Glossary

A

  • Aggregate: A fundamental material mixed with cement and water to form concrete. It typically consists of sand, gravel, or crushed stone.
  • Air Entrainment: The introduction of tiny air bubbles into concrete to improve its workability and resistance to freeze-thaw cycles.

B

  • Batching: The process of measuring concrete mix ingredients by either mass or volume to prepare for mixing.
  • Bleeding: The process where water migrates to the surface of freshly poured concrete, caused by the settlement of solid particles.

C

  • Cement: A powdery substance made by calcining lime and clay, mixed with water to form mortar or mixed with sand, gravel, and water to make concrete.
  • Curing: The process of maintaining adequate moisture, temperature, and time to allow concrete to achieve its desired strength and durability.
  • Compressive Strength: The capacity of a material or structure to withstand loads tending to reduce size, measured in pounds per square inch (PSI).

D

  • Driveways: A type of concrete application designed for vehicular traffic, requiring specific considerations for thickness, reinforcement, and finish.
  • Dry Time: The period required for concrete to lose enough moisture to reach its intended use or the next stage of work, like sealing or polishing.

E

  • Efflorescence: A white powdery residue that can form on the surface of concrete when water evaporates and leaves behind salt deposits.

F

  • Finishing: The process of leveling, smoothing, and otherwise treating the surface of freshly poured concrete to achieve the desired texture and hardness.

G

  • Grade: The level of the ground around a building, or the process of preparing the substrate for pouring concrete.

H

  • Hydration: The chemical reaction between water and cement that causes concrete to harden and gain strength over time.

I

  • Integral Color: Dye added to concrete mix to color the entire volume, used in applications like countertops or decorative floors.

J

  • Joint: A deliberate separation or gap in concrete to control where cracks can occur due to expansion, contraction, and other forces.

K

  • Kip: A unit of force equal to 1,000 pounds, used in engineering to describe the strength or stress of materials like concrete.

L

  • Laitance: A weak, milky accumulation of fine particles, water, and cement on the surface of fresh concrete, often caused by excessive bleeding.

M

  • Maturity: A measure of the progression of concrete curing, which is a function of both time and temperature.

N

  • Nominal Mix: A general recipe of concrete mix that does not take into account the specific properties of its components.

O

  • Overlay: A layer of material, such as concrete or polymer, applied over existing concrete for repair or aesthetic enhancement.

P

  • Plasticizer: An additive used to increase the plasticity or fluidity of concrete, making it easier to work with.

Q

  • Quikrete: A brand name of fast-setting concrete mix known for its quick drying time, often used for small repair jobs.

R

S

  • Slump Test: A test to measure the consistency of fresh concrete before it sets, indicating its workability.

T

  • Troweling: The process of using a hand tool or power tool to smooth and finish the surface of concrete.

U

  • Underlayment: A layer of material placed under concrete floors to provide support, insulation, or moisture protection.

V

  • Vibrated Concrete: Concrete that has been compacted by vibrating equipment to reduce air pockets and increase density.

W

  • Water-Cement Ratio: The ratio of the weight of water to the weight of cement in a concrete mix, crucial for determining the strength and durability of the cured concrete.

X

  • Xylene: A solvent used in some concrete sealers and finishes, known for its ability to penetrate and enhance the appearance of concrete surfaces.

Y

  • Yield: The volume of concrete produced from a mix, often measured in cubic yards or meters.

Z

  • Zones of Weakness: Areas in concrete that are more susceptible to cracking or failure, often due to improper joint placement or compaction.