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.


  • Mobile
    A display composed of several separate parts that are counterbalanced and suspended, so that each part may move independently of others in a light air current.
  • Mock leno weave
    A fabric weave that draws two or more threads together and then leaves a space between the next grouping. The warp threads do not actually cross each other as in a true leno weave.
  • Modacrylic fiber
    A manufactured fiber with higher resistance to chemicals and combustion and a higher specific gravity than acrylic.
  • Model
    The original creation from which a mold is made.
  • Modifier
    An inert ingredient added to a formulation that changes its properties.
  • Modular
    A machine system where several different or similar operations are controlled by a computer.
  • Modulated transfer function (MTF)
    A test that measures the optical frequency response of a scanner or other optical system.
  • Module
    An electronic circuit, part, or unit consisting of prescribed standard or fixed dimensions, serving prescribed electrical functions, used as sub-assemblies in the construction of electronic equipment.
  • Modulus of elasticity
    A measure of the rigidity of a material; the ratio of the stress or load applied to the strain or deformation produced in a material that is elastically deformed.
  • Modulus of rupture (MOR)
    A tool for measuring the relative resistance of material to scratching.
  • Moir?
    An undesirable optical pattern that occurs when one regular set of parallel lines or dots crosses another set, at various angles of intersection or by the regular pattern of mesh threads intersecting the halftone screen pattern.
  • Moisture content
    Amount of water present in a material.
  • Moisture equilibrium
    A condition attained by a product when the amount of water absorbed and the amount desorbed, as shown by a change in weight, shows no net difference or trend.
  • Moisture proof
    The property of a material that makes it substantially impervious to water vapor; also designated moisture barrier.
  • Moisture regain
    The ability of a completely dry fiber to absorb moisture at 70 degrees F and 65% RH.
  • Moisture resistant
    A substrate or material that will not easily change its chemical and physical properties due to moisture.
  • Moisture transport
    The movement of water from one side of a fabric to the other caused by capillary, wicking, chemical, or electrostatic action.
  • Moisture vapor transmission rate
    A measure of the rate of water vapor transmission through a pressure sensitive label or other material.
  • Molarity
    Unit of measure of concentration expressed in mols per kilogram of solvent or mols per liter of solution.
  • Mold
    (1) A form or cavity designed to determine the shape or form of an application; (2) To shape plastic or other materials into another form or design by application of heat and pressure; (3) A form or cavity used as a holding device for three-dimensional parts during printing.
  • Mold release
    A lubricant that prevents a plastic from sticking to its mold; also referred to as a release agent.
  • Molding shrinkage
    The difference in dimension between a molded part and the cavity in which it was molded, measured at room temperature.
  • Molecular weight
    The sum total of atomic masses of the various elements found in a molecule.
  • Molecular-dye films
    A diazo film, suitable for photographic contacting only, and popular for high resolution capability such as in microfilming and the printed circuit industry.
  • Molecule
    (1) A group of atoms bonded together that forms the fundamental structural unit of most organic substances; (2) The smallest unit of a substance that still retains the properties of that substance.