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.


  • Termination
    (1) A chemical reaction between polymer radicals that result in a solid polymeric network; (2) Point where a membrane switch gets connected to a device.
  • Terpenes
    A group of aromatic hydrocarbons that include turpentine, dipentine and others of the aliphatic class.
  • Terpolymer
    A polymer composed of three different monomers where the repeated structural units of all three are present within each molecule such as ABS.
  • Terrace easel
    An easel for supporting several levels of a display.
  • Tertiary colors
    The three colors created by mixing combinations of secondary colors; any intermediate hue that contains some parts of each of the three primary colors.
  • Testing
    A means of determining the capability of an item to meet specified requirements.
  • Text
    Written or printed descriptive words or copy.
  • Textile
    (1) A woven cloth or fabric; (2) Fiber or yarn for weaving into fabric.
  • Textile abrasion test
    Used for testing a specific textile application such as piling, scrub resistance, fabric adhesion, and chalking.
  • Textile lacquer
    Screen printing ink manufactured with lacquer base suitable for decorating cloth.
  • Textile screen printing
    The decoration by screen printing of colors or dyes on woven or non-woven fabrics, printed as continuous yard goods, cut goods, or a completed textile unit.
  • Texture
    The feel or appearance of a material.
  • Texture mapping
    Placing a texture or image file on the surface of a 3D computer image.
  • Thermal chromatic
    A special compound of micro encapsulated organic crystals with a pigment base that turns colorless at specified heat ranges; ink or dye that changes color when subjected to specified heat ranges.
  • Thermal coefficient of resistance
    The change in resistance of a semi-conductor per unit change in temperature over a specific range of temperature.
  • Thermal conductivity (K-factor)
    The relative ability of a material to conduct heat.
  • Thermal die cutting
    Cutting to desired shape by means of heated elements, usually magnesium dies that have been formed to the desired design.
  • Thermal endurance
    Relative ability of a material such as glass or other rigid substrate to withstand thermal shock.
  • Thermal expansion
    An increase in size due to an increase in temperature expressed in units of an increase in length or increase in size per degree such as inches/inch/degree C.
  • Thermal film
    A heat sensitive film that turns from clear to black when exposed to heat; the film that carries an image from a thermal imagesetter.
  • Thermal gradient
    The distribution of a different temperature through a body or across a surface.
  • Thermal printer
    A nonimpact printer that uses heat sensitive paper to form an image.
  • Thermal sensitivity shift
    The shift in sensitivity due to changes of the ambient temperature from room temperature to the specified limits of the compensated temperature range.
  • Thermal setting
    The use of elevated temperatures in curing to obtain a useable form of product.
  • Thermal shock
    The facture of a material that results from rapid temperature change.