Glossary Of Terms

The PRINTING United Alliance 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. PRINTING United Alliance 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 PRINTING United Alliance assumes no responsibility for the use of information presented herein.


  • Tribology
    (1) The mechanism of friction, lubrication, and wear of intersecting surfaces that are in relative motion; (2) The science of friction; (3) Abrasion testing technology.
  • Trichlorethylene
    A solvent that does not attack metals in the presents of moisture, used in degreasing of metals prior to coating.
  • Trichloroethane,1,1,1
    A chlorinated solvent used in some fluid mixtures for the removing ink stains from garments.
  • Trichromatic printing
    A process where a full color reproduction is obtained using three colors such as magenta, yellow, and cyan, which are the tri-colors.
  • Triethylene glycol
    The low volatility of this ether-alcohol makes it adaptable as a plasticizer for resins.
  • Trilinear scanner
    A scanning device that uses three linear array change coupled devices utilizing red, green, and blue filters to capture color scans in a single pass.
  • Trim
    To remove unwanted edges of a print by cutting.
  • Trim size
    The final size of a print after trimming.
  • Triple rinsed
    Empty containers that have been flushed of residue three times, each time using a volume of dilutants at least equal to ten percent of the container’s capacity.
  • Trisodium phosphate
    A relatively inexpensive chemical with mild caustic action used in some household cleaners and in cleaning and degreasing printing screen mesh — no longer used in the industry because of wastewater contamination.
  • Tristimulus
    Of or relating to values giving the amounts of the three colored lights, or receptors, red, green, and blue.
  • Tristimulus colorimeter
    An instrument that measures tristimulus values and converts them to chromaticity components of color.
  • Tristimulus value
    The value of the three references or matching stimuli required to produce a match with the object color stimulus, in a given trichromatic system.
  • Tritone
    An image reproduced using three colors.
  • Troy ounce
    A unit of weight for precious metal materials used by glass decorators, equal to 31.1 gm. or 1.097 oz. avoirdupois.
  • Troy weight
    A system of units of weight where the grain is the same as in the avoirdupois system and a pound contains 12 ounces, 240 pennyweights, or 5760 grains.
  • Truevision advanced raster graphics adapter (TARGA)
    A graphic expansion board and type of file format for exchanging 24-bit color files.
  • Trumatch
    Developed in 1991, color matching system that uses digital technology to specify colors within desktop illustration and page layout software.
  • TS
    Acronym for thermoset plastic.  
  • Tube light source
    Exposing unit made with black light (or other) fluorescent tubes.
  • Tumbling
    The coating of parts by placing them in a rotating cylinder with inner vanes, along with the coating material.
  • Tung oil (China wood oil)
    A yellow brownish oil obtained from the seeds of a tung tree and used as a drying agent in varnishes and inks.
  • Tunnel
    The passageway in a dryer or lehr through which printed goods pass on a conveyor belt.
  • Tunsten lamp
    An incandescent electric bulb with a tungsten filament, 3200 Kelvin, an orange color.
  • Turbidimeter
    A device that measures the amount of suspended solids in a liquid.