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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.
(1) A paper, cloth or other material used as
a surfacing sheet for a cushion. Backing provides additional strength, or
water resistance, or better appearance. When used on both faces of a cushion
and sealed on all sides, backing sheets may serve to hold a loose cushioning
(2) A lining; a ply of paper, cloth or other sheeting used
as a lining for a sheet material, as jute-lined corrugated board,
paper-backed foil, etc.
(3) (for container closures) A material of varying
degrees of compressibility and resilience, such as composition cork,
feltboard or, pulpboard, backing an impermeable seal or liner at the closure
and container interface.
A preformed container made of any flexible material, open at one end
for filling. May be made in single or multi-ply layers of similar materials
or in combinations of different materials, i.e. paper, aluminium foil,
textiles or plastics. Sometimes referred to as a sack, but “sack” generally
indicates a larger or heavy-duty shipping bag. The four basic styles of bags
(1) Automatic self-opening — can be opened with a
quick flip of the wrist, the bag is made with tucks in the side and a
preformed square bottom which permits it to stand upright when empty (SOS).
(2) Satchel-bottom — a paper or plastic bag with
a flat bottom when filled.
(3) Flat — of simple construction having no
— a folded bottom and gussets at the sides to reduce width when closed
without reducing capacity.
of a screw cap caused by insufficient
closing torque, incorrect mating of
cap and container, or faults in the cap liner facing and/or backing.
crushed stalks of the sugar cane after juice has been extracted. Used as
paper pulp raw material.
container for liquids consisting of an inner protective bag, which may or may
not be barrier to oxygen, supported by an outer box. A valve is often built
into the bag for dispensing the product.
handle attached to a container for carrying. Normally inserted into ears on opposite
sides of a container by twisting and snapping it into place (snap bail).
(1) A shaped unit load bound under tension. For
instance a regrouping of compressed empty plastic bottles for recycling.
(2) In the paper trade, a bale normally consists
of a number of reams stacked on a timber base board of the same size and with
a similar board protecting the top.
or textile shipping sack used for packaging and shipping multiple units of
numerical identification symbol, whose value is encoded in a sequence of
highly contrasted rectangular bars and spaces. The relative widths of these
bars and spaces contain the information. Identification is by visual or
electronic means. See also: EAN; U.P.C.
cylindrical container having two flat ends of equal diameter, generally made
material designed to withstand, to a specified degree, the penetration of
water, oils, greases, water vapour and gases. The material may serve to
exclude or retain the elements outside or within the package.
container, usually open at the top, made of veneer blanks bound at the top
with wooden or metal bands, or of paper, plastic or other material, used for
berries, small fruits and vegetables, and generally shipped as a secondary
container within a crate or other shipping container
standard unit of a quantity of tin plate. A base box equals 31,360 square
inches of plate. The weight of a base box will vary with the thickness of the
plate. Also used in the United Kingdom.
reinforcing member attached at right angles to a wood box panel, wood barrel
or a wire-bound crate.
A test for the puncture resistance and scoreline strength of boxes.
of penetration or resistance of the sample is indicated on a scale.
rounded projection or depression around the surface of a package or package
component to stiffen and enhance the strength.
tray of paperboard having glued corners. The tray is folded flat during
manufacturing, for shipping and storage space economy. Each corner has on the
sidewall, on which a glue flap is adhered, a diagonal score that allows the sides of the tray to
fold inward into a collapsed position.
The gussets or tucks in the sides of a bag.
continuous web designed to transport goods from one point on a production or
packing line to another.
of a plastic film or bottle in both the machine (longitudinal) direction and
the transverse (cross) direction. The molecular structure is altered,
resulting in physical property changes — generally an improvement — in the
Intermediate bulk containers. See: Bulk
(1) Adhesive substance or other binding material
whose function is to fasten or to hold components or materials together
(printing ink binder).
(2) In paper, an adhesive component used to
cement filler to the base stock.
or other material that degrades and breaks up on exposure to bacterial
organic compound, used as a weatherproof coating, and as a barrier layer in
multi-wall paper sacks and industrial wraps.
low-carbon steel base for tin mill products, which has been reduced to proper
thickness, annealed and temper rolled, and is ready for processing into
finished tinplate products or coating with organic finishes. Sometimes
called Can Making Quality plate, or simply C.M.Q.
of rectangular glass or plastic bottle used primarily for pharmaceuticals.
of material from which a package or a component can be made by additional
operations. For example:
(1) In closures, the basic cap before forming or
(2) In metal
cans, the flat piece cut to size before forming into a body or end.
(3) In paperboard, the cut and scored section
before erecting and glueing to form a box, tray or lid.
which is bleached by oxidizing treatment, usually using hypochlorite or
of printed areas beyond the edges of the surface being printed, to allow for
substrate dimensional changes and variations in printing machine accuracy.
Printing beyond the cutting edge or score line.
(2) The property of running,
migrating or diffusing of colour from printed areas into surrounding areas,
especially in fabrics and films, or the solution or spreading of inks or
pigments into overlying varnish, resulting in ragged-edge discoloration of
background or base colour areas.
(3) Undesired movement of colour in a plastic to the surface of the finished
article or into adjacent material; or the exudation of gases or liquids from
a material into adjacent material.
collapsible tube neck with a metal diaphragm across its orifice for leakproof
packaging of liquids or pastes such as glues and cements. This diaphragm must
be pierced or cut off in order to use the contents. Blind opening is also
called blind end, closed end, or blind orifice.
The item to be packaged is secured between a preformed transparent
plastic “bubble” and a paperboard carrier. The bubble is commonly of
thermoformed PVC or PET and the printed carrier often has a die-cut hole to permit hanging on a
display rack. See also: Skin packaging.
An undesired adhesion between touching layers of a material. A common
problem with adhesive coated or printed labels, tape, films and papers,
particularly when stored at elevated temperatures. Can be due to inadequate
drying of printing inks or to inadequate formulation or processing in case of
result of exudation of an ingredient from a product as visibly evidenced on
the product or transparent package, as sugar bloom on candies, oil deposit on
film wrapper, etc.
(2) A surface film on glass or other packaging materials
resulting from attack by the atmosphere or from the deposition of smoke or
called a parison, is produced from plastic raw material by either extrusion
or injection moulding. The parison is clamped in a heated mould and
compressed air is blown inside the parison forcing it to fill the mould
cavity thereby forming the desired bottle (package) shape.
thermoplastic resin is extruded through a circular die into a continuous tube
into which air is blown under controlled
conditions to expand the tube to the desired dimensions of width and
thickness. The tube is flattened by rollers and either slit into two rolls of
flat film or wound into a single roll of continuous tubing.
manufactured from molten glass that are formed by air pressure, in moulds,
similar in fashion to plastic molding. The finished containers are ejected or
extracted from the mould, then annealed (heated and cooled) to temper the
Defects of bond quality of solvent adhesives or appearance of lacquer-type of
coatings resulting from the condensation of water from the ambient air.
defect appearing in plastic bottles and thermoformed sheet wherein the
surface develops a white spot or "blush."
part of a container, usually the largest part in one piece containing the
(a) In fibre drums, the body includes the sidewall and bottom bead. In
certain types of drums the bottom may be formed by a continuation of the
(b) In metal cans or drums, the cylindrical portion of the
container before the end is affixed.
(c) In collapsible tubes, the body (or
wall) is the cylindrical portion below the shoulder extending to the bottom
or crimped end.
hermetically sealed pouch containing processed food which can be placed in
boiling water. The pouch will remain intact during sustained boiling.
of the strength of a bond between two adhering surfaces.
of glass container used by drug and chemical industries and characterized by
a cylindrical shape with a short, curved shoulder.
container having a round neck of smaller diameter than the body and an
opening (finish) capable of holding a closure. The cross section may be
round, oval, square or other shape. The raw material may be glass, plastics,
ceramics, earthenware, etc.
used to carry multiple bottles, usually incorporating a handle.
container, generally rectangular in shape, having closed faces. See also: Carton, Case and Crate.
term designating the grades of paperboard used for fabrication of folding
combination of a large case (corrugated board or wood) and a permanently
the manufacture of paperboard boxes, the process of separating scored blanks
from each other;
(2) The operation of passing a gummed or coated paper over
the edge of a square bar which cracks the surface layer and reduces the
tendency to curl. (3) The operation of bending paper to facilitate feeding it
to a printing press or other equipment.
designed so that air may enter or leave under varying conditions, such as
can prior to decoration or intended for labelling.
commonly defined in the paper industry, the reflectivity of a sheet of pulp,
paper or paperboard for specified light measured under standardized
conditions on a particular instrument designed and calibrated specifically
for the purpose.
designation for a wire bound container.
See: Blister packaging.
the weight of a cubic metre of paperboard in tons (m3/ton). It can be
calculated by dividing the caliper by the basis weight.
description of packaging methods for shipping and storing liquids, flakes,
powders, granules and pastes, usually in large containers. Bulk containers
can be rigid or flexible and called sometimes big-bags.
or attaching several packages into a larger unit.
used to close a barrel or drum.
American name for cloth woven from jute fibres. Known as hessian in Europe
and also by its Indian name, gunny – hence gunny sacks.
streak of material in a plastic bottle resulting from decomposed material
dislodged from the extruder and incorporated in the bottle.
of the ability of a sheet to resist rupture when pressure is applied to one
side by a specified instrument under specified conditions.
A type of
thread in which the thread sides terminate abruptly, gradually tapering down
to the neck finish. Designed to withstand maximum force in one direction