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.
  • Brush
    A special effect filter that performs a specific function such as smoothing selective edges.
  • BS
    Acceptable abbreviation for British Standard.
  • BSI
    Acceptable acronym for the British Standards Institute, a standardization organization in Great Britain.
  • Btu/sec
    A unit of power which denotes the number of British Thermal Units per second consumed; one BTU/second is equivalent to 1.06 kilowatts.
  • Bubbles
    Trapped air, gas, or water vapor in an ink or coating or under a solidified film.
  • Buckle lock
    A display part used for locking two elements of light weight stock.
  • Buffer
    Any substance or combination of substances, when dissolved in water, produce a solution that resists a change in its hydrogen ion concentration from the addition of an acid or alkali.
  • Buffer capacity
    The ability of a solution to resist pH changes when a strong acid or base is added.
  • Build
    The thickness, either real or apparent, of a dry ink or varnish film.
  • Build-up layer
    (1) A layer or sheet of material such as glass, sheet of card stock, or thin wood panel smaller than the inside dimensions of the printing frame, but larger than the stencil area on which the finished stencil film is placed for adhering, used to ensure pressurized contact with the mesh; (2) Ink that sticks to the bottom of the screen while printing wet-on-wet (textiles).
  • Bulk
    (1) Denotes the degree of paper thickness; (2) A measure of the thickness of a pile of a specified number of sheets of paper stock under a specified pressure expressed in thousandths of an inch or pages per inch (ppi).
  • Bulking value
    The solid volume of a unit weight of material expressed in gallons per pound; of a pigment, it is expressed in gallons per 100 lbs.
  • Buried printing
    (1) Pigment pattern, and or copy applied to the underside (second side) of transparent stock prior to application of adhesive coat; (2) A laminate construction where a clear or transparent sheet is affixed over a printed marking to improve appearance and/or durability, also refer to embedment.
  • Burn
    The exposing of a photosensitized material with any light source high in ultraviolet radiation.
  • Burn off temperature
    The temperature at which organic media is removed from applied colors, or the temperature at which the unwanted portion of a glass article is melted for removal.
  • Burn rate
    Speed that a plastic will burn.
  • Burning-in
    Additional light exposure given to part of the image projected on an enlarger easel to make that area of the print darker, after the basic exposure, while holding back the light from the rest of the image.
  • Burnish gold
    Precious metal containing 18 to 24% gold metal combined with flux based on organic metal compounds.
  • Burnish silver
    Precious metal preparation containing only silver.
  • Burnisher
    A blunt, smooth-surfaced instrument used to apply rub-down and dry-transfer images.
  • Burn-off
    Removal of organic media from applied colors in a kiln.
  • Burr
    Sharp protrusion caused by rough edges.
  • Bursting strength
    The pressure required to rupture paper or fabric in an instrument such as a Mullen tester or Scott ball burst machine under specified conditions, expressed in pounds per square inch.
  • Bursting strength tester (mullen tester)
    Instrument used to measure the point that a paper, foil, film, textile, plastic or other material submits to bursting; also called Mullen tester.
  • Butt
    The joining together of two pieces of film or two different printed colors, without overlapping.