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Updated 17 January 2011

Taber Unit – Unit of measurement used to determine the stiffness (resistance to bending) of a material such as paper or paperboard.

Tack – In printing inks, the cohesion between particles; the pulling power or separation force of ink in its transfer from a press blanket to its intended printing surface. A tacky ink has high separation forces and can cause surface picking or splitting of weak papers. A lack of tack has very little ability to transfer properly from blanket to paper because it has a low adhesion tendency, this affects trap.

Tagged Image File Format (TIFF) – Computer file format used to store images from scanners and video devices.



Talc – Mineral used in papermaking as a filler and coating pigment.

Talking pill bottle

Tamper-evident – A device or process that makes unauthorised access to the protected object easily detected. This may take the form of seals, markings or other techniques. Tamper-evident design is perhaps most visible in the area of product packaging and labelling, where it can be vital to know that the product has not been altered since it left the manufacturer.

Tamper-evident closure – A closure that incorporates a feature that indicates any unauthorised tampering or interference.

Tamper-evident neckbands

Tamper-Resistant Seal – A seal that can not be opened without partially destroying the cap or otherwise showing evidence of tampering.

printpadsredwebTampo printing – A printing process whereby the ink from an etched printing plate to any kind of surface is transferred using a silicone rubber pad. The main advantage of this method of printing is its ability to print on virtually any kind of irregular surface. It is used to print plastics, metals and ceramics. … continue reading

Tango – Packaging Resources Group’s family of coated cover board. Available in C1S, C1½S, and C2S grades.

Tank Voltage – The total between the anode and cathode of a plating bath or electrolytic cell during electrolysis. It is equal to the sum of (1.) The equilibrium reaction potential, (2.) the IR drop, and (3.) the electrode potentials.

Taper tension feature – A means of decreasing web tension as roll diameter increases in a rewind zone; Taper tension helps produce a roll of better quality by eliminating telescoping, crushed cores, and overly tight or loose rolls.

TAPPI’s Standard

Targa – A file format for exchanging 24-bit colour files on PCs. Abbreviated as TGA.

Target Ink Densities – Densities of the four process inks as recommended for various printing processes and grades of paper. See also Total Area Coverage.

TCF – Totally Chlorine Free

TCP Reliable

TCS – The Crimpless System.

T-Dimension – The outside diameter of the thread helix on a bottle finish.

TDO – transverse-direction-oriented (polymer).

TDPA – Totally Degradable Plastic Additives.

Tear Strip – A perforated band made in a carton blank to facilitate opening the package after it has been filled and sealed. Also a narrow ribbon of film, cord, etc., usually incorporated mechanically in a wrapper, overwrap, or the carton itself.

Tearing resistance – Force needed to tear a sheet of paper under specified conditions.

Technical papers – Variety of medium-grammage papers used in different industrial purposes.


Tensile Strength – A measure of how likely a substrate is to break when pulled at opposite ends; the measurement is done in both MD and CD. Tensile strength is very important when running through high-speed web presses. The main determinants are degree and quality of bonding and the type of fibres used. Tests of tensile strength are usually quoted as percent stretch, which tells you how much the paperboard can be stretched before breaking.

Tension Transducer – A tension sensor and variation of a load cell specifically designed to measure exact web or filament tension in processing machinery.

Tension Zone – A length of machine in which the web is under nominally the same tension, usually between driven rollers.

Terminally sterilized – Term for medical devices that are sterilized after being completely sealed or enclosed in at least the primary package.

Test liner – A liner, used as the inner or outer layer of a corrugated construction, the material being made partly from waste paper.

TE-tearband – tamper-evident tear band or tear strip.

Tetra Pak

Tetra Prisma

Tetra Wedge Aseptic Clear

Tex – The weight in grams of 1 km of material.

Textured folding carton

TFS – The DRD can is made from TFS (Tin Free Steel).

Therimage – A registered trademark of Dennison Mfg. Co. for a decorating process for plastic which transfers the image of a label or decoration to the object under the influence of heat and pressure.

Thermal Oxidation – Incineration, usually used as part of a solvent recovery system.

Thermal printing – The system whereby direct heating of the paper by the print head produces an image.

Thermal transfer printing – The system where the heating, by a print head, of an ink layer on a thin film, causes ink to be released and transferred to a substrate.

Thermal Transfer – A printing process utilizing a temperature-sensitive ribbon. Through heat and pressure, the ink is selectively transferred from the ribbon to a printable surface, thus creating the desired image.

Thermic Ultra jar

Thermoform/fill/seal – A system where packs are thermoformed from a plastic sheet; then filled and lidded in one continuous operation.

Thermoforming – The process of shaping a plastic sheet of styrene or PVC under heat and pressure.

Thermography – A printing process that produces raised type similar to engraved printing.

Thermomechanical pulp (TMP) – Mechanical pulp produced in a refiner from wood chips pre-treated with steam.

Thermoplastic – A plastic that softens when heated and re-hardens when cooled.

Thermoplastic elastomer – TPE.

Thermoset – A plastic that, when formed, does not melt.

Thickness – Thickness determines the stiffness of paper, an important quality for the texture and feel of the paper as well as its smooth running on high speed copiers and printers.

Thief – An auxiliary cathode placed to divert to itself some current from portions of the work which would otherwise receive too high a current density and excess plating deposition.

Thinners – Liquids, solvents and/or diluents, added to fountain ink for the purpose of reducing the viscosity of the ink.

Thin paper – Paper made from bleached chemical pulp and having a grammage of 40 g/m2 or less.

Thixotropy – A property of a liquid or plastic material that involves a reversible decrease of viscosity as the material is agitated or worked.

Thread – The indented curved formed section of the cap on the skirt that engages and matches the thread of the container for screw fit purposes. Or simply said: The profile of a container finish that will accommodate specific closures.

Three-pack carrier (beer) –

Three Side Weld Pouch –  aka Pillow pouch. A pouch made from two pieces of film, sealed on three sides leaving one side open.  This has no gusset.

Three-Quarter Tones – A neutral grey area on a reproduction scale located between the middle-tones and the shadow.

Throwing Power – The improvement of the coating distribution over the primary current distribution on an electrode (usually cathode) in a given solution, under specified conditions. It is a measure of the uniformity of the metallic deposit on a cathode from a given plating solution.

Thumbhole – A semi-circular or triangular cut made in the sides or ends of cartons to facilitate opening of the package. Also, semi-circular openings used on multi-packs for inserting fingers to carry the package.

Tie layers

TIFF – Tagged Image File Format. A file format for exchanging bitmapped images (usually scans) between applications.

Time/temperature monitoring label

Time-sensitive products

Tinctorial Strength – The relative ability of a pigment or dye to impart colour value to a printing ink.

Tint – (1.) A colour of very low strength or intensity, usually made by adding a small amount of coloured ink or toner to a large amount of extender or opaque white. (2.) A lighter shade of ink created by printing a finer dot pattern, but using full-strength ink. A wide gamut of hundreds of shades can be created by over-printing tints of the process colours.

Tinting – In lithography, a uniform discolouration of background caused by the bleeding or washing of the pigment in the fountain solution.

Tip In – Usually in the book arena, adding an additional page(s) beyond the normal process (separate insertion).

TIR – Total Indicated Runout – see runout.

Tissue – (1) A low-weight and thin sheet. Normally, a paper sheet weighing less than 40 grams per square meter is called tissue. (2) General term covering a variety of high-quality, creped hygiene papers.

Tissue Overlay – A thin, translucent paper placed over artwork (mostly mechanical) for protection; used to indicate colour breaks, position of halftones and colour separations and areas on colour originals that need colour correction.

Titanium Dioxide – A very opaque, white inorganic pigment.

Titration – An analytical process for determining the quantity of an element or compound in solution by measuring the quantity of some reagent (liquid or solution) that reacts quantitatively with it.

TMP – Thermo-mechanical pulp.

Tolerance – A specified allowance for deviations in weighing, measuring, etc., or for deviations for the standard dimensions or weight. In other words: The amount of acceptable difference between a known correct standard (usually the customer’s specifications) and a set of measured samples.

Toluene – A commonly used solvent in publication ink systems.

Tonal Merge – In photography, colours, textures, shapes, and details that are recorded and compressed in a shadow area which merge and record as shadows. Important details should have enough light placed upon them so they render as middle-tones and not shadows. If these details are necessary in the final reproduced image, it is highly recommended to go back and re-photograph the original, or overprint another colour. See Overprinting.

Tone Compression – Reduction in the tonal range from original scene to printed reproduction.

Toner – (1.) A highly concentrated pigment and/or dye used to modify the hue or colour strength of an ink. (2.) Black and coloured electrostatic imaging materials used in xerographic copiers and in toner-based proofing systems.

Tone Reproduction – The contrast of an original must adjust during colour reproduction to conform to the ranges of the halftone screens from 1% to 100%. It is virtually impossible to print densities more than 100% and tones less than 2 or 3% will have no detail. This is one of the most difficult limitations of the printing process to understand or accept.

Toning InSee: Running In.

TonneSee Metric Ton.

Top-lift ring carrier

Toray Plastics (America)

Torayfan PC1 film

Torque – The amount of circular force applied to a container to seal or open it.

Totally chlorine-free (TCF) – Pulp bleached entirely without chlorine chemicals (bleached with ozone, for example).

Tottle – tube and bottle.

Tow – A bundle of continuous filaments.

Toxicity – The ability of a substance, such as poison, to cause injury to living tissue.

TPE – thermoplastic elastomer. TPE’s are well known for their purity and cleanliness and as a result are commonly found in many food and medical applications.

Translucent container

Transverse-direction-oriented (TDO) polymer

Tray Style Carton – A structure developed from a flat blank comprised of a base and at least three hinge-connected side or end panels, which in turn are connected at the corners by adhesive or mechanical means to form an open top carton.

Triangular carrier (beer)


Trim Size – The maximum width that can be efficiently produced on a paperboard manufacturing machine, printing press or paperboard converting machine, minus an allowance for trimming off edges. The size of something after a trimming operation.

Trimmed and Ready products

Trimmings – Paper or board left over from web or sheet cutting operations.

Tri-ovenable – A product, such as a food tray, that can be used in a conventional, microwave, or halogen oven.

TR011 See CGATS TR011/

TR012 – Under development. It will become another of a series of technical reports and standards. It is being developed by CGATS to facilitate communication among all participants in the supply chain involved in the design, preparation and printing of packaging materials. It builds upon CGATS TR011.

Track and Trace – The process of recording the past and present whereabouts of a shipment, as it passes through different handlers on its way to its destination. Typical applications for Track & Trace are to identify where a product was “diverted” from its intended course (parallel importing), or where a fake product was introduced.

Transformation Equations – A set of three simultaneous equations used to transform a colour specification from one set of matching stimuli to another.

Translucent – Descriptive of a material or substance capable of transmitting some light, but not clear enough to be seen through.

Transmission Densitometer – Instrument used to measure the amount of light penetrating through a substrate.

Transmissive Object – An object that allows light to pass through from one side to the other. The colour of a transmissive object results from the manipulation of wavelengths of light as they pass through.

Transparency – An image observed or photographed by light passing through the substrate from behind.

Transparent – Descriptive of a material or substance capable of a high degree of light transmission without diffusion or scattering (e.g., glass). Some polypropylene films and acrylic mouldings are outstanding in this respect.

Transparent Inks – Inks that lack hiding power and permit light to pass through. They permit previous printing to show through, the two colours blending to produce a third, e.g., a transparent yellow over a blue to produce a green where the two colours are superimposed.

Trap – An overlap or underlap between colours that butt against each other to hide misregistration during printing. Type of traps include chokes and spreads.

Trap Print – Another term for Reverse Printing (see Reverse Printing). Trap printing derives its name from the fact that the ink is trapped between the outer layer of material and the substrate.

Trapping – The process of closing gaps between different colour inks as they appear on film. Trapping is achieved by use of chokes and spreads. Wet trapping is dependent upon several press and paper conditions including hardness and holdout of the paper, tack of the inks, and general condition of the rollers, cylinders and blankets on the press. Dry trapping is printing wet ink over dry ink. Improper trapping will cause colour changes.

Trees – Branched or irregular projections formed on a cathode during electrodeposition especially at edges and other high current high-density areas.

Trichromatic – The technical name for RGB representation of colour, i.e., using red, green and blue to create all the colours in the spectrum.

Trim Marks – Guides that show the specified cut lines on a final printed document.

Trim Size – The final size of a printed image after the last trim is made.

Tripoli – Friable and dust-like silica used as an abrasive.

Tristimulus Data – The three tristimulus values that combine to define or generate a specific colour, such as R 255/G 255/B 0. Tristimulus data does not completely describe a colour. The illuminant must also be defined. Also, in device-dependent colour models such as RGB, the capabilities of the viewer or colour-rendering device must also be defined.

Tristimulus Values – Amounts of the three matching stimuli, in a given trichromatic system, required to match the stimulus being considered.

Tritone – An image reproduced using three colours.

TRUMATCH – A colour matching system which is based solely on colour attributes attainable from CYMK printing as opposed to spot ink colours. Like PMS, an electronic version of the system is a feature of many colour painting, drawing, and layout software products.

TTI – time-temperature indicator

Tube – A soft squeezable container, which can be used for thick liquids such as glue and toothpaste. Basically, a tube is a cylindrical, hollow piece with a round or oval profile, made of plastic or aluminium. Both ends of the tube are treated differently during the manufacturing process and filling. In general, on one end of the tube body there is a round orifice, which can be closed by different caps and closures. The orifice can be shaped in many different ways. Plastic nozzles in various styles and lengths are just one good example. The other end of the tube is sealed after filling.

Tube Style Carton – A structure developed from a flat blank comprised of a series of three or more hinge-connected panels, which have the free vertical edges of the outermost panels connected by adhesive or mechanical means to form a carton open at both ends.

Turbulence – Irregular flows in gases or liquids caused by physical objects in their path or by friction; a factor in gravure ink drying and solvent recovery.

TurnoverSee Foldover.

Twin Fin

Twin-pack (glass) –

Twin-Wire Forming – A method of papermaking that de-waters paper from both sides simultaneously, producing a sheet that will essentially have two wire sides rather than a wire and felt side.

Twin-wire machine – Paper or board machine in which the web is formed and partially dewatered between two wires.

Twist open/close cap

Twisted neck bottle (beer) –

Twist-on cap

TXI label

Tyvek – Trademark of a DuPont product. Non-woven spun bonded, polyethylene sheeting with good bacteria penetration resistance; made from very fine, high-density polyethylene fibres.

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