The PRINTING United Alliance Glossary serves as an excellent industry terminology resource. It is the language by which we all communicate. Without it, universal understanding would be impossible.

To keep our constituents well informed about changes to the increasingly complex industry terminology, PRINTING United Alliance has developed this glossary of terms. Definitions are for general reference only. Usage may vary between companies, individuals, or national and country customs. The information presented is as accurate as the authors and editors can ascertain and PRINTING United Alliance assumes no responsibility for the use of information presented herein.
  • Bond paper
    A light weight paper stock with strength, rigidity, and good absorptive and erasing qualities.
  • Bonding agent
    An ink additive that improves ink adhesion characteristics, sometimes used when printing nylon jacket material.
  • Bonding jumper
    A metal wire or mesh connection two containers and providing metal-to-metal contact, thus preventing electrical sparks from static electricity.
  • Bonding strength
    (1) Amount of adhesion between bonded surfaces; (2) A measure of the stress required to separate a layer of material from the base to which it is bonded; (3) In paper, the force with which the fibers adhere to each other; (4) In surface coatings, the strength with which the applied coating, when dry, adheres to the surface of the substrate.
  • Bone china
    Vitreous extremely white, translucent dinnerware that contains bone ash; a porcelain made without feldspar.
  • Bonus-color concept
    The provisions of an extra color or shade obtained by overprinting two or more transparent or translucent inks without the additional stencil or press run that a third color would normally require.
  • Book paper
    Coated and uncoated papers.
  • Borate glass
    Glass made from boron oxide instead of silica.
  • Borax glass
    Vitreous anhydrous sodium tetraborate (Na2B4O7).
  • Border
    A printed design or a line surrounding an illustration or text area of printed matter.
  • Borosilicate crown glass
    An optical crown glass containing substantial quantities of silica and boric oxide.
  • Boss
    Projection designed into a plastic part to add strength, facilitate alignment during assembly, or to provide for fastening.
  • Bottle cap printer (cap printer) (bottle caps)
    A printing device that prints an image onto bottle closures of different sizes.
  • Bottle topper
    A small cardboard display tag designed to circle the neck of a bottle and carry an advertising image.
  • Bowing
    To bend or bring to a curved form such as the sides of a frame bending toward the center when under tension.
  • Box connector
    A display part used for connecting unattached planes in parallel.
  • Box easel
    A display part used for connecting unattached planes in a predetermined angle.
  • Box rest
    A support for displays placed on top of rods or bars.
  • Bpi
    Acceptable abbreviation for bits per inch.
  • Bps
    Acceptable abbreviation for bits per second.
  • Brayer
    A small hand roller used to distribute ink on a test slab or proof press.
  • Break
    (1) Release of screen mesh from substrate surface at completion of printing stroke; (2) Tear in screen mesh and/or stencil caused by excessive stress or impact; (3) Non-productive rest period; (4) The gap allowed in an incomplete circumferential print of the screen on a cylindrical object; (5) A tear or other defect in web face material or release liner, such defects are usually spliced and the location indicated by a protruding signal or flag; (6) Resin separation.
  • Break for color
    In artwork, to separate and mark the parts to be printed in different colors, also refer to color break.
  • Breakdown voltage
    Electromotive force where the insulation between two conductors is destroyed.
  • Breaking length
    The length of a strip of paper which would break of its own weight when suspended on end. A value calculated from the tensile strength and the basis weight of the sheet, also refer to tensile strength.