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.


  • Flash point
    The temperature level that must be reached before the material gives off sufficient vapor to form a flash if exposed to flame or spark; the lowest temperature at which the vapor of a substance will catch fire.
  • Flasher set
    An electric light assembly so wired that intermittent light is produced by spaced interruptions of the current.
  • Flat
    (1) The stripped-up film positive or negative used to make a photostencil; (2) A print that lacks contrast color or brilliance; (3) A low gloss finish with little reflective quality.
  • Flat finish
    A surface appearance that shows no gloss in reflected light.
  • Flat flex connector (FFC)
    Connector commonly used to terminate membrane switch circuitry.
  • Flat-bed press (mechanical flat-bed press)
    A screen printing press in which the substrate is placed on a flat surface prior to printing in contact with a flat printing screen which is attached by a carrier held on vertical posts or in clamshell fashion.
  • Flat-bed scanner
    Equipment that uses CCD linear arrays, where the image is placed on a flat glass platen, and the array moves past the artwork.
  • Flat-knit two-needle neck
    Any garment neckline where the binding is made out of flat, jersey-type knit material and sewed on a machine with a folder, which permits the body of the shirt to be inserted into the neck tape and attached with two needles.
  • Flat-oval
    A term used to indicate a bottle or package that in cross section has an elliptical appearance and convex face surfaces.
  • Flatting agent
    Any material added to reduce the gloss level of an ink or coating.
  • Flavanthrene yellow
    An organic pigment with excellent lightfastness, good resistance to chemicals and bleeding.
  • Flax
    A plant from which cellulosic linen fiber is obtained.
  • Fleece
    A knit or woven cloth with a deep, thick napped surface.
  • Fleet marking
    A pressure sensitive decal that is applied to a commercial vehicle to promote a company or its products.
  • Flex die-cut transfer
    A flexible, rubber-like plastic which adheres best to cotton and cotton blends, where the minimum cotton in the fabric is of 40%.
  • Flexibility (pliability)
    The property of materials, measured under specific conditions, that permits them to be formed or bent to change their surfaces from a flat plane to a curve without rupture.
  • Flexibilizer
    Material that is added to rigid plastic to make it resilient or flexible.
  • Flexible
    Pliable; capable of being bent or flexed.
  • Flexible mold
    Cavities made of rubber or elastomeric material, used to cast plastic where they can be stretched to remove cured parts with undercuts.
  • Flexible printed circuit
    A printed circuit or conductive pattern placed on, or between, insulating layers which remain flexible after processing.
  • Flexographic printing (aniline printing)
    Generally roll fed printing characterized by the use of flexible rubber or plastic printing plates with raised image area and rapid drying fluid inks; formerly called aniline printing.
  • Flexural modulus tester
    Instrument used to measure the deflection of a rigid or semi-rigid, non-cellular plastic in flexing, tension, compression or torsion by the application of a specific load.
  • Flexural strength
    The relative ability of a material to withstand breakage by bending, measured by testing to determine the number of bends required to cause product failure.
  • Flicker
    A perceivable fluctuation of the brightness levels of a displayed image. This problem is often present in CRT monitors that have a vertical scan rate that is too low.
  • Flint glass
    (1) A lead containing glass; (2) A colorless glass.