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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 machine-made fold which will remain in position without sealing, such as
is achievable on a stiff paper or soft foil.
process of transferring a printed design from specially prepared paper to
another surface and permanently affixing it thereto using heat and/or
container which is designed to contain less product or different product than
its appearance would indicate. Such packaging is against the law in most
(1) In thermoforming of plastics, the
stretching of a formable web into a mould to the near limit of its
(2) In metal, forcing a piece or sheet of metal
in a die press operation.
the range of finishing techniques used to remove the flash (excess, unwanted
material) on a plastic molding.
out or absorb moisture by means of heating, ventilating or the use of a
of layers of a composite material arising from lack of adhesive, poor
manufacturing technique or mechanical damage.
per unit volume of a material expressed in kg/m3 (g/cm3).
of money added to the price of a product to encourage return of the used
package, refunded upon return of the package after use.
dehydrating agent. A material which will absorb moisture by physical or
chemical means. See also: Silica gel.
(1) Graphic. The surface decoration and wording
printed on a package to inform, instruct and attract the customer.
(2) Structural. The conception of the physical
construction of the package, to produce the most effective and economical
of plastic materials which minimizes the effects of surface static
electricity. Can be accomplished
either by spraying the surface with specific materials, or incorporating
materials into the moulding compound. Destaticization prevents dust and dirt
from being attracted to and/or clinging to the plastic surface.
temperature at which air becomes saturated with vapour causing the vapour to
be deposited onto surfaces as a liquid (condensation).
adhesives based upon vegetable starch, with good wet tack but slow setting.
Not suitable for humid conditions.
(1) A form, usually of hard metal or plywood
with inserted cutting and creasing rules and knives, for cutting, creasing or
stamping out parts or blanks in paperboard or plastics.
(2) A metal part used to form molten plastics,
metals or glass into sheet, rods or other shapes.
of converting packaging materials in which a paperboard or plastic box or
carton blank has been cut, slotted or scored by a custom-made die.
degree to which paper maintains its linear dimensions with changes in its
moisture content or applied stresses.
applied by dipping a porous packaging material into hot wax, asphalt, or
other sealant to seal it against transmission of water vapour or gas.
can be transferred directly from the designer’s work station to the printing
heads of a digital printing system.
molded two piece dispensing closure. Its one hand, one finger action closure
is useful for personal care and sun care products. Contrasting colours can be
used for the closure body and disc. Also called Press Top.
A device which permits distribution or serving of a product in a
convenient form or quantity. The device can be incorporated into the package,
e.g. aerosol valves, atomizers, pouring spouts, sprinklers and metering and
designed and decorated to give high visibility when displayed.
specifically designed for a single use and not to be refilled.
printing of a design on flat metal or plastic surfaces that are subsequently
deformed or stretched, so that it appears correct after deformation has taken
integrated package and product handling from factory to point of sale.
Although consumer or shelf packaging is part of the product distribution
cycle, it is usually understood that distribution packaging means the outer
and/or intermediate container which is required for efficient transportation
package component that separates the space within the pack into two or more
cells, compartments, or layers. Dividers are made from various materials and
may be plain, interlocking, scored, horizontal, vertical, or diagonal. The
purpose of dividers is to separate articles and/or to provide cushioning.
stationary blade which regulates the amount of ink or coating to be applied
to a web of material or surface by scraping off the excess. A doctor roll is
a roller mechanism revolving in the opposite direction to the flow of the web
which provides a wiping action which controls the thickness and thus amount
of coating applied.
of which the whole top surface is domed, starting at the shoulder. Doming can
streamline package appearance and increase the apparent pack height.
number of print dots per linear inch of measure; used to describe the
fineness of halftones, tinted materials and electronic display terminals;
also termed "lines per inch.
board consisting of one layer of corrugated medium and a liner facing on both
sides of it.
attaching the top or bottom end of a metal can to its body, formed by
interlocking the edges of the end and the flanged body, double folding and
rolling firmly together.
(1) A corrugated board consisting of two layers
of corrugated medium, a middle liner and two facings.
(2) A bag with two separate layers of material.
degree of taper on the side wall of a container or the angle of clearance
required to facilitate removal of an article from a mold.
can has been drawn (see also: Drawn
container) to form its basic shape the sides are thinned by ironing
aluminium two-piece cans with thicker walls than D & I cans (see above),
suitable for retorting. Relatively shallower than D & I cans.
container made by forcing a flat metal or plastic blank or sheet into,
through or over a die.
or molded plastic closure with a glass or plastic dropper and small rubber or
plastic bulb attached. The dropper is a glass or plastic tube or pipette to which a the rubber bulb
is attached to allow the controlled dispensing of drops of liquid.
of a filled container from a known height to determine its resistance to
rupture, leakage or damage.
cylindrical shipping container usually with a capacity from 10 to 240 litres
made of steel, plastic, or fibreboard.
attached to a printing press, coater or laminator designed to remove solvents
from inks or adhesives and to cure the inks or adhesives if necessary.
blocking, bracing or supports used to hold a load in position or to fill
empty space within a package or container to prevent damage. Often employed
in distribution packages for rail and truck shipments.
paperboard normally made of two layers of different types of pulp. The top
layer is usually white made out of bleached chemical pulp. Used for folding