)

Freesheet – Paper that is free of mechanical wood pulp (groundwood). Virtually all fine printing papers are freesheet.

Fresh produce

FreshCan Wedge technology

Freshgard technology

Freshness valve – A valve allowing air to escape but not enter the bag. They are usually round, and can be with or without filter paper. The reason for inserting a freshness valve into the bag is that p.e. coffee beans after roasting emit carbon dioxide, which needs to escape.


Fridge Vendor – A GPI patented cardboard packaging. It’s a fully-enclosed paperboard container that features a dispenser-style opening, permits interlocked stacking, and has plenty of exterior surface for attractive wrap-around graphics.

Frosting – A treatment that involves the removal by chemical means of a thin layer of the glass surface. This process commonly referred to as “satinage” in French, results in a frosted satin-look that is very attractive and eye-catching.

Frothing effect

F-style can – A rectangular base can fitted with a screw cap.

Full-body shaped bottle (aluminium)

Fully bleached pulp – Pulp that has been bleached to the highest brightness attainable.

Fumigation – A process by which the soil is sterilized from any insect, disease or weed, prior to the growing of a crop. This is usually done by covering it with mulch and injecting a Fumigant (gas or low-boiling liquid) into the soil.

Functional Coatings – The lamination of polyethylene and/or plastic or foil films to paper substrates, providing a water or greaseproof barrier. Typically used in high humidity applications in both tropical and cold temperatures, for use with meat, seafood, pet food, fruit and produce.

Furnish – (1) A general term used to describe the type of cellulose materials (pulps) used in the construction of board. (2) The mixture of pulp, paper scrap, sizing, water, dyes, and other additives fed to the wet-end of a paper or board making machine from which paper or board is formed. The wet-end furnish is approx. 94% water; finished sheet ranges from 5% to 7 % water.


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