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.


  • C1S
    Acceptable abbreviation for coated one side.
  • C2S
    Acceptable abbreviation for coated two sides.
  • Cabinet oven
    A device for thermal treatment by convection, mounted on a floor stand, usually used for testing in the lab, or for very low production of small parts.
  • Cache
    A temporary storage area for information which locates itself between the hard disk and the RAM by employing intuitive logic. It also speeds up the access time of the data.
  • CAD (Computer Aided Design)
    Software used to produce designs and drawings for architectural, engineering and scientific applications.
  • Cadmium red
    An inorganic red pigment composed of cadmium sulfide and cadmium selenide that is resistant to light, heat, and soap.
  • Cadmium yellow
    An inorganic yellow pigment composed of cadmium sulfide and lighter shades of zinc sulfide that is resistant to light, heat, and soap.
  • Calcine
    To heat a ceramic batch material to a temperature below the melting or fusion point causing loss of moisture, reduction, or oxidation.
  • Calender
    (1) A configuration of heated rollers used for flattening one or both sides of synthetic screen printing mesh; (2) To prepare sheets of material by pressure between two or more counter rotating rolls; (3) A set of cast iron rollers with highly polished surfaces situated at the dry end of a paper making machine.
  • Calender winkle
    Crease in paper web produced as the web passes through the calender rolls.
  • Calendered fabric
    Screen mesh that has been flattened on one or both sides by passing it through heated rollers.
  • Calendered film
    A film with a very glossy surface obtained by passing the film between polished rollers under pressure, and sometimes under elevated temperature conditions.
  • Calendered finished (calendered)
    Any paper with a surface glazed by means of steel or cast iron rollers with hardened surfaces.
  • Calendering
    (1) A finishing process that flattens one or both sides of a screen mesh reducing mesh thickness and opening size; (2) A way of manufacturing plastic sheets by first converting the resins into a dough like mass then passing it between heated pressure rollers to form a sheet with a glossy or textured surface; (3) A method of producing a very high gloss surface on paper stock by passing the sheet between a series of pressure rollers; (4) A finishing process for fabric creating high luster, glazing, embossing, and moiré.
  • Calibration
    To determine, check, or rectify the graduations of any instrument giving quantitative measurements.
  • Calibration bar
    A strip of tones attached to a negative, proof, or print used to check print quality.
  • Calibration curve
    A graphic representation of the calibration record.
  • Calibration cycle
    Calibration in ascending and descending directions.
  • Calibration log
    A record documenting when an instrument was calibrated and who performed the calibration procedure. (Other items that may be documented are temperature, relative humidity, and any other specific items of data beneficial in troubleshooting an instrument malfunction).
  • Calibration standard
    A reference material of a known or fixed value used to calibrate an instrument such as a calibration standard that can be traced to the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
  • Calico die-cut transfer
    A cotton print fabric with heat seal backing; will adhere to cotton blends.
  • Caliper
    (1) The thickness of a substrate material usually expressed in mils or points, both being terms expressing thousandths of an inch. (0.050 is expressed as 50 point usually for paper stocks; or 50 mils when plastics are designated by thickness); (2) An instrument used to measure a substrate.
  • Calorie
    (1) The quantity of heat necessary at normal atmospheric pressure to raise the temperature of one gram of water one degree centigrade; (2) A standard unit measure of heat, equal to 4.1840 joules; a thermal unit.
  • Calorific value
    The amount of heat measured in calories or Btu’s released by combustion of a unit quantity of fuel.
  • Camera
    A device for taking photographs, generally composed of a lightproof enclosure having an aperture with a shuttered lens through which the image of an object is focused and recorded on a photosensitive film or plate.