Countries / Territories

Packaging - Glossary - T

  • Packaging Processes

      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  

    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.

  • T


    A small projecting area on a package to assist in the removal of a lid or in the separation of parts.


    In adhesives, an indication of stickiness. The degree of tackiness is estimated as the resistance provided by an ink or adhesive trapped between two surfaces, to the separation of those surfaces.


    A form of liner usually of glassine that is applied over and bonded to a waxed under-liner. When cap is removed from glass, the tacseal liner adheres to the glass lip as a security-type liner.

    Tag (electronic)

    The transmitter/receiver pair or transceiver plus the information storage mechanism attached to an object/its package is referred to as the tag, but also as the transponder, electronic label, code plate and various other terms. Although 'transponder' is technically the most accurate term, 'tag' is more commonly used and is preferred by the automatic identification equipment makers.

    Tamper-evident/resistant closure

    A sealed closing device for a package that cannot be opened without showing evidence of opening and so is resistant to tampering. May take the form of a tape, overwrap, detachable ring, sealed diaphragm, etc. Incorrectly called “tamper-proof” as such seals cannot guarantee the avoidance of tampering.


    A term loosely and incorrect­ly used for tamper-resistant or tamper-evident features of a package.

    Tape dispenser

    A machine, either manually or electrically operated, which delivers lengths of moistened or otherwise activated sealing tape.

    Tar paper

    See: Bitumen.

    Tare weight

    The weight of an empty container or package. The weight of the contents is described as the net weight, and the combined weight of both container and contents is the gross weight.

    Tear strength

    The force required to tear apart a material specimen under defined, standard conditions. See also: Elmendorf test (tear test).

    Tear tape (strip)

    A thin strong tape or narrow ribbon of film or cord incorporated into the package which, when pulled, enables a package to be opened without the use of a knife or other tools.

    Telescopic carton

    A box composed of two similarly shaped tray sections, one forming the base and the other, the lid. The lid is slightly larger so that it either fully or partially overlaps the sides of the base.

    Tensile strength

    The maximum tensile stress which can be borne by a specimen of a material before rupture under prescribed conditions. Usually expressed as force per unit width of the specimen.


    1.   The stress caused by a force operating to extend, stretch or pull apart an object.

    2.   The tightness of a material web as it passes through a converting machine.

    Tension decay

    In plastic films or strapping, the loss of tension on a rigid load is called ten­sion decay. This stress relaxation under constant strain is due to gradual elastic deformation of the material.

    Tertiary packaging

    All forms of distribution packaging, containing primary and secondary packaging.


    1.   (Noun) A method of measuring or evaluating various properties of a material or a package.

    2.   (Verb) To investigate the performance or quality of a product or material by defined methods.

    Test shipment

    The trial transport of filled packages under closely monitored conditions to determine their distribution performance.

    Tetrahedral package

    A paperboard package with four faces in a tetrahedron shape. It is normally formed, filled and sealed on a special-purpose machine from a single roll of material.

    Thermal expansion

    The enlargement of a material or product under the influence of heat.

    Thermal Stress Cracking

    Crazing and cracking of some thermoplastic resins which result from over-exposure to elevated temperatures.


    A forming process for thermoplastic sheets in which the material is heated to its softening point and then made to conform to the shape of a mould by means of pressure, vacuum or both.


    Plastics which can be repeatedly softened when exposed to heat and which harden again when cooled. See also: Plastics.


    Plastics which set into permanent shape when processed under heat and pressure and do not soften upon reapplication of heat. See also: Plastics.


    1.   The spiral, raised form around the neck or aperture of a rigid package, or the finish of a bottle or jar to guide and secure the closure, whose inner surface has a complementary form which interlocks with that on the container as the closure is turned.

    2.   A thin usually textile cord generally used to sew materials together.

    Three-piece can

    The commonest type of metal can, made of three main components; a side-seamed body and two separate ends. Usually delivered to the canner with one end already double seamed to the body.

    Thumb cut

    A semi-circular cut-out at the top of paper bags to facilitate opening. In paperboard cartons, a semi-circular perforated area usually at the top of a side wall, which can be punched out by the thumb to allow opening of the package.


    (1) (Noun) A metal with high corrosion resistance, traditionally used as a protective layer on steels.

    (2) Popular term for a metal can.

    (3) (Verb) To apply tin to a surface.

    Tin-free steel (TFS)

    A raw material for metal cans. Cold-reduced steel sheet made corrosion resistant by a very thin coating of chromium phosphate, chromium /chromium oxide or aluminium.

    Tin plate

    A raw material for metal cans. Cold-reduced low carbon sheet, protected by coating on both sides with a very thin layer of tin.


    Generic term for any type of lightweight paper, usually less than 30 g/m2.

    Tonal scale

    Chart of tonal variations used to measure degrees of lightness/darkness in a printed image.

    Tone Value

    Measure of the optical impression of a screened area, stated as a percentage, where the unprinted surface represents a tone value of 0 % and the solid tone surface a value of 100%. The tone value represents the ratio (in percent) of the halftone dots area to the entire area.

    Top Load

    The weight bearing on the top of a container. The term is sometimes used to indicate the maximum load the container will bear without becoming distorted.

    Torque - application, removal and stripping

    Application torque is the rotational force with which a threaded closure is applied to a container finish during capping. It should be sufficient to ensures seal integrity and tightness between bottle and closure. Similarly, removal torque is the force required to loosen the closure and stripping torque is the force required to override the closure on the container screw threads, thus destroying the seal.

    Torque tester

    A meter used for measuring torque required to remove lug caps, screw caps, or twist-off crowns. Can also be used to apply caps to a  predeter­mined suitable level of tightness and to determine the torque that would cause the cap to override and fail.


    (in the distribution sense) The ability to trace the history, application, or location of an item during its distribution by means of continuously  recorded identification and location systems.

    (in the calibration sense) The ability to trace and check the calibration of measuring equipment to a recognized primary standard, or to basic physicaI constants or properties, usualIy through calibrations to in­termediate standards.

    Trade name

    A name or term which is copyrighted and identifies the pro­ducts of a particular company or organization and appears on its products and packaging.

    Transfer bead

    A projecting bead on the outer surface of some glass and plastic containers, usually just below the finish, to provide a grip for the jaws of handling devices during.


    Permitting passage of light but diffusing it so that objects cannot be seen clearly through the material.


    Transmitting rays of light without detectable interruption, so that objects can be clearly seen through the material or object concerned.

    Transport package

    An outer package used for transporting, shipping and warehousing goods. It may need to be fastened or secured on a pallet or in a container but requires no additional protection. See also: Shipper.


    A  printed area that is surrounded by an area of a different print colour; normally designed to to achieve a slight overlap or undercutting of the two areas, the trapping allowance.

    Trapping allowance

    Minute overlapping of printed areas so that slight variations of print register should not give rise to ‘white space’ - unprinted areas - between the print.


    Usually a shallow open-topped container made of wood, paper board, metal or plastic. As a returnable package, it often used to deliver, for example, baked goods. As a one-way item, the tray is packed inside a carton or serves as a component of packages overwrapped in transparent film. Items packed in trays include meat and dairy products.


    (l) (noun) Paper or cloth used to strengthen or form decorative covering for the edges of base, lid or extension edges on set-up paper or paperboard boxes. (2) (verb) To apply trim. (3) (verb) To cut away excess or imperfect material, such as uneven edges, sheet not removed in blanking operations, etc. (4) (noun) The excess material cut away by trimming operations.


    The removal of edges or segments of paper stock to bring the final print product to the desired size.

    Triplex board

    Similar to Duplex board except that outer layers on both sides are of bleached chemical pulp. Used to make folding cartons for cigarettes, cosmetics and other high value products; also used for frozen foods. See also: Duplex board.


    Brand name of a proprietary form of corrugated paperboard consisting of three fluted layers and four liners. See also: Corrugated board.


    A rigid container of metal, paperboard or plastic, usually fitted with a lid, and mainly used for packaging viscous products, i.e. butter, margarine, cheese, etc.


    A hollow cylinder. Can be extruded from metal, glass or plastic, or spiral wound from paper or paperboard (Core). Metal and plastic tubes can have flexible walls and one end may be flattened and sealed by crimping or heat sealing. May be fitted with ends or closures; the ends may be clamped, crimped or heat sealed in place. A shoulder with threaded neck for accepting a screw cap may be fitted in one end.


    Plastic film formed by extruding thermoplastics, particularly polyéthylene, through a circular die and applying compressed air inside the resulting tube to expand it to the desired dimensions.

    Tubular film

    Plastic film formed by extruding thermoplastics through a circular die and applying compressed air inside the resulting tube to expand it to the desired dimensions. Is formed as an endless tube so must be slit into two webs or cut into lengths.

    Tubular glass packs

    Containers made from preformed hollow glass tubes. The tubes are cut to the required length, and can be formed to the desired shape by means of heat and pressure, without use of a mould.


    The end portions of the top and bottom flaps of a folding carton which are inserted within the container to hold the flaps in place. Tucks can be either reverse or straight.


    A container made like a drinking glass, with straight sides or sides flaring slightly out­ward toward the opening.. Usually made of glass but also from moulded plastic; used for packing viscous products such as mustard, and for after-sale re-use.


    Thread made from two or more smaller threads twisted together and often used in sewing seams or bag closures.

    Twist-off cap

    Also called Lug cap. A robust closure system, generally of tinplate; operates on the principle of lugs engaging with a threaded finish on the container. Used only with rigid containers such as glass bottles and jars. Usually provided with a liner to ensure satisfactory sealing.


    A plastic- or paper-covered wire which acts as a closure when wound around the end of a plastic bag and its ends twisted together.

    Twist wrap

    A film wrapper closed by twisting one or both ends e.g. for sweets and candy.

    Two-piece can

    Made of either steel or aluminium. Has a body and base made by pressing from one piece of metal, with no side seams. There are two principal types, “drawn and wall ironed” (D & I), and “drawn and redrawn” (DRD).

    Two-way pallet

    A pallet which can only be entered by truck forks from two of its four sides.

    Typeset material

    Printed copy produced with some kind of composition equipment.

  • Upcoming events

    • Loading...