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Packaging - Glossary - L

  • Packaging Processes

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    The Glossary of the International Trade Centre (ITC) on the technical terms used in the packaging sector is a database designed to provide updated information on the specific terminology used in the packaging industry. This Glossary is a tool placed at the disposal of users for information only. It is not designed to replace the appropriate professional advice in any way. Users are invited to submit their comments and observations by email to Mr. Frederic Couty, Senior Adviser, Export Packaging at the following email address: fcouty[at]intracen.org

    Select an alphabetic above to access the glossary.

  • L


    A slip of paper, film or foil to be affixed to a container. The label usually carries a graphic design and printed information about the product.


    A mechanical device for applying labels to packages. Adhesives, where used, may be applied to the package or to the label. The machine may be fully or semi-automatic.

    Label Panel

    That portion of the body of a container to which labels are affixed or decoration imprinted.


    1.Coatings of metal cans or other packaging to prevent changes of taste, discoloration and other alterations in the product. Most important types are epoxy-phenolics, acrylic, vinyl, phenolic, oleoresinous.

    2.Varnishes applied over printing to give protection to the print or to give it a gloss finish.


    The load or material packed in a shipping container or vehicle.


    1.(Noun) A product made by bonding together two or more web sheets or layers of material or materials.

    2.(Verb) To unite two or more layers or webs of material.

    Laminating methods

    1.Wet lamination — the webs are joined with solvent-based adhesive which must be dried by evaporation after joining.

    2.Dry lamination — after the adhesive has been applied and cured on the surfaces to be joined, the webs are bonded with heat and pressure.

    3.Extrusion lamination — a molten plastic resin or hot melt adhesive is extruded between the two webs and cools there, binding them together. See also: Co-extrusion.

    Lap joint

    A simple seam made by overlapping one layer over the edge of another and sealing together with adhesive, heat or other means. Lap seam or lap seal.

    Lap seam (seal)

    See: Lap joint.


    A chemical compound, usually a rubber derivative, which often serves as the base for an adhesive filler or lining; usually water borne.


    Preliminary arrangement or drawing showing rough position, sizes, colour and other details of a design.


    Any condition at the finish of the container  such that  the normal sealing device or closure will not retain the air or liquid contents.


    A glass container having a manufactur­ing variance/fault characterized by sloping bottom that causes it to lean when standing alone.


    A continuous-belt oven for the fusing of ceramic colours on to glass and the annealing of glass containers.


    A printing process where viscous ink is applied to the surface being printed, from raised inked surfaces made of metal or photopolymer.

    Letterset (dry offset)

    A printing process using flexible plates with raised plastic or resin. Ink is transferred from the raised surfaces of the plate to a printing press blanket, then to the surface to be printed.

    Lever Lock

    A method of holding a lid on a full open head drum by means of a lever-operated tightening device or ring that can be locked in closed position.


    A separate top or cover of a box or container. May be hinged or otherwise attached to the body of the container.

    Lid sealing compound

    Flowed-in pliable material which forms a rubber-like (often a latex) gasket to seal the joints of metal cans and the seal between bottles and their closures.

    Life cycle assessment (LCA)

    Ecological profiling of products and their packaging throughout their useful life, from initial production to disposal, also described as an assessment of their environmental impacts ‘from cradle to grave’.

    Light stability

    (1) A measure of the ability of a pigment, dye, or other colourant to retain its original colour and physical properties either alone or when incorporated into plastics, paints, inks and other coloured films or surfaces, upon exposure to sun or other light.

    (2) Ability of a plastic or other organic film or surface to withstand the deteriorating effect of exposure to sun or other light independently of the stability of any pigmentation it contains.

    Linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE)

    A low density resin produced by polymerization of ethylene with other alfa olefins in presence of a catalyst. Offers greater strength and ease of processing, thus giving economic advantages over conventional low density polyethylene made by the high pressure process.

    Line art

    Designs consisting only of lines and areas of solid colour.


    (1) Any lining or non-adhered lining material which separates a product within a container from the container walls.

    (2) One of the outer faces or the finished surface of laminated or coated paperboard.

    (3) In corrugated boxes, a creased sheet inserted to cover any four or more panels, resulting in double thickness walls, adding strength and other reinforcement.

    (4) A bag used inside a barrel to protect the contents from sifting, moisture and contamination.

    (5) The inner bag of a double bag.

    (6) A paperboard of high bursting strength used for making fibre drums and for the facings of fibre boxes.

    (7) In closure manufacture, a specially treated material placed inside a closure to provide a seal  that prevents leakage or deterioration of the contents.

    Liner bag

    A separate bag inserted into another package to provide special or additional protection properties e.g. greaseproofness.


    Paperboard used to line either side of the corrugated medium. Can be a kraft liner made of virgin sulphate paperboard or a test liner containing recycled waste paper fibres.

    Linerless Closure

    A one-component thermoplastic closure incorporating a sealing "fin" which, when applied to a container with the appropriate finish, seals most liquids including volatile ones.

    Liquid-holding container (LHC)

    Container laminated from combinations of aluminium foil, paper and plastic films, providing an impermeable barrier pack to contain non-pressurised beverages and liquid food, Normally supplied to packer on reels as a flattened, tubular web and formed, filled and sealed on proprietary vertical filling machine systems such as those of Combibloc and Tetrapack.


    See: offset printing.


    A package or group of packages representing one or several shipping units — a pallet load, a truck load.

    Locking Ring

    Metal closing ring around the rim of a full-removable-head container intended to retain the cover and form a seal. The ring is a circular modified "V" or "U" section channel, the ends of which are drawn together by means of a bolt and the periphery thus shortened, to develop the closure.


    An abbreviation for “logotype”. A logotype is an identification name, symbol or mark, including a trade mark or brandmark.

    Low density polyethylene (LDPE)

    Polyethylene resin having a density below 0.925 g/cm3, so-called conventional polyethylene, the most common type, having high gloss, high flexibility but relatively low performance.It is mostly used for the production of films, of coating, of molding for flexible lids, and for flexible blow loded containers.


    (1) A box, basket or other container suitable for handling or shipping fruit or vegetables; usually refers to the relatively shallow, nailed wooden box. Also lug-box.

    (2) A projection on a part or a package used for fastening or to ob­tain a fit between two parts.

    (3) A metal fasten­er used for securing the top or bottom heads of a fibre drum, steeI drum, or metal pail to the side-wall.

    (4) Extensions around the circumference of a lid which are crimped down to hold the lid securely in place against the body of the container.

    Lug cap

    A metal or plastic closure designed to be secured by engaging lugs on the neck or finish of a container e.g. twist-off caps.

    Lug Cover

    A cover for metal drum or pail, with extensions around the circumference that are bent down to hold the cover securely in place against the container body.

    Lug (Twist-off) Finish

    A glass container finish identified by intermittent horizontal, tapered ridges that permit the matching shaped lugs on the closure to slide between them and fasten securely with a partial turn.

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