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Masonry Glossary

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"A" Block - Hollow masonry unit with one end closed by a cross web and the opposite end open or lacking an end cross web (See "Open end block.")

"H" Block - Hollow masonry unit lacking cross webs at both ends forming an "H" in cross section. Used with reinforced masonry construction (See also "Open end block.")

Abrasive Finish - A flat non-reflective surface finish for marble.

Absorption - The difference in the amount of water contained within a concrete masonry unit between saturated and oven-dry conditions, expressed as weight of water per cubic foot of concrete.

Abutment - A solid stone "springer" at the lowest point of an arch or vault.

Accelerator - A liquid or powder admixture added to a cementitious paste to speed hydration and promote early strength development. An example of an accelerator material is calcium nitrite.

Adhered - Veneer secured and supported through adhesion to an approved bonding material applied over an approved backing.

Adhesive Anchor - An anchoring device that is placed in a predrilled hole and secured using a chemical compound.

Admixture - Substance other than prescribed materials of water, aggregate and cementitious materials added to concrete, mortar or grout to improve one or more chemical or physical properties.

Agate - A variegated variety of quartz showing colored bands or other markings (clouded, mosslike, etc.).

Aggregate - An inert granular or powdered material such as natural sand, manufactured sand, gravel, crushed stone, slag, fines and lightweight aggregate which, when bound together by a cementitious matrix forms concrete, grout or mortar.

Air Entraining - The capability of a material or process to develop a system of uniformly distributed microscopic air bubbles in a cementitious paste to increase the workability or durability of the resulting product. Some admixtures act as air entraining agents.

Anchors - Types of stonework include those made of flat stock (strap, cramps, dovetails, dowel, strap and dowel, and two-way anchors) and round stock (rod cramp, rod anchor, eyebolt and dowel, flat-hood wall tie and dowel, dowel and wire toggle bolts).

Angle - A structural steel section that has two legs joined at 90 degrees to one another. Used as a lintel to support masonry over openings such as doors or windows in lieu of a masonry arch or reinforced masonry lintel. Also used as a shelf to vertically support masonry veneer and sometimes referred to as a relieving angle.

Apex Stone - uppermost stone in a gable, pediment, vault or dome.

Arch - A curved stone structure resting on supports at both extremities used to sustain weight, to bridge or roof an open space.

Architrave - The member of an entablature resting on the capitals of columns and supporting the frieze.

Argillite - A compact sedimentary rock composed mainly of clay and aluminum silicate minerals.

Arkose - A sandstone containing 10% or more clastic grains of feldspar and also called arkosic sandstone, feldspathic sandstone.

Arras - A natural or applied line on the stone from which all leveling and plumbing is measured.

Ashlar - Masonry having a face of square or rectangular stones either smooth or textured.

Back Arch - A concealed arch carrying the backing of a wall where the exterior facing is carried by a lintel.

Backing - The wall or surface to which veneer is secured. The backing material may be concrete, masonry, steel framing or wood framing.

Baluster - A miniature pillar or column supporting a rail, used in balustrades.

Balustrade - An ornamental fencing consisting of a series of balusters supporting a handrail or molding.

Banker - Bench of timber or stone on which stone is shaped.

Basalt - A dense-textured (aphanitic), igneous rock relatively high in iron and magnesia minerals and relatively low in silica, generally dark grey to black, and feldspathic; a general term in contradistinction to felsite, a light-colored feldspathic and highly siliceous rock of similar texture and origin.

Beam - A structural member, typically horizontal, designed to primarily resist flexure.

Bed - The top or bottom of a joint, natural bed; surface of stone parallel to its stratification. (1) In granites and marbles, a layer or sheet of the rock mass that is horizontal, commonly curved and lenticular as developed by fractures. Sometimes applied also to the surface of parting between sheets. (2) In stratified rocks the unit layer formed by semidentation; of variable thickness, and commonly tilted or distorted by subsequent deformation; generally develops a rock cleavage, parting, or jointing along the planes of stratification.

Bedded Area - The surface area of a masonry unit that is in contact with mortar in the plane of the mortar joint.


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