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Lustre-Cal is committed to ensuring the success of every project. That’s why we provide extensive engineering support, including white papers and bulletins. And to make things even easier, we’ve built a knowledge base of information to help you find solutions to common challenges.

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GLOSSARY

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GLOSSARY

Go directly to a letter by clicking below:
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

 

ABRASION RESISTANCE

The resistance of rubbing or wearing away by friction of a label surface, including its own materials, the printing or any protective coatings that might be present.

ACCELERATED AGING

Procedures for subjecting pressure- sensitive label stock to special environmental conditions in order to predict the course of natural aging.

ACETATE

A plastic synthesized from cellulose dissolved in acetic acid which exhibits rigidity, dimension stability, and ink receptivity.

ACRYLIC ADHESIVE

Pressure-sensitive adhesive based on high-strength acrylic polymers. Can be coated as a solvent or emulsion system.

ADHESION

A steady or firm attachment established on contact between two surfaces.

ADHESIVE

Glue type substance that enables a substrate to adhere to a surface.

ADHESIVE TRANSFER TAPE

Rolls of pressure sensitive adhesive pre-applied to a special release liner. For application, the tape is simply pressed adhesive side down to a surface and the release liner is peeled off. There are many types of adhesives available, applications vary, and the correct adhesive transfer tape needs to be selected appropriately.

ALUMINUM

A pliable, lightweight metal that has good electrical and thermal conductivity, high reflectivity, and resistance to oxidation.

ANODIZE

The controlled oxidation of aluminum using an electro-chemical process to create a porous surface that is receptive to color dying.

ALUMINUM PRINT INKS (ANODIZED INKS)

Screenable dyes for structured color printing of anodized and unsealed aluminum.

ANODIZED SERIALIZING

To serialize with numbering machines using ink and powder prior to the etch process; therefore the numbers are anodized. (See Anodized)

ASCENDER

The part of a lower case letter, which rises above the main body, as in "b".

BACKGROUND

An internal designation for a label that has most of the color on the background and the wording is aluminum.

BACKLIGHTING

The process of applying light to the backside of a LCD through the use of LEDs, optical fibers, light rods or tubes.

BAR CODE

A series of lines of varying thicknesses that represent alpha or numeric information that can be read by a machine. A wide range of symbologies are available with code 39 and 128 being the most common.

BAR CODE 39

Code 39 (Code 3 of 9) is the most popular symbology for ID, inventory, and tracking purposes. The Code 39 barcode is the easiest to use of alphanumeric barcodes and is designed for character self-checking, eliminating the requirement for check character calculations. It can encode numbers 0-9, the uppercase alphabet A-Z, SPACE, and the following symbols: - . * $ / %  . Code 39 is a discrete barcode. This means that a fixed pattern of bars represents a single character. Each character is made up of 9 bars - 3 of which are wider than the others. A single character therefore consists of 5 black bars and 4 white bars.

BAR CODE 128

A denser, more compact symbology that supports the lower 128 ASCII characters. Used whenever space is at a premium. Variable length strings with a mandatory check digit. It has three variations: code set A, code set B, and code set C. The latter is numeric-only and employs simple compression. Each data character encoded in a Code 128 symbol is made up of 11 black or white modules. The stop character, however, is made up of 13 modules. Three bars and three spaces are formed out of these 11 modules. Bar and spaces can vary between 1 and 4 modules wide. The symbol includes a quiet zone (10 x-dimensions), a start character, the encoded data, a check character, the stop character, and a trailing quiet zone (10 x-dimensions).

BEZEL

A grooved rim, which holds another covering or item. Similar to a frame.

BICYCLE LICENSE TAG

A 2" x 1 1/4" anodized aluminum label with 3/16" radius corners with or without security cuts.

BLEEDS

When color continues off the edge of the label.

BUTT CUT

The labels are separated by a single cut through the substrate and do not have a removable matrix between the labels.

CALIPER

The thickness of a sheet material. The thickness is usually expressed in one thousands of an inch and in millimeters (i.e. 0.050 is expressed as 50 mils).

CAMERA READY ART

Artwork submitted in its final form on paper or film. Artwork ready to be photographed or scanned and reproduced.

CAVITY

The area on a die where blades are formed to cut. A die with 1 or more cutouts that are the same size for each label cut.

CE

CE is the mark of testing for the European Union. When the CE marking is affixed to industrial products, it symbolizes the fact that the product conforms to all set standards and that it has been subject to the conformity evaluation procedures.

CIRCUIT LAYER

An electronic path between 2 or more points in a membrane switch that is printed with a conductive ink, also referred to as a Static Layer.

CLEAR COAT (See TOP COAT)

A protective coating that is applied to the surface of the part to guard against abrasion, ultra violet (UV) exposure, chemicals, and other environmental elements. Commonly used clear coats are lacquer and spraying.

COLOR MATCHING

Using a computer to scan and analyze customer%u2019s unique colors to ensure accuracy in color reproduction in manufacturing.

CONDUCTIVE ADHESIVE

An adhesive that incorporates conductive fibers. These fibers have the ability to conduct electricity through the thickness of the adhesive and/or in the plane of the adhesive. Ideal for EMI/RFI shield and EMI/RFI gasket attachment.

CONDUCTIVE INK

Inks that have the ability to generate and conduct electricity. These inks are used most commonly in membrane switch technology via printed circuit boards.

CONVERTING

The process of taking a material or adhesive and altering it from one form to another.

COPY

The text on the label.

CSA

Canadian Standards Association symbol. Mandates approval of label content, material, and adhesive. (Lustre-Cal is a CSA approved label maker and places a pyramid on all labels with CSA symbols).

CUT OUTS

The spaces or holes designated in the label. This material is punched and removed during the manufacturing process.

DPI

Dots per inch. A measurement used to determine the dot resolution in graphic images. Not to be confused with LPI (lines per inch).

DWG/SKETCH

Dwg, an engineered detailed drawing with an identification number, such as a part number (p/n) or drawing number (dwg#) not meant to be used as art- meant to be used as a guideline for art creation. Sketches are not meant to be used as art. They are meant to be used as a guideline for art creation.

DAMPER

The use of a variety of materials to deaden or damp a vibration.

DEAD FRONT

An overlay LED type window, text, or graphic that is unnoticeable unless backlit.

DEBOSS

A process of forming a portion of the substrate to go below the normal level of the substrate.

DENSITY

The degree of darkness (light absorption or opacity) of a photographic image.

DESCENDER

The part of a lower case letter, which extends below the main body, as in "p".

DESTRUCTIBLE LABEL (See Tamper Evident)

See Tamper Evident

DIE CUTTING

When parts are cut into individual pieces using a steel rule die. Sharp steel rule dies are formed to desired shape in a wooden carrier for cutting labels. A die may be one or more "up" (one cavity or more). Common knife refers to a multiple-up die with a kiss cut or a single knife cut to the release liner between labels, known at Lustre-Cal as a strip die. The other basic format is a multiple die with space between cavities, known at Lustre-Cal as an individual units die. The space between cavities allows for cutting down to individual units. A single cavity die is an individual units die.

DIE GUIDE

A guide around a label that assists with positioning of die and /or keeping art to edge tolerances.

DIE IMPRESSION

A piece of material that has been cut with a die, but not cut all the way through.

DIE STAMPED SERIAL NUMBERS

The process a embossing numbers that are engraved into copper or steel plates.

DIFFUSION DITHER

Image of random dots of consistent size as opposed to a conventional screen, which consists of dots of varying size.

DOMES

Metal domes or formed polyester domes are used to provide a tactile response to the keys on a membrane switch. These domes can vary in height depending on the degree of tactility required.

DOUBLE COATED

A tape that has adhesive on two sides of the material.

ELECTRONIC DATA TRANSFER (EDT)

Computer-generated art sent by the customer over the internet, via modem, or disk. Refer to the <a href="pdfs/atf.pdf">Art Transfer Form</a> for acceptable transmission formats.

ELASTOMER MEMBRANE SWITCH

A membrane switch containing a silicone rubber keypad. Elastomer membrane switches have a flex static layer or rigid static layer (PCB). The simplest elastomer membrane switch is made with two layers using a decorative elastomer internally tactile over a PCB. Elastomer Membrane Switches are commonly used in remote controls and cell phones. If a silicone rubber keypad is used as the graphic layer and/or membrane layer, it would fall in this category.

ELECTRO-LUMINESCENCE (EL)

Electro-luminescent displays offer the thinnest profile of any color flat panel technology. This technology is commonly used in the illumination of watches, mobile phones, or any equipment that needs to be read in a low light environment. EL displays consist of an upper and lower substrate and upper and lower electrodes sandwiching a material, which will give off light when high frequency voltage is applied.

ELECTROMAGNETIC COMPATIBILITY (EMC)

The ability of a device or system to function without error in its intended electromagnetic environment.

ELECTROMAGNETIC INTERFERENCE (EMI)

Electromagnetic emissions from a device or system that interfere with the normal operation of another device or system.

EMBOSS

A process of forming a portion of the substrate to rise above the normal level of the substrate. An example is a button or a raised logo.

EMULSION

Photosensitive coating on one side of graphics film or paper.

END TAB (See PULL TABS)

A pull-tab on only one side of a label.

ETCHING

To produce a pattern or design on a hard material by eating into the material's surface.

FACE STOCK

Any substrate (aluminum, polyesters, polycarbonates, vinyls, papers, etc.) bonded to an adhesive and a release liner to become a pressure sensitive label.

FADE

Using color in a gradient (a gradual decrease of color) fashion as a graphic design element.

FAN FOLD

Creating a continuous strip of labels that are perforated in regular increments.

FIBER OPTICS

Thin transparent fibers of glass or plastic that are enclosed by material of a lower index of refraction and that transmit light throughout their length by internal reflections.

FOUR COLOR PROCESS PRINTING

A printing method that involves separating full-color images into four different halftones - cyan, magenta, yellow, and black- to print and reproduce full color images with infinite number of colors. The optical blending of these colored dots recreates a continuous tone image.

FILM

Photosensitive material which reproduces an image.

FLOOD COAT

The application of ink to an entire surface. Bypassing an art stencil, so the substrate is "flooded" with ink. Commonly used to accomplish solid backgrounds and opacity.

FLUSH LEFT (OR RIGHT)

In composition, type set to line up at the left (or right).

FOIL

Another name for thin gauge aluminum (see Aluminum).

FROSTED

The surface of the substrate is slightly roughened to create a finish that is textured with a matte appearance. This finish is commonly used with metal and glass surfaces.

GASKET

A component produced to make a joint fluid-tight. Commonly manufactured from rubber.

GAUGE

The thickness of a material.

GLOSS

A finished surface that has a mirror-type appearance.

GRAIN DIRECTION

The arrangement of a pattern on the material.

HALF TONES

The reproduction of a continuous-tone artwork- such as a photograph, converting the image into dots of various sizes and densities to recreate the detail of the original image. Used in 4-color process.

HARD COAT TEXTURE

An abrasion resistant coat applied to a substrate (typically polycarbonates and polyesters by the manufacturer. This texture can also be screened using UV inks.

HARD COPY

The permanent visual record of artwork or graphics (i.e. a fax, photocopy, or an original)

HEAVY GAUGE FOIL

Aluminum foil greater than .008" thick (8 mils).

HOT STAMP

The printing method that involves a film carrying a thin layer of color that is transferred via heat and pressure to a substrate.

HUMAN READABLE

The numbers below a bar code that are readable by an individual.

INDIVIDUAL UNITS SUPPLIED

Supplied in a single label format.

INJECTION MOLDING

A method of forming articles (such as plastic) by heating the molding material until it can flow and injecting it into a mold

INSERT-MOLD DECORATING (IMD)

A complex technology of second surface printing, forming, and molding of a decorated film, which becomes an integral part of the final molded product.

JUSTIFY

In composition, to space out lines uniformly to correct length to fill a specified area.

KERNING

In typesetting, subtracting or adding space between two characters, making them closer together or further apart.

KEYLINE

In artwork, an outline drawing of finished art to indicate the exact shape and design.

KISS CUT

Cutting through the face stock of pressure sensitive material but not cutting through the liner.

LABEL

The combination of a substrate and an adhesive to form a pressure sensitive part that can be uniquely printed and shaped into a unlimited number of designs

LAMINANT

A thin film is applied to the surface of a label. This film is applied to protect the surface and/or for aesthetic purposes.

LASER CUT

Lasers are commonly use to produce prototype or first articles. These parts are individually cut using laser equipment.

LEXAN

A GE trademarked material, made of polycarbonate. A non-metallic material that comes in different thicknesses and textures. Refer to the Materials Selection Guide for details.

LIGHT EMITTING DIODE (LED)

Special diodes that emit light when connected in a circuit. The LED consists of two wires that have been encapsulated in a small amount of plastic. Between these two wires are two pieces of semi-conductor. When electricity is applied through one of the pieces of wire, it travels up the wire through the one piece of semi-conductor and "jumps" to the other side. When it "jumps", it emits a tiny photon of light. Different semi-conductors produce different colors.

LED WINDOWS

A area on a panel overlay that is transparent or semi-transparent for viewing the light from a LED.

LINES PER INCH (LPI)

The number of lines per inch measures the fineness of a halftone screen. The more lines per inch, the more detailed the printed image.

LOGO

A distinctive identifying symbol. Example, McDonald%u2019s golden arches.

MACHINE READABLE

Information is directly usable by a computer.

MATRIX

The area of substrate surrounding die cut labels, which is discardable upon use of the label.

MATTE

A satin or flat finish on the surface of a label.

MELINEX

A non-metallic material derived from polyester.

MEMBRANE SWITCH

A momentary switch device in which at least one contact is on, or made of, a flexible substrate. As a momentary switch, it must contain a Membrane Layer and a Static Layer. Other layers for decoration, backlighting, adhesive, tactile response and rigid support are all optional.

MICROMETER

A caliper for making precise measurements that has a spindle moved by a finely threaded screw

MIL STANDARDS

A government specification that requires the label supplier to meet specific criteria.

MIRROR IMAGE (See REVERSE PRINTING)

Referring to serializing.

MYLAR

A non-metallic material derived from polyester.

NAMEPLATE

A custom identification product that bears the identification of an organization. For example, a company name and logo.

NEGATIVE (NEG.)

A reverse film image.

NON-METALLIC

Any material that lacks the characteristics of a metal.

OPAQUE INK

A dense ink that blocks the passage of light when applied.

OPTICALLY CLEAR ADHESIVE

An adhesive specifically designed for applications requiring an optically clear laminating adhesive. These highly specialized free-film adhesives offer exceptional clarity and adhesion capabilities for use in touch screen displays and other applications requiring an optically clear bond.

PART NUMBER (P/N)

The number assigned by the customer to represent a particular label.

PANEL OVERLAY

A decorated film that is placed on a component for graphic enhancement and for functional purposes. Multiple finishes (shiny, gloss, matte, frosted, textured) are available. Incorporated LEDs, optical fiber devices, cut outs, selective adhesives, windows, shielding or membrane switch technology.

PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM? (PMS)

Based on a color swatch book system that gives printers recipes for how to mix inks to match the colors shown, Pantone is the most widely used ink color matching system in America.

PEEL ADHESION

The force required to remove a strip of pressure- sensitive material, usually 1" wide, from a stainless steel surface at a fixed rate of removal (one test uses 12" per minute). Peel adhesion can be measured at 90 degrees or 180 degrees from the surface.

PERFORATED

To make a line of holes for purposes of easing the separating of two or more items.

PIN FEED

Holes along two edges of a strip of labels for purposes of feeding through a printer.

POSITIVE (POS.)

A positive image.

POLYCARBONATE

A highly durable substrate that is resistant to heat, lightweight and has good electrical properties. It is resistant to mineral acids, organic acids, grease, and oils. Meets MILP-46144 specifications.

POLYESTER

A durable substrate that is resilient to moisture, solvents, oils, and chemicals. It is available as clear or white material and with a metallized finish.

PREFIX

Letters or numbers that come before a serial number sequence.

PREPRESS

In graphics, all production up to the point of plate burning.

PRESSURE SENSITIVE (P/S)

Material that already has adhesive applied to it.

PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD (PCB)

The PCB is the static layer that also doubles as the rigid layer of a membrane switch.

PRODUCTION STRIPS

Several labels, one after another, on a strip. The strips can be produced horizontally or vertically.

PROOF

Copy of the art sent to the customer for approval before the job goes into production.

PROPERTY ID LABEL (PROP. TAG)

Identification / asset labels that attach to physical property: computers, printers, electronic devices, machinery, desks, chairs, tables, etc. Most labels are produced using anodized aluminum that is etch to create text and graphics that are impossible to scratch or wear off. Many Property ID Labels incorporate serializing or bar coding. Destructible and tamper evident labels are available. Common sizes include 1 1/2" x 3/4" or 2" x 3/4", with 1/8" radius corners.

PROTOTYPE

A first production unit designed at full-scale, not meant for use in production. Usually produced for sign off and costing purposes.

PULL TAB

An area around a label that is free of adhesive for ease of application to a surface.

RADIUS CORNERS

Rounded corners. Measurement from the center of a diameter to its circumference.

REGISTER

Means of printing a composition of more than one color, in order that the second and all succeeding colors are printed in the desired location with each color in alignment with all others.

REGISTER MARKS

Crosses or other image devices used for positioning graphics in perfect register or for color register of two or more colors in printing.

RELEASE LINER

A silicone coated liner that adhered to the adhesive. This liner is removed when the label is ready for application.

ROLL LABEL

Labels produced and distributed in a roll format.

SAMPLE

Example for reference.

SATIN (See MATTE)

See MATTE

SCALE (See CALIPER)

A ruler measuring in .01" increments.

SCORING

Marking the substrate with lines, grooves, or notches for bending or contouring purposes.

SCREENABLE ADHESIVE

The process of screen-printing the adhesive onto the component or part that requires selective adhesive.

SCREEN ANGLE

Angle of the rows of dots in a screen tint or half tone.

SCREEN PRINTING

The process of using a porous mesh screen with an ink-resistant image on its surface as a template to transfer ink to substrates. The type of material used to make a screen depends on the substrate being used as well as the desired appearance of the product. Non-image areas of the screen must be blocked and image areas open to allow ink to pass through to the substrate

SCREEN TINT

Reducing ink coverage by printing an area of consistent sized dots to achieve a lighter shade without printing a second color.

SEAMS

A line, groove, or ridge formed by the joining of edges. A seam can be a weak or vulnerable area, especially for EMI considerations.

SECURITY CUTS

Semicircle cuts in the interior of a label which prevents the label from being pulled off in one piece.

SELECTIVE ADHESIVE

An adhesive that is die-cut from roll or sheet stock and then hand applied to select areas of the printed substrate or an adhesive that is screen printed directly onto the substrate in select areas.

SELECTIVE TEXTURE

A screen-printing process that applies a coating to only select areas of the surface of the substrate. This process allows for the protection from chemical attack, it can improve the light distribution of a LED, and it can protect the surface of an overlay from scratches. Selective texture coatings are available in fine or coarse finishes.

SERIALIZE

A stamping procedure that debosses numbers onto a property ID label or other identification labels. The number process is sequential and can vary in size depending on the requirements.

SHEAR ADHESION

The force required to pull a pressure sensitive material from a standard flat surface in a direction parallel to the surface to which it has been affixed. Expressed as the time required for a 1" square sample to slide off a metal panel when pulled by a specific weight.

SHIELDING

Shielding consists of placing a conductive material between the source and the receiver to solve the issue of electromagnetic or radio frequency interference going in or out of the circuits.

SHELF LIFE

The length of time a product can be stored, under specific conditions, before the product expires. Each product varies depending on the material, adhesive, and printing process (check with Production for specifics).

SHINY (See GLOSS)

See GLOSS

SPACER

A material used in separating electronic switches to prevent signal interference. This material also holds domes in place, protects conductive leads, and can be used as a substrate for membrane switch circuitry. A commonly used material is polyester with a single or double coat adhesive. These materials are tested for UV and chemical resistance.

SPECIFICATIONS (SPECS.)

The details of a part: dimensions, material call outs, type style, size information, etc.

STATIC CLING

A vinyl label that adheres to particular surfaces via the static electricity created between the surfaces. The vinyl is available in white and clear.

STANDARD COLORS

Stock screen-printing colors.

STATIC LAYER (See CIRCUIT LAYER)

See CIRCUIT LAYER

STEP

The measurement from one label to the next on the sheet.

STEP AND REPEAT

A technique of repeating a single image to obtain multiple exposures of the same design on a single sheet of film.

SUBSTRATE

The base material (aluminum, polycarbonate, polyester, vinyl, etc.) being used to produce the final part. The pressure sensitive adhesive is applied to this material.

SUBSURFACE PRINTING

Screen printing text or graphics on the underside of a substrate. This surface is protected when the label is applied, therefore, preventing the ink from ever being scratched or worn off.

SUFFIX

Number or letter that comes after a serial sequence.

SURFACE PRINTING

Printing that puts ink on the top of the substrate. Viewed from the printed side.

TACK ADHESION

Quick adhesion, sometimes called "grab" or "finger tack". It is the feeling of stickiness obtained when the surface of an adhesive is touched or when a label is applied to a surface and quickly pulled away.

TACTILE MEMBRANE SWITCH

A membrane switch that incorporates metal, formed polyester, or elastomer domes to create a physical touch response when pressed.

TAMPER EVIDENT

A pressure sensitive label that is impossible to remove without physical evidence or destruction.

TAPE

A pressure sensitive material that has adhesive on one or both sides (See DOUBLE COATED).

TEXTURE

A screen-printing process that applies a coating to the surface of the substrate. The coatings are available in fine or coarse finishes. This process allows for the protection from chemical attack, it can improve the light distribution of a LED, and it can protect the surface of an overlay from scratches.

THERMOFORMING

A term for the process of producing plastic parts from a flat sheet of plastic under high temperature and pressure. This technology offers close tolerances and sharp detail.

TIMES UP

The number of labels that can be produced on a sheet of material.

TOLERANCE

The specification of allowable deviation from exact original (measurable) specifications. Lustre-Cal standard tolerance is  /-.015.

TOP COAT

A protective coating that is applied to the surface of the part to guard against abrasion, ultra violet (UV) exposure, chemicals, and other environmental elements. Varnishes and lacquers are commonly used for this purpose.

TRANSPARENT INK

Translucent inks commonly used in panel overlay windows or in areas of a label that need to be see-through.

TRAPPING

In prepress, refers to how much overprinting colors overlap to eliminate "white" lines between colors in printing.

TRIM MARKS

Marks placed on a label to indicate the area to be trimmed after the printing is completed.

TYPEWRITER STRIPS

A vertical strip of labels with a tab at the bottom. This allows the label to be fed thru a typewriter.

UL SYMBOL

An Underwriters Laboratory symbol indicating approval of a label material, adhesive and fabrication of process.

ULTIMATE ADHESION

The maximum bond established between a product and the surface to which is adhered. The time required to reach ultimate adhesion varies with the adhesive, but is usually in the range of 72-96 hours.

UNIT

Number of pieces, quantity.

ULTRAVIOLET (UV) CURING

The technology of curing/drying inks by exposing them to high intensity ultraviolet light.

UV HARD COAT (See HARD COAT)

See HARD COAT

ULTRAVIOLET (UV) INKS

VOC-free inks that cured with ultraviolet (UV) energy.

V-0 FIRE RATED

A rating set up by the government requiring materials to have burn stop within 10 seconds on a vertical specimen; no drips allowed.

VHB TAPE

Very High Bond tape has replaced many mechanical fasteners due to its strong adhesion properties. The tape evenly distributes the stress weight across the adhesive surface versus a mechanical fastener that carries the stress at the connection points. The tape allows for the use of a thinner, lighter-weight material with less material fatigue.

VINYL

Vinyl is cost effective and highly versatile. Vinyl is strong, durable, abrasion and moisture resistant; withstands rust and corrosion; is electrically non-conductive and has excellent fire performance properties. Vinyl can be produced in almost any color, with products ranging from opaque to crystal-clear.

VINYL CLAD

A vinyl coating on an aluminum product.

WINDOWS

Commonly used in panel overlays for purposes of viewing displays located behind the overlay.

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