Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations

180º Peel

    the force needed to initiate and continue the peel of the material from a substrate when measured at an angle of 180º, or a straight line back. Our values are typically provided from our suppliers and are tested with a polyester face stock, 1mil adhesive, on stainless steel.


    glue backing of a face stock used to adhere the label to a surface. Learn More

Aggressive Adhesive

    high-tack adhesive, refers to a type of adhesive that possesses exceptional bonding strength and quick adhesion properties. Learn More


    abbr. of Biaxially Oriented Polypropylene, Known for their high clarity, excellent tensile strength, dimensional stability, and moisture resistance.


    abbr. of Bright


    abbr. of Coated One Side


    abbr. of Coated Two Sides


    abbr. of Computer Imprintable, a material requiring specialized printers, software, and digital design files to transfer images, text, or graphics.


    abbr. of Clear


    a multi-layered material consisting of a combination of different materials, e.g., a face stock, adhesive, and liner combined in layers make up a material construction. Learn More


    the process of transforming label stock into finished labels through printing, die-cutting, laminating, and finishing.

Die Cutting

    using a manufactured die, or piece of specialized metal, to cut, form, and shear a specific custom shape or design from a piece of material.

Dry Edge

    a determined width on the edge of the material in which the face stock has no adhesive.


    abbr. for Direct Thermal


    abbr. for Electronic Data Processing, a high-value uncoated face stock for smudgeproof and high impact printing

Face Stock

    the visible, printable surface of the label. Learn More

Full Gum

    when a construction has adhesive from edge to edge.


    abbr. for Heavy Coat Weight, used in product IDs to differentiate between products with the same components when one has more adhesive. “HCW” does not necessarily indicate the exact amount of adhesive.


    abbr. for High Density Polyethylene, a polyethylene thermoplastic made from petroleum- a Type 2 plastic

Heavy Coat Weights

    a relative term. Heavy coat weight products contain more adhesive. We use 0.7mil as a general industry standard.

Hot-Melt Adhesive

    generally, 100% solid formulations based on thermoplastic polymers- no water or solvents are involved. They are ‘activated’ upon heating beyond their softening point.


    in reference to the brand or materials generally accepted for use by the brand.

HSE Plastics

    abbr. for High Surface Energy Plastics, they have surface molecules with high energy levels. HSE Plastics are easier to bond with and require less aggressive adhesives than LSE Plastics.

Label Stock

    manufactured constructions that are to be sent to a converter for label production.


    a carrier for the label during converting and application. It is typically made of paper or film and is coated with a releasing agent to facilitate easy label removal during application. Learn More

LSE Plastics

    abbr. for Low Surface Energy Plastics, they have surface molecules with low energy levels. LSE Plastics are more difficult to bond with and require a more aggressive adhesive than HSE Plastics.


    abbr. for laser, referring to laser printability


    unit of measurement to express the thickness of a material. It is equal to 1/1000th of an inch (0.001 inch or .0254 millimeter).

Min Application Temperature

    the minimum surface temperature of a substrate recommended for label application.


    abbr. for Minimum Order Quantity, or the smallest amount of a specific material one can order


    the adhesive that seeps out the side of the material most often during converting.


    films that cover the face stock. They offer protection to the printed surface. Learn More

Pattern Coating

    the application of an adhesive onto pressure sensitive label stock where the adhesive is arranged into a pattern of strips so that the adhesive layer alternates between strips of adhesive and “blank” spaces with no adhesive.


    abbr. for PiggyBack, a special construction that contains a removable top face stock over another face stock.


    abbr. for Polyethylene, the most common and inexpensive labeling material.


    abbr. for Polyester, labeling material that provides protection against moisture, chemicals, scuffing, and extreme temperatures. Polyester materials are widely used for durable labels that need to last.


    abbr. for Pounds per Linear Inch, the total force (in pounds) on the web in the machine direction (MD) divided by the width (in inches) of the web.


    abbr. for Polypropylene, more durable than most labels and are tear-proof and waterproof. It is also resistant to fading and discoloration


    Material that offers press-friendly converting has some combination of easy printability, an easy release liner, excellent die-cutting and matrix stripping capabilities, and little to no oozing of the adhesive.

Pressure-Sensitive (PS)

    a type of adhesive that forms an instant bond when pressure is applied to its surface. Learn More

Roll Label Stock

    label stock that is on a roll

RT Loop Tack

    used to measure the tack force / strength of a pressure sensitive adhesive at room temperature, according to ASTM D6195.


    abbr. for Shear Adhesion Failure Temperature, the SAFT instrument is used to test hot-fail temperature in shear of hot melt adhesives. Weights are attached to shear samples and the temperature is increased at a controlled rate. SAFT is the temperature at which the adhesive fails.

Service Range

    the range of temperature in which has tested positive results for the label to remain on the application.

Shrink Film

    a clear material that conforms to a container when adding heat.


    in label manufacturing, substrate refers to the surface onto which the label is being applied. In label printing, substrate refers to the surface that is to be printed, or the face stock.

Synthetic Material

    a material resulting from synthesis rather than occurring naturally.


    typically thicker and more durable compared to standard labels, making them suitable for applications that require extra strength and resilience. Tag can either have or not have adhesive.


    abbr. for Top Coat, an additional layer added to a face stock to allow for print receptivity


    abbr. for Tamper Evident, a tamper evident face stock either delaminates easily or leaves behind a special marking when a label is removed. Having one or more indicators or barriers to entry which, if breached or missing, can reasonably be expected to provide visible evidence to consumers that tampering has occurred.


    abbr. for Thermal Transfer


    abbr. for Water-Based Ink Jet


    abbr. for White


    abbr. for Wet Strength, indicating a paper face stock has properties for enhanced performance when subjected to water.