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.


  • N/R
    A mark used with reference to containers which indicates "non-returnable."
  • Naked glass
    Plain ware prior to decoration.
  • Nameplate
    An identification plate that can be engraved, etched, embossed or printed, and then affixed to a machine or device.
  • Nano (n)
    A prefix utilized in the metric system of measurement that denotes 10 to the negative 9 power (10-9 ) or 0.000 000 001; 0.1 Angstroms; symbol is n.
  • Nanometer (nm)
    A standard unit of distance used in measuring wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum (equal to 10-9 meter or 10 angstroms); one billionth of a meter.
  • Nanosecond
    One billionth of a second.
  • Nanotechnology
    A complicated manufacturing process used to impart various high performance properties directly into the fiber, so that it will be inherent and not wash or wear out.
  • Nap
    The soft or fuzzy surface of a brushed fabric or leather.
  • Naphtha
    An aliphatic low KB hydrocarbon solvent; any of several volatile hydrocarbon liquids derived chiefly from coal tar, used as a solvent.
  • Naphthenate driers
    Compounds of naphthenic acid with metals, usually cobalt or manganese, used to accelerate oxidation of an ink film.
  • Narcosis
    General anesthesia, or loss of feeling due to exposure to certain chemical vapors, may be accompanied by loss of consciousness.
  • National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS)
    A set of maximum concentration levels for air pollutants established by the 1970 US Clean Air Act; particulate matter, sulfur oxides, carbon monoxide, photochemical oxidants, hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides are among the substances regulated.
  • National Electric Code (NEC)
    Electrical safety code adopted in the United States.
  • National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA)
    Develops product standards and participates in developing US National Electric Code and US National Electric Safety Code.
  • National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
    Disseminates, develops, and publishes fire safety standards in the United States.
  • National Paint and Coatings Association (NPCA)
    Association of manufacturers (US) of paint and chemical coating equipment and supplies.
  • Native files
    Original computer files in their original application form for digital graphic or publication.
  • Natural aging
    A change, if any, in a material occurring when the material is exposed to normal environmental conditions.
  • Natural fiber
    Any fiber of vegetable or animal origin.
  • NCR
    Acceptable acronym for no-carbon required paper.
  • NDT
    Acceptable acronym for nondestructive testing.
  • Neck lock
    A display lock used in the setup of rectangular parts.
  • Neck ring
    A metal mold part that forms the finish of a hollow glass article.
  • Necking
    Local reduction of a cross-sectional area of a tensile specimen that may occur during loading.
  • Needle
    Slender piece of steel with a point, ball, taper or other shape on one end with a nearby hole or eye for thread used in machine sewing of fabrics.