Glossary of Terms used in our Website

Name Description


Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene- common resin.


Atomic symbol for Silver


Ammonium Poly Phosphate - common phosphate flame retardant also used in intumescent systems.


Amount of silver or other precious metal in a material quoted as a weight percent (wt%)


Aluminium Tri-Hydroxide (hydrate) - endothermic flame retardant.


Antimony Tri Oxide - halogen synergist.


Electrode system for blood glucose monitoring based on Ag and AgCl electrodes

Biscuit Ware

Pottery bodies after the first firing stage.

Body Stain

Colour stains added to a clay body.

Bone China

A thin and translucent china made from a body containing bone ash, china clay and Cornish stone.


The ratio of the amount of charge stored by a passive component to the potential difference applied, typically quoted in microfarads (µF)


An electronic component with two electrodes, separated by a dielectric, which stores electric charge, used for the filtering and blocking of DC current

Carbon Black

Amorphous carbon powder with a very high specific surface area

Carbon Ink

An ink that is made electrically conductive by the use of carbon as a filler


Capacitor and Resistor Technology Symposium - Global symposium for the Passive Components Industry

Ceramic Capacitor

Capacitor comprising internal interdigitated electrodes separated by ceramic dielectric layers

Coefficient of Expansion

A measure of the reversible change of volume or length of a glass or ceramic material with temperature.

Conductive Adhesives

An adhesive comprising a conductive filler, typically silver, mixed with an epoxy resin (either one or two part composition) and hardener

Conductive Coatings

A film of conductive material that is deposited by various deposition methods onto an appropriate substrate

Conductive Track

A loop or line of conductive material that is deposited by various printing methods onto an appropriate substrate


Often referred to as overprint lacquer,  printed onto glass & ceramic decals which when dried creates the vehicle by which the inks can be removed form the decal paper. Acrylic resin and plasticiser in aromatic hydrocarbon solvent.

D10, D(10), d(0.1)

Derived diameter, calculated from the PSD, below which 10 % of the sample lies

D50, D(50), d(0.5)

Derived diameter, calculated from the PSD, at which 50 % of the sample is smaller and 50 % of the sample is bigger

D90, D(90), d(0.9)

Derived diameter, calculated from the PSD, below which 90 % of the sample lies


The in-direct printing method for the production of glass or ceramic transfers.


An electrically non-conductive liquid or solid material, typically used in capacitors as an insulator between the electrodes of opposing charge (anode and cathode). The amount of charge stored on the electrode plates can be controlled by the thickness of the dielectric layer and its dielectric constant


The property of a suspension to thicken when stirred and to thin again when stirring is stopped.


Di-Iso Nonyl Phthalate - plasticiser widely used for flexible PVC.

DSC (Differential Scanning Calorimetry)

Analysis technique used to measure the energy changes in a material as a function of temperature


A moderately porous pottery formed from a body containing ball clay, china clay, flint and Cornish stone, which is fired to a temperature somewhat below that required to produce a vitreous article.


A metallic contact which either collects or emits electrons


Excess Metal Release


A fusible vitreous coating for application onto glass & ceramics at low temperatures.


A coloured coating of slip applied to a ceramic body before glazing to improve its appearance.

ESR (Equivalent Series Resistance)

Term used to describe the sum of all individual contact and path resistances in a passive component


A mixture of two or more substances which has the lowest melting point in the whole series of possible compositions.

Flexible Circuits

Circuits made on flexible substrates, typically thin polyester or polycarbonate sheet


A substance added to a material to enable it to fuse more readily, i.e. at a lower temperature (e.g. alkali oxides). This liquid or cooling forms a glass which binds the grains of the body together.


Any fused substance or mixture quenched to a glass


A thin glassy layer formed on the surface of a ceramic product by exposure of the coated article to a high temperature. Usually applied in the form of a suspension of ground glaze in water, to the clay or biscuit surface of the ware.

Glaze body Fit

Ideally the glaze should have a lower thermal expansion than the body, so that on contraction the body puts the glaze into compression. This avoids the crazing of the glaze due to tensile stresses in it

Glaze Stain

Colour added to the glaze.


Crystalline form of carbon, typically as fine flake, which is highly electrically conductive

Gravure Printing

Rotary printing method where ink is deposited from an engraved roller onto a substrate


Heat Release Rate


Ratio of magnetic flux to current in a conductor typically quoted in micro-henrys (µH)


A low to medium viscosity dispersion of a solid filler in a vehicle


The increase in volume of a material when subjected to heat.


Infra-Red - IR-Drying or IR-Curing

LOD (Loss On Drying)

The weight change in a sample when dried (at a specified temperature) due to the loss of water and volatile substances, quoted as a wt% of the initial sample weight


“Loss On Ignition” - The loss in weight of a material expressed as a percentage of its dry weight when heated under specified conditions.

Loop Resistance

Resistance measured from the start to finish of a particular conductive track or loop and quoted in ohms (Ω)


In modern pottery, a soft opaque coloured glaze, temperature approx. 900°C - 1050°c. Originally named from the island of Majorca where it was first made in the 16th century. Basically similar to Delft.


Magnesium (Di) Hydroxide (hydrate) - endothermic flame retardant.

Membrane Switches

Thin switches made from several laminations of PTF circuits


Metric unit of measurement equal to one millionth of a metre (µm)


American unit of measurement equal to one thousandth of an inch (thou) or 25.4 microns (µm)

MLC (Multi-Layer Capacitor) Array

Passive component containing multiple capacitor elements in a single case

MLCC (Multi-Layer Ceramic Capacitor)

Ceramic, passive component containing multiple layers of interdigitated electrodes

MLV (Multi-Layer Varistor) Array

Passive component containing multiple varistor elements in a single case

Moisture Expansion

The extent to which a porous ceramic material will expand in size when it absorbs water or water vapour.

NTC (Negative Temperature Coefficient) Thermistor

Ceramic, passive component that exhibits decreasing electrical resistance with increasing temperature and is used to measure temperature

Ohmic Contact

An electrical contact between interfaces where the contact resistance is independent of voltage

Ohm’s Law

Statement, true for many conducting materials such as pure metals, that the ratio of the voltage dropped across a material to the current flowing through it is constant


Over-print Lacquer - see Covercoat

Pad Printing

A silicone pad is used to draw ink from recesses on a printing plate and then pressed directly onto the product.

Passive Component

A component that consumes (but does not produce) energy


Highly viscous dispersion of a solid filler in a vehicle


Poly Ethylene - common resin.


A vitrified and translucent ware made from a body containing china clay, ball clay, quartz and feldspar which is made by one firing only.


The amount of pore space in a ceramic material, which may consist of both open and sealed channels.


Poly Propylene - common resin.


Particle Size Distribution’ - For a powder it indicates both the variety of particle sizes and the proportion of particles of each size.

PSD (Particle Size Distribution)

A mathematical distribution that describes the relative amounts (measured as a volume %) of particles present in a system (typically powder or flake), as a function of their size.

PTC (Positive Temperature

Coefficient) Inks

Resistive inks which increase in electrical resistance with applied temperature

PTC (Positive Temperature Coefficient) Thermistor

Ceramic, passive component that exhibits increasing electrical resistance with increasing temperature and is used to measure temperature

PTF (Polymer Thick Film)

Inks and pastes typically applied by screen printing, which are thermally cured to remove solvent leaving a polymer based film of material behind. Applied to polymer based substrates such as polycarbonate and polyester


Poly-Vinyl Chloride - common resin.

PZT (Lead Zirconate Titanate) Transducer

Device which can produce a small mechanical output via the piezoelectric effect


Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemical substances


The degree to which a component or conductive track resists current flow, defined as the ratio of the voltage dropped across a component or conductive track to the current flowing through it, typically quoted in ohms (Ω)


Property of a material which relates the measured resistance of a part to its geometry (cross-sectional area and length), typically quoted in (Ω.cm)


Passive component that opposes electric current in a circuit, producing a voltage drop according to Ohm’s Law

Resistor Ink

Ink containing an electrically conductive filler (typically carbon) but formulated to print tracks with a controlled resistance

RFI / EMI (Radio Frequency Interference / Electromagnetic Interference) shielding

The use of a conductive material on a casing to form a Faraday cage around electronic components

RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) Tag

Tag using a conductive loop antenna that is used to transmit data from an embedded silicon chip using radio waves


“The restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment” Directive

Screen Printing

Controlled deposition of ink through a mesh with a prescribed pattern etched onto it

Sheet resistance,

Ω/sq @ 100 g/m2

Sheet resistance of a material measured on a deposited track of known length, width and mass and normalised to a track coverage of 100 g/m2

Sheet resistance,

Ω/sq @ 25 µm

Sheet resistance of a material measured on a deposited track of known length, width and thickness and normalised to a track thickness of 25 µm


Chemical element with the symbol Ag and atomic number 47. A soft, white, lustrous transition metal, it has the highest electrical and thermal conductivity of any metal. It is typically used in photographic film, electrical contacts and conductive inks and mirrors.

Silver Flake

Physical form of silver that resembles cornflakes, typically made by mechanically milling silver powder

Silver Ink

An ink that is made electrically conductive by the use of silver as a filler

Silver Powder

Physical form of bulk silver comprising very small particles exhibiting irregular or spherical morphology, usually produced by chemical precipitation from silver nitrate


The adhesion and densification of particles of a single phase on heating.


Specific Optical Density

Solid Aluminium Organic Capacitor

Capacitor that uses aluminium foil as the anode, an oxidised aluminium layer as the dielectric, a solid polymer electrolyte and silver ink as the cathode

Solid Tantalum Capacitor

Capacitor comprising a tantalum chip as the anode, an oxidised tantalum layer as the dielectric and silver as the cathode

Solids Content

Amount of solids in an ink or paste measured as a weight per cent (wt%)

Specific Surface Area

Material property of a solid which measures total surface area per unit of mass, solid or bulk volume, or cross sectional area, which for powders and flakes it is typically quoted in m2/g


Surface Spread of Flame


Simultaneous Thermal Analysis


Metallic element that when oxidised behaves as a valve metal, capable of storing charge at the metal / oxide interface

Tap Density

The measured, packed density of a powder or flake when subjected to a specified number of taps, typically quoted in g/cm3

Termination Ink

Ink used to connect interdigitated electrodes found in a ceramic capacitor

TGA (Thermo

Gravimetric Analysis)

Analysis technique used to measure the changes in mass of a material as a function of temperature

Thermal Shock

The disruption of a ceramic article by stresses set up due to differences in temperature in different parts of the article.


A property of polymers - thermoplastic materials have well defined softening points and glass transition temperatures


Polymers that cure by applying heat, through chemical reaction or irradiation to form structures that exhibit high strength through the formation of strong cross linked bonds


Term used to describe a material where its viscosity decreases with time when subjected to a constant shear rate


The property of a suspension to continue thinning when stirred.

TMA (Thermo

Mechanical Analysis)

Analysis technique used to measure the changes in dimensions of a material as a function of temperature


Thermoplastic - a printing media that is solid at room temperature and becomes liquid when heated.


Refers to the three stain system comprising Zircon-Iron Coral, Zircon-Vanadium Turquoise & Zircon-Praseodymium Yellow.

UL94 ©

Underwriters Laboratory 94 © - common small-scale ignition test.


Any method of decoration applied before the glazing process.


Ultra-Violet - UV-Drying or UV-Curing

UV Dielectric

A UV light curable ink composition that is used for protective and insulating applications in flexible, electronic circuitry


Passive component showing properties of variable resistance relative to applied voltage


A mixture of resins, solvents, surfactants and other additives used to disperse a solid filler in an ink or paste


The resistance to flow offered by a liquid.


Measure of the resistance of a fluid material to flow under applied shear or stress, typically measured in centipoise or milli-Pascal-seconds.


As applied to ceramics, means glassy. Having extremely low or no porosity.


The progressive fusion of a material or body during the firing


The Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment Regulations

Wetting Agent

A chemical which when added to a liquid reduces its surface tension and causes the liquid to wet solid surfaces more efficiently.


Zinc Hydroxy Stannate - potential ATO replacement.

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