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Concrete Glossary

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Abrams' Law - Regarding materials, curing, and testing conditions, concrete strength is inversely related to the ratio of water to cement. Low water-to-cement ratios produce higher strengths.

Abrasive Aggregate - Aggregate is used to increase the abrasiveness of the surface of a concrete slab.

Absolute Volume - In concrete, the actual volume occupied by the different ingredients determined by dividing the weight of each ingredient pounds, by its specific gravity, times the weight of one cubic foot of water in pounds.

Absorption - The process by which water is absorbed and the amount of water absorbed under specific conditions, usually expressed as percentage of the dry weight of the material.

Absorption Loss - Water losses that occur until the aggregate in a concrete mix is saturated.

Abutment - Where two structures or objects meet.

Accelerating Admixture - Pouring fresh concrete is a time-sensitive project and unexpected delays can cause major problems. With the use of admixtures, you can have more control over your concrete. Admixtures can restore loads of concrete that might need to be rejected due to delays or other complications. They can improve the performance of problem concrete by modifying its characteristics and enhancing workability.

Accelerator - Any materials that are added to gypsum plaster that speeds the natural setting.

Adiabatic Curing - The maintenance of ambient conditions during the setting and hardening of concrete so that heat is neither lost nor gained from the surroundings of the concrete.

Adjustable Hanger - A forming accessory, a metal strip, used to suspend or support metal forms or metal form attachments when traditional methods of anchoring forms or form attachments cannot be used due to trenching or prior concrete placement.

Admixture - Materials other than water, aggregate, hydraulic cement, supplementary cementing materials, and fiber reinforcement, used as an ingredient of concrete or mortar, and added to the batch immediately before or during its mixing.

Admixture, Accelerating - Admixture that causes an increase in the rate of hydration of the hydraulic cement, and thus shortens the time of setting, or increases the rate of strength development, or both.

Admixture, Air-Entraining - Admixture that causes the development of a system of microscopic air bubbles in concrete, mortar, or cement paste during mixing.

Admixture, High-Range Water-Reducing (Super-plasticizer) - Water-reducing admixture capable of producing large water reduction or great flow-ability without causing undue set retardation or entrainment or air in mortar or concrete.

Admixture, Water-Reducing - Admixture that either increases slump of freshly mixed mortar or concrete without increasing water content or maintains slump with a reduced amount of water, the effect being due to factors other than air-entrainment.

Admixture, Water-Reducing - Admixture that either increases slump of freshly mixed mortar or concrete without increasing water content or maintains slump with a reduced amount of water, the effect being due to factors other than air-entrainment.

Admixtures - Admixtures are additions to a concrete mix that can help control the set time and other aspects of fresh concrete. Common admixtures include accelerating admixtures, retarding admixtures, fly ash, air entraining admixtures, and water-reducing admixtures.

Aggregate - Granular material, such as sand, gravel, crushed stone, crushed hydraulic cement concrete, or iron blast-furnace slag, used with a hydraulic cementing medium to produce either concrete or mortar.

Aggregate, Exposed or Exposed Aggregate - A concrete surface with the aggregate exposed, formed by applying a retarder to the surface before the concrete has set, and subsequently removing the cement paste to the desired depth.

Air Content - Volume of air voids in cement paste, mortar, or concrete, exclusive of pore space in aggregate particles, usually expressed as a percentage of total volume of the paste, mortar, or concrete.

Air Slacking - Absorption of moisture and carbon dioxide from the air by lime or cement.

Air, Entrained - Microscopic air bubbles intentionally incorporated in mortar or concrete during mixing, usually by use of a surface active agent; typically between 10 and 1000mm in diameter and spherical or nearly so.

American Concrete Institute (ACI) - An association that sets concrete construction standards and an international organization dedicated to providing knowledge and information for the best uses of concrete.

Anchor - An anchor is an object, often made out of metal that is used to attach concrete walls and or masonry walls.

Anchor Bolt - Is used to attach objects or structures to concrete. There are many types of anchor bolts, consisting of designs that are mostly proprietary to the manufacturing companies. All consist of a threaded end, to which a nut and washer can be attached for the external load. Anchor bolts are extensively used on all types of projects, from standard buildings to dams and nuclear power plants.

Angle Float (Angle Trowel) - A trowel with two surfaces meeting at right angles. An angle float is used for finishing plaster or concrete in an inside corner.

Apron - Slab of concrete extending beyond the entrance to a building, particularly at an entrance for vehicular traffic. At an airport, the pavement adjacent to hangars and appurtenant buildings.

Arrissing Tool - Special float used to round the edges of freshly placed concrete.

Asphalt - Black petroleum residue, which can be anywhere from solid to semisolid at room temperature. When heated to the temperature of boiling water, it becomes able to be poured. It is used in roofing materials, surfacing roads, in lining the walls of water-retaining structures such as reservoirs and swimming pools, and in the manufacture of floor tiles. Asphalt should not be confused with tar, a similar looking substance made from coal or wood and incompatible with petroleum derivates.

Asphalt Cement - Asphalt that has been refined to meet the specifications for use in paving and other special uses. It is classified by penetration.


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