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.


  • Catalyzed system
    Chemical compound, ink, or coating that contains a catalyst.
  • Cationic cure
    Occurs when an energized molecule reacts with cationically sensitive monomers to initiate polymerization.
  • Cause-and-effect diagram (fishbone diagram)
    A fishbone diagram used to determine the root cause of a problem, uses a graphic description of various process elements in order to analyze potential sources of process variation.
  • Caustic
    A chemical that can burn, eat away or destroy tissue.
  • CCD (Charged Coupled Device)
    Light-detection device used in many popular scanners, digital cameras, and video cameras that generates electrical current in direct proportion to how much light strikes areas of the sensor.
  • CCD array
    An arrangement of CCD sensors mounted in close proximity that allows for the simultaneous capturing of many pixels with one exposure.
  • CE mark
    Indicates product meets European Union for Standardization product safety testing requirements.
  • Ceiling limit
    A definite upper boundary, beyond which concentrations, such as of air contaminants, should not be permitted to exceed.
  • Cell
    A small etched depression in a gravure cylinder that carries the ink.
  • Cellosolve
    Trade name for ethylene glycol monoethyl ether, a relatively slow drying solvent used as a retarder.
  • Cellosolve acetate
    An acetate solvent used to test for full cure of plastisol ink. 
  • Cellulose
    A natural high polymeric carbohydrate derived from plant cell walls such as cotton, jute, and hemp.
  • Cellulose acetate (CA)
    A thermoplastic resin manufactured by the action of acetic acid and acetic anhydride on purified cellulose obtained from cotton linters.
  • Cellulose acetate butyrate (CAB)
    A thermoplastic resin manufactured by the action of a mixture of acetic and butyric acids and their anhydrates on purified cellulose.
  • Cellulose acetate propionate (CAP)
    A thermoplastic resin manufactured by reacting cellulose with propionic acid and propionic anhydride.
  • Cellulose nitrate (CN)
    A thermoplastic resin manufactured by the nitration of cotton linters with mixtures of nitric and sulfuric acids. (The first flexible transparent film base).
  • Cellulosics
    Thermoplastic resins manufactured by chemical modification of cellulose.
  • Celsius (C) (Centigrade)
    Formerly known as Centigrade, a thermal scale for measuring heat and/or cold temperature, more widely used than the Fahrenheit scale in scientific and other laboratory work with a freezing point of zero.
  • Cement exposing method
    An exposing technique involving the temporary securing of the film positive or hand made positive to the photoscreen film with rubber cement prior to exposure.
  • CEN
    Acceptable abbreviation for European Committee for Standardization.
  • Centi
    A prefix utilized in the metric system of measurement that denotes 10 to the negative 2 power (10-2) or 0.01, abbreviated c.
  • Centigram (cg)
    A unit of weight in the metric system that is equal to 1/100 of a gram; abbreviated cg.
  • Centimeter (cm)
    A unit of measure in the metric system of measurement equivalent to 1/100 of a meter or 0.3927 inch; abbreviated is cm.
  • Centipoise
    A unit of measure of viscosity equal to one hundredth (0.01) of a poise, the viscosity of water at 20° C.
  • Centistoke
    A unit of measure of kinematic viscosity.