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.


  • Essence
    Special thinner used with lusters and bright gold precious metal compositions.
  • E-stat
    A shortened term for electrostatic.
  • Ester
    A class of organic compounds corresponding to the inorganic salts formed from an acid by the replacement of hydrogen by an alkyl radical such as ethyl acetate solvent and butyl phthalate plasticizers.
  • Ester gum
    The glycerol ester of rosin used as an ingredient in certain screen printing varnishes.
  • Etch
    (1) The result of application of hydrofluoric acid to a glass surface for making or decoration with a "frosty" appearance; (2) Removal of unwanted portions of conductive metal not protected by resist coatings in printed circuit production; (3) Change of character of any surface by chemical reaction.
  • Etch imitation
    A fired or baked on vitreous enamel that produces a frosty or matte surface to simulate acid etch finish.
  • Etch resist
    A material or compound applied to portions of a product in process (usually in a pattern), prior to etching, to protect the covered portions from the action of the etchant.
  • Etchant
    A chemical solution that has the capability of reacting to a surface brought into contact with the chemical, resulting in dissolving and removing the surface of the product being etched.
  • Etched printed circuit
    An electronic circuit or printed wiring pattern formed by etching away, by chemical action, unwanted portions of a conductive film, which portions are not protected by the imprint of resist ink or other media.
  • Etching
    (1) The process of forming a design or drawing on a metal or plastic plate; (2) A design or picture etched on a plate or a print made from an etched plate.
  • Ethyl acetate
    A colorless, inflammable liquid with a fruity fragrance made by heating acetic and ethyl alcohol in the presence of sulfuric acid, used as a solvent.
  • Ethyl alcohol
    Grain alcohol; a colorless limpid volatile liquid widely used solvent, where high volatility is essential.
  • Ethyl cellulose
    An ethyl ether of cellulose commonly used as a film former, soluble in most organic liquids and possessing generally good compatibilities with various resins, waxes, oils, and plasticizers; inert to alkalis and dilute acid; very common in the coatings industry.
  • Ethyl cellulose formulation
    A group of chemical coating compounds with the major film-forming constituent based on ethyl cellulose or ethyl hydroxyl, ethyl cellulose with appropriate solvents, modifying resins, plasticizers and pigmentation.
  • Ethylene dichloride
    Frequently employed as an extractive agent to degum silk and cotton in the textile industry.
  • Ethylene glycol mono ethyl ether
    An active solvent used in lacquers and brushing enamels, also used as a retarder in some ink formulations, has fast rate of evaporation and high flash point.
  • Ethylene glycol mono methyl ether
    A glycol ether used in lacquers and as an intermediate for various plasticizers.
  • EU
    Acceptable acronym for European Union.
  • European print stroke
    The direction of the printing stroke found on many screen printing presses made in Europe, where the squeegee moves toward the front of the press during printing.
  • Eutectic
    Any mixture of two or more components that melt at a lower temperature than the individual components, or any other mixture of the same components.
  • Eutectic solder
    Most common solder compound of 68% tin and 37% lead with a melting point of 83.88°C (183°F).
  • Evaporate (evap)
    To convert from the liquid to the vapor stage such as a solvent leaving a printed ink film during drying.
  • Evaporation rate
    The speed at which a solvent, or other volatile, changes into its vapor state; generally measured relative to butyl acetate, which has an arbitrary rate of 1.0.
  • Exa (E)
    A prefix utilized in the metric system of measurement which denotes 10 to the power of 18 (1018) or 1 000 000 000 000 000 000.0. 
  • Excitation purity
    A relative colorimetric quantity used in designating depth of color. One of the three quantities used in the C.I.E. specification of color.