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Plastic Manufacturing Terminology
Ever wonder what the difference between vinyl and styrene is?
Every industry has its own terminology which can be confusing.
Here are some brief explanations of some plastic manufacturing terms.
Acrylic - Acrylic sheet is durable and versatile.  Clear, colored, or textured.  Acrylic will maintain its clarity or color even when exposed to sun, cold, heat or humidity.

Bleed - The part of a printed design that overruns the margin to be trimmed.

Color Separation - Literally separating the areas of a piece to be printed into its component spot and process ink colors.  Each color to be printed must have its own printing plate.

Coroplast - Coroplast sheet is the material of choice for today's screen printing industry.  It is tougher than corrugated fiberboard and lighter than extruded plastic sheet.  Waterproof and stain-resistant, it is ideal for outdoor applications as well as indoor.

Die Cutting - The process of using a metal edged tool to cut or shape material using a press.

Digital Printing -  Uses inkjet technology to produce short run, high quality printing on a variety of substrates.

Heat Bending - Heating the plastic to soften it and permanently bend it into a shape.

HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) - HDPE plastic sheet is excellent for printing, bending, die cutting and is the most tear resistant of the plastic sheets.

Match Color - A custom blended ink that matches a specified color exactly.  Match colors are used to copy in one,
two, three or more colors.  The specified colors are chosen from color systems.  The most widely used system is the PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM.

Offset Printing (Offset Lithography) - Currently the most common commercial printing method, in which ink is offset from the printing plate to a second roller and then to plastic sheet.

PETG (Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol) - PETG is thermoplastic sheet used in visual merchandising and engineering applications.  It can be easily printed, formed, die cut and heat bent.

Plate - Brief for printing plate.  A plate in generally a thin sheet of metal that carries one color of the printed image. The plate surface is treated or configured so that only the printing image is ink receptive.

PMS Color (Pantone Matching System) - The Pantone Matching System is a color reproduction standard in which colors all across the spectrum are each identified by a unique independent number.  The use of PMS allows us to precisely match color consistency throughout the printing process.

Polypropylene - A plastic polymer that can be used in different applications as a printed sheet or as a laminating film.

Proof - A color representation of how the job will look on press.  The primary goal of a proof is to serve as a tool for customers to verify that the entire job is accurate.

To be continued...