Glossary Of Terms

The SGIA Glossary of Terms serves as an excellent industry terminology resource. It is the language by which we all communicate, without it universal understanding would be impossible. Language and our ideas about how it is interpreted change rapidly. SGIA is aware of this and continues its effort to keep our constituents well informed about changes to the increasingly complex industry terminology. The 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 SGIA assumes no responsibility for the use of information presented herein.


  • Mean temperature
    The average of the maximum and minimum temperatures of a process at equilibrium.
  • Mechanical adhesion
    (1) Attraction between two surfaces that is promoted by a physical interlocking (plastisol adheres to fabric by such bond after curing); (2) An attachment of a ink or coating film to a surface by molecular attraction without altering the coated surface.
  • Mechanical dot gain
    the physical growth of the area of each halftone dot.
  • Mechanical hysteresis
    The difference of the indication with increasing and decreasing strain loading, at identical strain values of the specimen.
  • Mechanical properties
    Material properties associated with elastic or inelastic reactions to an applied force.
  • Mechanical resistance of ink
    The extent to which a heavy bodied ink inhibits good printing, by resisting proper flow through the stencil with normal squeegee pressure.
  • Mechanical stretching device
    An apparatus used for simultaneously tensioning screen mesh in both the warp and weft dimensions.
  • Media
    (1) Another term for substrate, a material to be printed; (2) Plural form of medium.
  • Medium
    (1) A resinous fluid substance, or vehicle with which pigments are mixed; (2) A singular form of media, the material to be printed; (3) General term applied to the screen printing process as one of several print communication media.
  • Medium finish
    A non-coated sheet with a smoothness approaching a vellum finish.
  • Medium weight
    A classification for fabric of 22 to 24 single yard where the number of yarn denotes the overall fabric weight.
  • Medium-density polyethylene (MDPE)
    A type of polyethylene defined by a density range of 0.926–0.940 g/cm3. It is less dense than HDPE, which is more common.
  • Mega (M)
    A prefix utilized in the metric system of measurement that denotes 10 to the power of six (10 6) or 1 000 000
  • Megabit (Mb)
    A unit of memory measurement equal to approximately one million bits.
  • Megabyte (MB)
    A unit of memory measurement equal to approximately one million bytes.
  • Melamine
    A very resistant thermoset plastic made from the resin of melamine and formaldehyde, has excellent hardness, clarity, and electrical properties.
  • Melt
    (1) To change a solid into a liquid by the application of heat; (2) The liquid resulting from a melting action.
  • Melting point (MP)
    Temperature at which a given solid begins to liquefy under standard conditions.
  • Membrane switch
    A series of thermally stable films containing a backer board, spacer, circuit sheet, and graphic overlay, which together perform the function of an electronic switch.
  • Memory
    The capacity of a plastic or other material to return to an original state after applied stress.
  • Mercerization
    A treatment for cotton yarn or cloth to make it look silky or to accept dye.
  • Mercury halide lamp
    A light source that uses an electrical discharge enclosed within a quartz glass tube containing mercury to produce light for stencil exposure; also referred to as metal halide lamp.
  • Mercury vapor lamp
    An enclosed light source that produces radiation by passing an electrical current through gaseous mercury.
  • Merrow
    (1) Edging around a patch or emblem; (2) Trademark of Merrow Machine Company.
  • Mesh aperture
    The space between the woven threads of screen printing mesh through which the ink passes during printing.