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Updated 30 Nov. 2010

AAGR – average annual growth rate

Abaca – Also known as Manila hemp. Abaca is a particularly interesting material as it is 100% natural with no chemical fertilizers used. Abaca plants are not cut down like trees. Each plant consists of several renewable stalks. The fibres are extracted from the leaf sheaths of stalks. Only the stalks are cut down, but, there will be new ones. So one plant can be used for up to 10 years, according to Glatfelter, world’s largest producer of abaca pulp. Abaca is not only environmentally sustainable, but also a socially sustainable, raw material, creating a livelihood for more than 1,000,000 dependents.

Abrasion – Damage caused to the surfaces of a carton, glass bottle or aluminium can by friction or rubbing of adjacent objects such as other cartons or the walls of shipping containers; also referred to as rubbing and scuffing.

Abrasion Resistance – The ability of a material to withstand actions such as rubbing, scraping, or erosion that tend progressively to remove material from its surface.

Abrasion Test – A trial designed to determine the ability to withstand the effects of rubbing and scuffing.

Absolute Humidity – The mass of water vapour per unit volume of air in the atmosphere.

ABS – Acrylbitril-Butadien-Styrol Copolymer

Absolute White – In theory, a material that perfectly reflects all light energy at every visible wavelength. In practice, a solid white with known spectral reflectance data that is used as the “reference white” for all measurements of absolute reflectance. When calibrating a spectrophotometer, often a white ceramic plaque is measured and used as the absolute white reference.

Absorbency – A paper or other porous material’s ability to soak up the liquids (e.g. printing inks) or vapours (e.g., moisture) with which it comes in contact.

Absorbent grease pad – the pads that absorb excess grease, fat and juices from hot, pre-cooked foods, such as rotisserie chicken, fried chicken, roasts, loins or ribs, resulting in cleaner packages. Enclosed in PE film, the pads are constructed with a polymer skin capable of withstanding temperatures up to 180°F (82°C) under store deli heating lamps for a duration of 12 hours. The pads “drink in” liquids through one-way “valves” located on their bottom layer. These hundreds of tiny valves absorb the juices only through the bottom of the pad, which helps keep the meat from drying out. Microwave-safe, the pad locks in moisture and liquids during reheating and has what the manufacturer describes as an enclosed fluff pulp matrix originally developed for Cryovac Dri-Loc pads.

Absorption – The penetration of one substance into another; for example certain printing inks into boxboard.

AC Flute – This flute is a double-wall combination made from one A-flute, single-wall sheet and one C-flute, single-wall sheet. The result is a very strong corrugation used when extra strength is needed.

accordion bottleAccordion bottle – Prevent oxidation of chemicals by collapsing to expel any air before closing. (photo)

Accordion Fold – Bindery term, two or more parallel folds which open like an accordion.

Accordion pack – An accordion-like pack enables the contents to be squeezed into the mouth eliminating the need for a spoon. Introduced in 2006 as CrushPack, designed by Dow Design for Inveratek, Auckland/ New Zealand. The design taps into the global trends of snacking and on-the-go consumption.

Acetate – A transparent type of plastic. The term is often used to refer to a sheet made of this plastic that can be used for overhead transparencies.

Acetone – A very active solvent used in packaging gravure inks. The fastest-drying solvent in the ketone family.

ACFM – Actual cubic feet per minute of air flow—i.e., air flow in drying systems or catalytic/thermal oxidizers.

Achromatic Colour – Devoid of hue (white, black, grey, neutral).

Acid-free Paper – Paper made from pulp containing little or no acid so it resists deterioration from age. Also called alkaline paper, archival paper, neutral pH paper, permanent paper and thesis paper.

Acid Scavenger – A group of additives, mostly basic metallic oxides and salts, which have high affinity to acidic residues, and neutralize them. They are used whenever an acidic condition can be harmful.

Acidic – Term used to describe a material having a pH of less than 7.0 in water.

ACL – applied ceramic labelling, a scuff-impervious decorating technique in which ceramic ink is fused to the glass.

Activated Carbon – A highly absorbent form of carbon used to remove odours and toxic substances from liquid or gaseous emissions.

Active Transverse Panel Bottle – (ATP) Panel-free hot-fill PET bottle.

Actual Emissions – Pollutant air emissions, either measured or calculated, based on a facility’s current operating parameters (e.g. throughput, hours of operation, etc.)

Addition Agent – A material added in small quantities to an electroplating solution to modify the character of the deposit produced by the bath.

Additive – A supplementary material combined with a base material to provide special properties.

Additive Primaries – Red, green, and blue light. When all three additive primaries are combined at 100% intensity, white light is produced. When these three are combined at varying intensities, a gamut of different colours is produced. Combining two primaries at 100% produces a subtractive primary, either cyan, magenta, or yellow: 100% red + 100% green = yellow; 100% red + 100% blue = magenta;   100% green + 100% blue = cyan

Adhesion – (1) The sticking together of any two materials, e.g., adhesion of ink to paper or film. (2) The attractive force that exists between an electro-deposit and its substrate that can be measured as the force required to separate the two.

Adhesive – Any viscous substance such as animal or vegetable glues, resins, dextrins or paste used in the manufacture and closure of folding cartons; or used to bond one material to another as in laminating.

Adhesive Lamination – A laminating process in which individual layers of multi-layer packaging materials are laminated to each other with an adhesive.

Adsorb – To attract and hold molecules on a surface, i.e., solvent molecules in a solvent-recovery adsorption bed.

Adsorption – Barrier property, usually referring to oil and/or water.

Aerobic Degradation – The breakdown of a molecule into smaller chemical entities in the presence of oxygen. (National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD) Aerobic degradation includes aerobic treatment which is a process by which microbes decompose complex organic compounds in the presence of oxygen and use the liberated energy for reproduction and growth. (Such processes include extended aeration, trickling filtration, and rotating biological contactors.) (http://www.epa.gov/OCEPAterms/dterms.html)

Aerosol – A collection of particles dispersed in a gas. Aerosol is a commonly used term for an aerosol container, for example an aerosol can, which releases a spray when pressed.

Aerosol (History) – In November 1927 Mr. Erik Rotheim, Norway, patented the first aerosol can and valve that could hold and dispense products and propellant systems. This was the forerunner of the modern aerosol can and valve.
During World War II the U. S. government funded research into a portable way for service men to spray malaria-carrying bugs and in 1943 Department of Agriculture researchers developed a small aerosol can pressurised by a liquefied gas. It was their design that made commercial products like hair spray possible.
The first aerosol cans made of aluminium were produced in Germany in 1954. These were 2-piece cans based on a patent of Ernst Kohl. Their principle draw-back was the domed base which was still made of tinplate, and often led to leaks around the seam.
In 1955 the triumphant commercial advance of the aerosol can started with the introduction of the first hair spray in Germany. Various industrial branches have discovered this packaging system since then leading to considerable growth figures for aerosol can manufacturers.
The development of new coating systems around 1960 made it possible to produce one-piece aluminium cans – the mono-bloc aluminium aerosol can.

Aerosol (Production Process) – The basic material for a mono-bloc aerosol can is pure aluminium. The can starts life as a stamped aluminium disc, called “slug”, with a weight and diameter corresponding to the desired size of the can to be produced. A slug free of inclusions or air pockets and with exact dimensions assures that the subsequently shaped can achieves the desired pressure resistance and tightness.
Picture – aluminium slugs
Today, a mono-bloc aluminium can line may produce up to 12000 cans/hour. It consists of a number of different machines, transfer systems, and integrated (quality) control devices, combined into an integrated whole. The production process, strictly following the principle of “first in – first out” looks like this:
1. Slug preparation: the aluminium discs are prepared by applying a lubricant.
2. Shaping a raw container: the slug is formed into a cylindrically shaped container by means of reverse impact extrusion. The aluminium is forced to flow out of the die along the punch to form a one-side-open can.
3. Trimming: the can is trimmed to the desired length by cutting the uneven top edge.
4. Mechanical surface treatment: Various effects can be reached by letting the wall of the container rotate on a metal or plastic brush.
5. Degreasing: Metal particles and the lubricant are removed by using alkali degreasing, rinsing and drying before the cans are automatically conveyed through an air drier.
6. Inside lining or coating: a solvent-based lacquer is applied by spray guns. Internal coatings with excellent compatibility with the specific requirements of cosmetic, food, pharmaceutical or technical contents are available.

7. Drying and polymerisation: the solvents are driven from the polymer and the coating is cured to form a minimum porosity protection layer.
8. Base coating: a layer of transparent or opaque solvent- or water-based lining is rolled on the can and cured.
9. Printing: up to eight colour artwork may be transferred to the can by indirect lithography.
10. Protection varnish: a layer of transparent lacquer is rolled on the pre-cured can. Brilliant, matt or special surface effects can be reached at this stage.
11. Necking, shaping and curl forming: the desired shape and the standardized valve seat are formed with a series of progression tools.
12. Bottom forming: the base of the container is concave to achieve the desired pressure resistance. This operation can take place at different stages in the production line, depending on the manufacturer’s preferences.
13. Bundling and palletising: the finished cans are bundled to allow the filler to place a complete bundle onto the can feeder table on the filling line. The bundles are palletised and shrink-wrapped or stretch-wrapped for transport.

After-tack – Tack that develops after ink has apparently dried or after a heat-drying operation.

A-Flute – Undulated cardboard with flute thickness of 4.7 mm. Has excellent stacking strength.

Against the Grain – At right angles to the grain direction of the paper being used, as compared to with the grain. Also called “across the grain” and “cross grain.”

Age-resistance – Over time, paper fibres begin to yellow and eventually disintegrate. Business papers that are designed for long-term archiving are manufactured Using pH-neutral pulp and appropriate additives to curtail this process.

Age Stability – A test to determine whether an ink formulation can withstand a specific temperature for a specified period without change.

Agglomerate (Agglomeration) – A cluster of undispersed particles.

Aggregate – A chain of undispersed particles or clusters.

Agitation – A stirring or mixing action; setting in violent or irregular motion.

AIM – Automatic Identification Manufacturers. AIM International is a global affiliation of trade associations.

Air Knife Coating – A paper-coating method wherein a thin blade of air is used to apply coating to the sheet evenly.

Air Permit – Legally-enforceable documents designed to improve compliance by clarifying what facilities (sources) must do to control air pollution. (http://www.epa.gov/air/oaqps/permits/basic.html)

Air Pod – A product of Green Peas Solutions. Air Pod is one of the most environmentally friendly forms of packaging on the market today. Since Air Pods only contain 2% film and 98% air, packaging waste is significantly reduced and a multitude of cost savings can be achieved. Green Peas’ range of inflatable Air Pods has an advanced design that moulds itself around the product providing optimum protection. The Air Pod’s multi-chamber, one-way-valve technology ensures that in the unlikely event of a puncture during transit the product is still protected as the packaging’s integrity is maintained. Special coatings to guard against sunlight and static charge can be added. The majority of the Air Pod’s are custom-made to client specification and result in reduced packaging size and weight- contributing to transportation-, warehousing and handling cost reductions which significantly lower the overall supply chain operations costs. (more info: http://www.greenpeassolutions.com/air-pods-c24.html)

Air Stripping – A treatment system that removes volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from contaminated ground water or surface water by forcing an airstream through the water and causing the compounds to evaporate.

AL – Aluminium. Used as a light and oxygen barrier in 3-ply materials, due to its excellent insulation against oxygen and light. A thin gauge (6-12 microns) 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, MET-OPP and VMPET) because of cost.

Alcohol – A series of organic compounds characterized by the presence of the hydroxyl group; volatile solvents, the most common being ethyl alcohol.

ALD – see Atomic Layer Deposition

Algorithm – A sequence of exact instructions that define a method to solve a particular problem. For example, algorithms are used to create a digital halftone screen.

Aliphatic Solvents – Saturated hydrocarbon solvents derived from petroleum, such as hexane, heptane, and VM&P naphtha, used primarily in A-type gravure inks or as diluents for other inks and coatings.

Alkaline – Term used to describe a material that has a pH of greater than 7.0 in water.

Alkaline Paper – Paper using calcium carbonate as the filler and a synthetic material, compatible with the alkaline process, as a sizing agent. This process improves the longevity, bulk, brightness, opacity, and printing characteristics of the paper without added cost.

Alkali Resistance – Property of an ink, coating, or substrate so that it resists film breakdown, colour change, or colour bleed when printed material is subjected to contact with alkaline materials such as soap or detergent.

All clear standing zipper pouch – The all clear standing zipper pouch is fully made of a clear PET/LLDPE laminate, allowing for a full and free view of the contents of the pouch.

Alley – Space between columns of type on a page.

Allotropic – Term referring to substances existing in different colours or forms, usually due to different crystal structures; carbon black and a diamond are allotropic forms of carbon.

Alphanumeric – Character set made up of digits and letters of the alphabet.

Altec wine closure – Based in Céret, France, Sabaté SA once was the world’s second largest wine and spirits cork supplier. Its synthetic Altec wine closure, which looks and feels natural, is a fusion of organic cork particles and synthetic polymers. It has been tested over ten years, but it developed cork taint (TCA) in the end too, due to the glue used to bind its cork granules. The cork industry is busy inventing new stoppers such as Diam, the successor of the ill-fated Altec, a fusion of organic cork particles and synthetic polymers.

Alteration – Any change made by the customer after copy or artwork has been given to the service bureau, separator or printer. The change could be in copy, specifications or both. Also called “AA,” “author alteration” and “customer alteration.”

Alumina Hydrate – A white inorganic pigment used as an extender in inks and noted for its transparency. Also known as hydrate.


Aluminium – The third most abundant element on the earth’s crust after oxygen and silicon, is extracted from an ore called Bauxite. The ore is refined to make ‘alumina’, a pure aluminium oxide. The aluminium metal is then produced from alumina by passing an electric current through it in a process called ‘electrolytic reduction’. The resulting silvery metal is the basis of a wide range of alloys made by adding small amounts of other metals to provide the specific characteristics needed for each application. For most alufoil packaging, virtually pure aluminium is used but, increasingly, alloys are being ‘tailored’ in order to lend added strength, so allowing the possible reduction of thickness for the same performance. (source: http://www.alufoil.org/)

Aluminium foil – Alufoil is a very thin sheet of aluminium ranging from about 0.006mm to the upper ISO defined limit of 0.2mm (200µm). It is produced by first rolling heated ingots (hot rolling) down to coils of thickness between 2 and 4 mm, then successively cold rolling the coil to the required foil thicknesses. A second method, continuous casting, bypasses the ingot stage and converts molten metal directly into a thick strip which is immediately rolled into the coil from which the foil is then rolled. To obtain the very thinnest foils, two layers are rolled simultaneously. This ‘double rolling’ results in the difference between the two surfaces – matt and polished – the matt side being the inner side during double rolling. The two layers of alufoil are then separated. The resulting large reels are slit to the widths needed for further processing, dependent on the end use required – flexible packaging, foil containers, lidding foils, household foil, heat exchanger foil, laminations for heat insulation materials etc.
The crystalline structure of the metal provides a high performance barrier even at thicknesses under 6.5µm (common in liquid cartons). At its lower thicknesses, alufoil is normally used with a supporting laminate of film and/or paper to further enhance the strength and barrier performance of the metal layer. The introduction of a high barrier alufoil layer enables significant reductions in the thickness of other substrates in a flexible packaging complex otherwise needed to achieve a given barrier performance.
At the end of its production process, alufoil is sterile. It can therefore be delivered to a high level of sterility. Alufoil is safe for use in contact with foodstuffs, does not harbour or promote the growth of bacteria and is an ideal protection against product tampering. (source: http://www.alufoil.org/).

Aluminium foil (surface finish) – The foil rolling process creates a highly polished finish. To produce thin foil economically, however, two layers are normally rolled together and then separated, the ‘inner’ surfaces taking on a matte finish. The thickness below which double rolling is done (typically about 50µm) varies according to the individual manufacturer. Single rolled aluminium foil can also be made in thinner gauges and produces a bright finish on both sides. A variety of embossed or textured surface finishes can also be produced. (source: http://www.alufoil.org/)

Aluminium paper – Packaging paper made by mixing aluminium powder into the furnish or by coating or laminating the sheet with aluminium foil.

Aluminum cans

Alumi-Tek – (TM)

Always-Controlled Workstation – A workstation associated with a dryer from which the exhaust is delivered to a control device, with no provision for the dryer exhaust to bypass the control device. Sampling lines for analyzers and relief valves needed for safety purposes are not considered bypass lines.

AM – anti-microbial

Amber – A yellowish-brown colour of glass or plastic container used primarily to protect light-sensitive contents.

Ambient Conditions – Temperature, pressure and other characteristics of the surrounding air.

Ambient Temperature – Normal fluctuating temperatures in an environment that are not closely controlled, e.g., in a typical warehouse, boxcar, office building, etc.

American National Standards Institute (ANSI) – A non-profit, privately funded voluntary membership organization that develops national consensus standards for a wide variety of devices and procedures.

Amine – Class of organic compounds derived from ammonia.

Aminoplaste – They are obtained by poly-condensation of formaldehyde with melamine. Important types of amino-plastes are: Melamine resin MF, Dicyandiamid resin DD, Urea resin UF.

Ampere – The current that will deposit silver at the rate of 0.001180 grams per second. Current flowing at the rate of one coulomb per second.

Ampoule – Single dosage container made from glass and sealed after filling by fusing the glass neck.

AN (acrylonitril)

ANA – Article Numbering Association (UK).

Anaerobic Decomposition – Reduction of the net energy level and change in chemical composition of organic matter caused by micro-organisms in an oxygen-free environment. (http://www.epa.gov/OCEPAterms/dterms.html)

Anaerobic Degradation – The metabolism of substances by bacteria that do not require oxygen to live. (Etoxnet Glossary of Terms)

Angle Bar – A metal bar or roll used either singly or in succession to reorient the web direction.

Angle of Wipe – Angle the doctor blade is set from the centreline of cylinder, before loading. Also called Set Angle.

Anhydrous – Containing no water.

Aniline Ink – Known as flexographic ink.

Anilox Roll – Mechanically or laser-engraved ceramic or chrome-plated steel roll that has been engraved with cells that carry and transfer liquids (varnishes, adhesives, inks, scents, etc.). Used in flexo presses.

Anion – An ion having a negative charge. Because of this charge, anions are attracted to the anode in an electrolytic cell

Anode – The positively charged electrode in an electrolytic cell. In an electroplating operation, the anode is frequently the source of the plating metal (soluble anodes, as in copper plating).

Anode Film – (1) The layer of solution in contact with the anode that differs in composition from that of the bulk of the solution. (2) The outer layer of the anode itself, consisting of oxidation or reaction products of the anode metal.

Anode Polarization – The material upon which coatings are deposited.

Anodized Plate – An offset printing plate having a treated surface in order to reduce wear for extended use.

Anti-aliasing – The rendering of hard-edged objects so that they blend smoothly into the background. A technique for merging object-oriented art into bitmaps.

Anti-counterfeiting – Methods of ensuring the validity of products to prevent occasions of counterfeit. Drugs can be stolen, inaccurately reproduced, resold, or merely replaced with a placebo. This can cause problems in brand protection, and in the health and safety of consumers. Tamper-evident seals, unique carton numbers, bar code printing, and RFID are methods of product tracking that prevent counterfeiting. (Read also my article: “Counterfeiting: The Industry is on the Wrong Track“)

Anti-foaming Agent – An additive that prevents or eliminates foam in ink.

Anti-fog technology

Anti-fog/Anti-drip Additives – A group of additives (mostly surface-active compounds) which are added to films or sheets in order to eliminate fogging and/or dripping that is caused by excess humidity.

Anti-mist membrane

Anti-Offset Spray – A dry or liquid spray attachment on presses to prevent ink from transferring from the top of one printed sheet to the bottom of the next.

Anti-oxidant Board – Boxboard chemically treated to increase the shelf life of foods containing fats and oils by retarding rancidity of such products when packaged in cartons made of it. The treatment does not change the appearance of the board and is non-toxic and odourless.

Anti-oxidants (AO) – A group of additives which provide thermal protection, mostly by intervening within the oxidation process.

Anti-spiking bottle

Antistatic Properties – The ability of a fabric to disperse an electro static charge and prevent build-up of static electricity.

Anti-tarnish Board – Boxboard chemically treated to retard development of tarnish which may result from packaging non-ferrous items, such as brass and silver.

AP – active packaging

Aperture – See: Window

APET – amorphous polyester

APL – Applied plastic labels

Appearance – Visual attributes of an object such as size, shape, colour, texture, glossiness, transparency, opacity, etc.

Application weight – The amount of adhesive or other coating per unit area.

Applicator Cap – A closure designed to be used to apply the contents of the container.

AQL – Acceptable Quality Level. This is a term used in statistics to denote the degree of acceptance which customers will work to in evaluating a shipment of containers.

Rexam aquarius_closure

Aquarius closure – Trademark of Rexam – Linerless, tamper-evident closure ideal for still water. (photo)

Aquatint – An early plate-engraving method that created tonal variation by etching through granular material with varying concentrations of etchant. Used only for fine art engraving.

Aqueous (inks/coatings) – Water based inks and coatings widely used in the industry, replacing solvent based materials to reduce or eliminate the use of volatile organic chemicals (VOC’s) from the converting process.
Aqueous coating is more environmentally friendly than UV coating because it is water based. It has better hold-out than varnish (it does not seep into the press sheet) and does not crack or scuff easily. Aqueous does, however, cost twice as much as varnish.
Since it is applied by an aqueous coating tower at the delivery end of the press, one can only lay down a flood aqueous coating, not a localized “spot” aqueous coating. Aqueous comes in gloss, dull, and satin.

Archival paper – Paper for permanent documents that does not discolour or become brittle with age.

Area Mask – An outline mask that isolates a specific area of an image either by shape, colour or tone value.

Aroma-infused cap

Aromas (embedded)

Aromatic Solvents – Unsaturated hydrocarbon solvents such as, toluene and xylene, originally derived from coal tar, but now made from petroleum. They possess excellent solvent properties for Type-A inks.

Art Board – (1) Lightweight paperboard for artists that will accept pencil, pen or watercolours. (2) Alternate term for mechanical art.

Artifacts – A visible indication (defect) in an image, caused by limitations in the reproduction process (hardware or software).

Artificial daylight – Term loosely applied to light sources, frequently equipped with filters, that attempt to reproduce the colour and spectral distribution of daylight. A more specific definition of the light source is preferred.

Art paper – Coated, normally wood free, paper suitable for 4-colour printing.

Artwork – (1) Copy supplied for origination purposes, indicating colour separation and half-tones. (2) Graphics and picture files submitted to the laminate producer in order to have it printed on bags or roll stock. Software normally used for creating and processing artwork includes Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Freehand, and Adobe Photoshop.

Artificial Exposure – An experimental set-up whereby a sample is subjected to artificial weathering conditions. In most cases, these conditions will be purposefully exaggerated in order to accelerate their effect.

ASCII – American Standard Code for Information Interchange (a computer code consisting of 128 alphanumeric and control characters used for the exchange of information between computerised systems).

Aseptic Packaging – A system in which the product is sterilised before filling into pre-sterilised packs under aseptic conditions. Extends the shelf life of non-refrigerated beverages and foods. Laminates and extruded coatings applied by the customer ensure an appropriate liquid barrier. Aseptic grade board is clay-coated on one side and is suitable for gravure, offset, and flexo-graphic printing.

Aseptic drink cartons – Approved for sale in the U.S. in 1981, and became the hottest new concept the U.S. food industry had seen in years. They had been in use in other parts of the world for nearly 20 years, but the key to their acceptance in the U.S. was the approval by FDA of hydrogen peroxide and heat as sterilizing agents for the packaging materials. Tetra Pak, EloPak and SIG Combibloc PKL were the primary suppliers of drink carton machines, while International Paper had a machine in development. The Tetra Pak and IP machines were vertical f/f/s designs that produced packages from a web of material, while the Combibloc machine ran premade sleeves on a horizontal unit. The primary reason for their immediate success was their long shelf life-up to nine months or more, without refrigeration, but they offered significant other benefits. The multilayer package cost much less than bottles or cans, and the easily handled rectangular shape maximized storage, shipping and shelf space.

Ash content – Ratio of mass of residue after combustion to mass of sample (pulp/paper) before combustion

ASTM D3103-07 – Standard Test Method for Thermal Insulation Performance of Distribution Packages – This test method is intended for use for evaluating the performance of thermal insulated packaging used for high-value, high-risk materials. This test method may also be used for any product that requires accurate internal package temperature readings while being exposed to a range of external air temperatures. Certain items, such as biological materials, pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, and blood products, must be shipped inside temperature-controlled packages. Factors affecting the rate of heat transfer of the package include the insulation of the exterior package, the energy source, and the product payload.

ASTM D6400 Standard – US Specification for Compostable Plastics.

ASTM D6868 Standard – US Specification for Biodegradable Plastics Used as Coatings on Paper and Other Compostable Substrates.

ASTM D996 – A compilation of definitions of technical terms used in the packaging and distribution environments. Terms that are generally understood or adequately found in other readily available sources are not included.

ASTM International – American Society for Testing and Materials, a standardization organization.

Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) – The ALD reactor, developed in Finland in the 1970s, is a device for the chemical composition of thin films. It can produce a film with the accuracy of one atomic layer. The basic materials of aluminium oxide coating are usually tri-methyl aluminium and water. To date, the method has been used as a part of the manufacturing process of technical products in semiconductor industry. ALD facilitates the manufacture of packaging materials which are thinner, lighter and better sealed than traditional barrier materials. Barrier materials have the ability to prevent molecules from penetrating the packaging, which is important when protecting the product from humidity, drying or oxidation.
By using ALD coating, different functions can be integrated in the packaging material, such as properties which prevent water, oxygen, humidity, fats and aromas from permeating the packaging and protect the surface from stains and bacterial growth.
The barrier ability can be created without an aluminium film, the traditional barrier material which affects recyclability. For packaging technology, this creates an opportunity to manufacture fully recyclable packages that use fewer raw materials.

ATP Bottle – Active Transverse Panel (ATP) Bottle – Panel-free hot-fill PET bottle.

Attribute – Distinguishing characteristic of a sensation, perception or mode of appearance. Colours are often described by their attributes of hue, chroma (or saturation) and lightness.

Auger feed – A screw feeder used to discharge known volumes of powder or paste products.

Author’s Alterations (AAs) – At the proofing stage, changes that the client requests to be made concerning original art provided. AAs are considered an additional cost to the client usually.

Autoclaving – A method used to sterilise containers with superheated steam under pressure.

Auto discrimination – The ability of a bar code reader system to distinguish automatically between two or more symbologies.

Autotrace – A computer operation that traces the edges of simple shapes in a bitmap so that they can be stored as vector-based objects, which can be edited or manipulated by a drawing/illustration program.

Azeotrope – A mixture of solvents that exhibits a constant maximum or minimum boiling point.

Azodicarbonamide – A yellow-coloured efficient exothermic foaming agent generating mostly nitrogen gas. Azodicarbonamide is well suited for injection moulding and sheet or profile extrusion in a wide variety of polymers.

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