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The Glossary of the International Trade Centre (ITC) on the technical terms used in the packaging sector is a database designed to provide updated information on the specific terminology used in the packaging industry. This Glossary is a tool placed at the disposal of users for information only. It is not designed to replace the appropriate professional advice in any way. Users are invited to submit their comments and observations by email to Mr. Frederic Couty, Senior Adviser, Export Packaging at the following email address: fcouty[at]intracen.org
Select an alphabetic above to access the glossary.
or “stack” of rollers through which a web of material is passed under
controlled conditions of temperature, pressure and time in order to control
the thickness or enhance the surface finish of the material.
and paperboard, its thickness in microns.
cotton fabric, closely woven, fine soft or with little sizing, calendered
with a slight gloss on one side.
(1) (Noun) A rigid container usually made from steel, tinplate and/or aluminium,
generally cylindrical and of less than ten litres capacity;
(2) (Verb) To pack a product in a can.
container made mostly of paper fibre and lined, treated, or coated. Ends are of
paperboard, metal or plastic. The body may be spirally or convolutely
wound, and laminated from an appropriate
number of paper, plastic film and/or
foil plies; it may be round, oval,
square or rectangular. (see also
container, generally round or rectangular, made of paper fibre, metal,
plastic or combinations thereof, designed to pack or store dry products and
having a replaceable cap, cover or
sprinkler closure (see also composite can).
can with fully open aperture ends, designed for thermal processing. Supplied
with a double seamed-on bottom end applied by the canmaker. The cover/second
end is double seamed in place by the canner after filling; the rims of both
ends are gasket or compound lined to ensure hermetic sealing.
which fits over a container neck or opening rather than into it. A cap may
have internal threads to engage the external threads of the container or may
be held in place by friction, air pressure, heat sealing, etc.
gelatin container either hard or soft, generally used to package
pharmaceutical liquids or powders in unit doses.
plastic film or cellulose shroud
wrapped or shrunk over the cap or cork and the neck of a glass or
plastic container, typically for
wines, to decorate and to resist
tampering or accidental loosening.
container usually made of glass, but which can also be made of metal,
ceramic, stoneware or plastics. When used as a shipping container, it is
encased in a protective outer container made of wood or wicker with a lining
of straw or more sophisticated cushioning materials.
stiff piece of paper or paperboard used as a stiffener or backing sheet in
erroneously used as a synonym for paperboard. Not a recognized term for
generally used for multiple packaging of cans, bottles and other unit
containers, and incorporating a handle
or other means of carrying. (1) Basket
style - a multiple cell, open top container generally used for bottles and
incorporating a central handle device. (2)Wrap-around—Stretched or shrunk
plastic film material wrapped round several cans, cartons, or bottles, often
with a handle feature.
as designation for folding paperboard cartons. To avoid confusion the term
carton should however not be used alone.
countries carton is used to designate paperboard as a material.
capsule, shell, or bag made of various materials, as a container for
insertion into a dispensing unit. Sometimes used to describe a unit pack
where the container is used to assist
in dispensing the contents.
shipping container made from corrugated board, wood, plastic or other
material. See also: Box, Crate.
obtained from milk. Used to make sizings, adhesive solutions and coatings for
paperboard. Casein adhesives are widely used in the manufacture of paper
flexible tubing into which foods are stuffed to provide a skin-tight
covering. Used in packaging prepared meats, poultry, cheese and other food
products. Casings may be made of animal intestines or of synthetic materials
such as regenerated ceIlulose, and plastic and rubber films.
packaging machine which forms a corrugated box, and inserts the product into
it. The box is subsequently sealed on a case sealer.
for closing the flaps of a fibreboard box and sealing them with adhesive
tape, glue or staples.
film manufactured by extruding a hot semi-liquid plastic resin onto a highly
polished and chilled cylinder where it cools and sets.
of regenerated cellulose which is treated to form a clear transparent film.
It must be coated to be heat sealable and moistureproof.
but not precise method for examining the adherence of printing on plastic
films. A piece of cellophane adhesive tape, or other pressure-sensitive tape,
is adhered to a section of printing and then pulled off in one motion to see
whether or not the ink will come off with it. The speed of the pulling is
thermoplastic material made by the esterification reaction of cellulose with
acetic anhydride and acetic acid. When extruded, it is a highly transparent
film with good grease resistance.
thermoplastic material which can be converted into shapes or film similar to
cellulose acetate. Has property of toughness with relatively high impact
strength and shock resistance.
substance which causes two surfaces to adhere and also usually acts as a
filler or sealant between them.
for labelling glass containers with a label composed of coloured glass that
is fused to the container.
continuous chain for moving products from one point to another. See also: Belt conveyor.
measuring device designed to reject a package weighing either more or less
than a predetermined standard.
or lock-lidded box or trunk-like container usually designed specifically for
a particular item, set, kit or assortment, or for valuables, frequently
including interior fittings, attachments and exterior reinforcements.
that is designed or constructed to be significantly difficult for most
children under five years of age to open or obtain a toxic or harmful amount
of the substance contained therein within a reasonable time, while not
difficult for normal adults to open and use.
projecting rim around the ends of a metal or composite package where they are
joined to the body.
mostly from waste paper with a greyish inner and back. Average weight 300
g/m2. Often has a white top layer, coated to improve surface properties.
White lined chipboard is not suitable for use in direct contact with food.
or constricted opening in a glass container.
patented colour proofing system using special coloured powders and sensitized
paper so that the copy and the balance of colours from the colour separations
can be studied and corrected, if necessary, prior to printing.
gauge, low carbon, cold reduced steel plate for cans, on which chromium and oxides have been
environments, either natural or artificial, in which the package and its
contents must exist and perform.
nailing, to bend or turn over the protruding points so that nails will hold
(2) To bend or crimp a metal component
about another part so as to fasten the two together. For example, a
can end may be loosely fastened to the can body by clinching the flange of
the end under the flange of the can. The end remains loose, however, to
permit air in the head space to be removed during subsequent operations.
or metal fitting used to close typically a paper or plastic film bag.
or covering device affixed to or on a container for the purpose of retaining
the contents or preventing contamination.
covering or a layer of a substance which has been deposited on the surface of
a material while in fluid form, and which then hardens and bonds with the
amount of coating material applied to a base material usually measured in
packing method employing sprayed
plastic films to accomplish a relatively airtight enclosure of an item.
“Cocoon” is a registerd trade name for this method. Desiccant is usually
included to maintain low relative humidity.
assignment of numerical, alphabetical or symbolic identifying marks to containers,
packaging material or articles to provide information concerning the
qualities of the container or of the contents, or date, plant or line in
which manufactured. (2) The application of codes to a package by hand or
mechanical embossing, printing, stamping, tagging or labeling.
two or more layers of the same or different thermoplastic materials within
the same extrusion die, to form a multilayered film, sheet or plastic
adhesive system in which surfaces are pre-treated with an adhesive activated
by pressure and not needing external heat. Commonly used for heat sensitive
products, e.g. chocolate candy.
cylindrical container with an integral shoulder and neck, provided with an
opening and fitted with a closure, usually a screw cap. The tube may be made
of metal, plastics or combinations thereof.
resin which contains 15 to 30 times as much colour as required. The moulder
"lets down" the concentrate with virgin material to obtain the
colour tone standards, against which coloured materials or printing may be
compared, to aid in developing uniformity or consistency of colour tones.
Printing with a number of colours, usually four or more.
separation of a multi-colour artwork or photographic transparency into the
component colours used in the colour printing. Each colour component is
reproduced by a separate printing plate.
A test performed
on a small sample of corrugated board which is a measure of the compression
strength of that sample. Also referred to as edge crush and short column
of a container, whether lined or unlined, to resist degradation of or by the
container with the body made of fibreboard or a combination of fibreboard and
other materials such as aluminium foil or plastic films. The ends may be made
of metal, plastic or other materials.
substance containing two or more chemically combined ingredients in its
composition. (if not chemically combined
it is said to be a mixture)
(2) Combinationor mixture of materials, such as plastics polymers. For
example, can sealing compounds are
emulsions or solutions of rubber or plastics
used to achieve hermetic seals between the can body and ends.
A method of forming
objects from plastics by compressing and heating the material in a mould
measured by the force in kilograms or pounds applied through two flat
surfaces onto two opposing surfaces of a package (usually top and bottom) to
produce a specified degree of collapse. Generally considered the most
important test of corrugated board boxes.
image can be transferred electronically from the designer’s computer work
station to a printing plate.
accumulation of moisture on the surface of a package when the dew point has
been reached. See also: Dew point.
package or material under controlled
temperature and humidity conditions till equilibrium between the atmosphere and
the material is attained. Conversion, printing or physical testing of the material can then be
containing vessel used in packaging for distribution or shipping. Freight
containers: a relatively large reusable structure to be filled with smaller
objects to facilitate their distribution.
uninterrupted protruding helix on the neck of a container to hold a
that consists of a range of values from light to intermediate to dark with no
defined breaks between values.
enterprise that packs goods for others. May also process the goods prior to
normal gaseous atmosphere within a package is replaced by one or more
selected gases. Nitrogen and carbon dioxide are common examples. The
objective is to extend shelf or storage life of the product.
describe printing production that does not utilize electronic imaging processes,
systems or equipment.
processor or manufacturer who converts
packaging materials into more finished.forms or into complete
containers. Examples are converters of aluminum foil into freezer wrap
or labels, converters of paper into
bags or cartons, and converters of
plastics into rigid or flexible containers.
cylindrical can made by convolute winding of the materials to build up the
desired thickness and resistance properties.
makes or repairs barrels, kegs, or other cooperage. Includes also repair of
paper shipping sacks and wood boxes.
compound formed by the chemical linking of two or more different monomers
through a polymerization process.
usually of fibreboard on which web materials of paper, board, film and foil
1.The light tough bark of the cork oak.
2.The closure of a bottle made from either
natural cork or synthetic materials (plastic).
member designed to fit around the corner of a pallet load to provide support
for strapping and to prevent damage to the corrugated boxes by the strapping,
thus also increasing the compressive strength of the pallet board.
of a plastic to electrical discharge to increase the polarity of the surface
making it more receptive to ink and coatings.
gradual destruction of a material by another substance, as for example
rusting. Corrosion inhibitors can be incorporated inside the package or
within the packaging material (bags) itself to retard or inhibit corrosion,
e.g. vapour phase inhibitors.
packaging material consisting of a medium which has been fluted or pleated on
a machine called a corrugator. Flat layers of paperboard are glued to one or
both sides of the fluted medium to form a single-faced or double-faced
(single-wall) corrugated board. Additional walls and faces can be added to
meet desired performance specifications. See also: Flute.
material used to form the fluted portion of a corrugated board.
for combining two to seven webs of liners and fluting into corrugated
paperboard. On the same machine the board is also creased in the machine
direction and cut into sheets for further converting.
insertion of a wad or ball of cotton into the headspace of a bottle of
tablets, pills or capsules, to prevent their movement and consequent
breakage or disintegration in transit.
(1) The top, end or lid of a container,
usually the part which closes the filling or dispensing opening.
(3) The closure or head of a
metal container or drum when not joined to the body by double seaming.
that is used to enclose an item within a blister pack. It is the material,
such as hard or soft temper foil, foil/paper laminates, coated board, etc.,
that seals to the blister material.
its shape, it is a thin flexible protrusion molded into a closure which will
compress against a bottle sealing surface during normal capping operations.
The bottle’s neck land (the sealing surface) must be flat and defect free as
this feature requires uniform compression to provide an effective seal.
1. Of wood, is of framed construction joined
together with nails, bolts, wire and similar methods of fastening.
2. Of plastic, injection moulded of a stiff
material, often high density polyethylene, typically an open-top container
for bottles, vegetables, etc.
3. Of metal, fabricated from galvanized steel
or anodized aluminium.
bare spots in a coating film which have the appearance of pock marks.
cracks which may extend in a network on or under the surface of, or throughout,
a film layer or adhesive or on surfaces of glazed materials such as glass,
plastics, and painted or enameled surfaces.
indentation or mark made in any pliable material to provide a point of
bending or flexure. See also: Score.
changes with time of a plastic material under stress. Sometimes called “cold
process of producing minute wrinkles in a material so that it can be
stretched significantly without tearing.
of sealing with pressure applied by knurled wheels or bars having a serrated
surface. Generally stronger than a similar seal without crimping.
direction at right angles to the longitudinal (machine) direction of a web or
material. Often called the “cross grain” or “transverse” direction.
applied to polymer film that has been irradiated or chemically processed to
cross-link the molecules and, thereby, enhance strength, lessen permeability,
increase shrink, and change other properties.
closure, lined with cork or plastic. The cap is crimped around its rim over
the finish of a bottle to provide a hermetic seal.
volume within a container. The volume of material that may be held in a
container, in terms of its internal dimensions; does not allow for necessary
outage (head-space). An exception is
made in the case of bags, for which capacities are determined by external
dimensions because the material thickness is usually negligible.
Used or scrap glass which has been crushed and is added to a batch of
new raw materials to be remelted and formed into new glass products.
a material by the application of time, heat, pressure, catalysts, chemical
agents or combination thereof to impart desired physical properties.
of sheet or web due, for instance, to uneven moisture content or excessive
of packaging materials through a flowing 'curtain' of wax and plastic. Mostly
used for coating corrugated and solid fibreboard box blanks to impart
materials used to absorb shocks and pressures caused by external forces.
Examples: excelsior, shredded paper, crêped paper, foamed plastic, rubberized
hair, entrapped air bubbles in plastic film and many others.
for cutting and creasing or scoring boxboard and paperboard blanks.
A machine for making paper and board. The web is formed by revolving,
wire mesh covered cylinders, partially immersed in a vat of “furnish” (paper
pulp and water). The web is built up to desired thickness by carrying it on a
belt over successive cylinders.