Glossary of Industry Terms



Abrams Law

A rule stating that with given concrete materials and conditions of test the ratio of the amount of water to the amount of the cement in the mixture determines the strength of the concrete, provided the mixture is of a workable consistency. (See also Watercement ratio).


Wearing away by friction.

Abrasion resistance

Ability of a surface to resist being worn away by rubbing and friction.

Absorbed moisture

Moisture that has entered a solid material by absorption and has physical properties not ubstantially different from ordinary water at the same temperature and pressure. (See also Absorption.)


The relationship of the weight of the water absorbed by a ceramic specimen subjected to prescribed immersion procedure, to the weight of the dry /specimen, expressed in percent. (ASTM C 242).


A substance which, when added to concrete, mortar, or grout, increases the rate of hydration of the hydraulic cement, shortens the time of setting, or increases the rate of hardening of strength development, or both. (See also Acceleration.)


Materials used to speed up the setting of mortar.

Accessories (Tile Accessories)

Ceramic or non-ceramic articles, affixed to or inserted in tile work, as exemplified by towel bars, paper, soap and tumbler holders, /grab bars and the like.


A chemical substance usually corrosive to common metals (iron,aluminum, zinc) and which, in water solution, imparts an acid, sour or tart taste. Acids are generally divided into two classes: (a) strong mineral or inorganic acids such as sulfamic, sulfuric, phosphoric, hydrochloric or nitric, (b) weak organic or natural acids such as acetic (vinegar), citric (citrus fruit juices), oxalic ,,and fatty acids (oleic, palmitic, stearic, etc.)

Acid and alkali-resistant grout

A grout that resists -/Acidity. effect of prolonged contact with acids and alkalis.


A general term applying to substances on the acid side of neutral – principally the degree of acidity. acrylic. A general class of resinous polymers derived from esters, amides or other acrylic acid derivatives.

Acrylic plastics

Plastics based on resins made by the polymerization of acrylic monomers, such as ethyl acrylate and methacrylate.


A term frequently (but improperly) used as a synonym for addition or admixture.


The state in which two surfaces are held together by interfacial forces which may consist of valence forces or interlocking action, or both. (See also Adhesion, mechanical and Adhesion)


A substance capable of holding materials together by surface attachment. Note: Adhesive is the general term and includes among other cement, glue, mucilage and paste. All of these terms are loosely used interchangeably. Various descriptive adjectives are applied to the term adhesive to indicate certain characteristics as follows: (a) Physical form, that is liquid adhesive, tape adhesive, (b) Chemical type, that is, silicate adhesive, resin adhesive, (c) Materials bonded, that is, paper adhesive, metal-plastic adhesive, can label adhesive, (d) Conditions of use, that is, hot-setting adhesive.

Adhesive ceramic

Used for bonding tile to a surface. Rubber solvents; and rubber and resin-based emulsions can be used as adhesives.
Adhesive, pressure-sensitive. An adhesive made so as to adhere to a surface at room temperature by briefly applied pressure alone.

Adhesive, solvent

An adhesive having a volatile organic liquid as a vehicle. Note: This term excludes waterbased adhesives.
Adhesive tile. Organic adhesive used for bonding tile to a surface. Rubber solvents and resin-based and rubber emulsions can be used as adhesives. (TCA)


A material other than water, aggregates, and hydraulic cement, used as an ingredient of concrete or mortar, and added to the concrete immediately before or during its mixing.


Unburnt brick dried in the sun.


Granular material, such as sand, gravel, crushed stone, and iron blast-furnace slag, used with a cementing medium to form a hydraulic-cement, concrete or mortar. (See also Aggregate, heavyweight and Aggregate, lightweight.)

Aggregate, heavyweight

Aggregate of’ high specific gravity such as barite, magnetite, limonite, ilmenite, iron or steel used to produce heavy concrete.
Aggregate, lightweight. Aggregate of low specific gravity, such as expanded or sintered clay, shale, slate, diatomaceous shale, perlite, vermiculite, or slag; natural pumice, scoria, volcanic cinders, tuff, and diatomite; sintered fly ash or industrial cinders; used to produce lightweight concrete.

Air, entrained

See Entrained air.


The capability of a material or process to develop a system of minute bubbles of air in cement, mortar, or concrete during mixing.


The occlusion of air in the form of minute bubbles (generally smaller than lmm) during the mixing of concrete or mortar. (See also Air entraining and Entrained air.)


A condition where soft-body clay, after absorbing moisture and being exposed to the atmosphere, will spall a piece of clay and/or glaze.
Alkali. A chemical substance which effectively neutralizes acid material so as to form neutral salts. A base. The opposite of acid. Examples are ammonia and caustic soda.

Alumina porcelain

A vitreous ceramic whiteware for
technical application in which alumina (A1203) is the essential crystalline phase. (ASTM C 242).

Alumina whiteware

Any ceramic whiteware in which alumina (A1203) is the essential crystalline phase. (ASTM C 242).


A polymorph, along with sellimanite and kyanite, of composition A1203 Si02. On firing, it dissociates to yield principally mullite. (ASTM C 21)

Angle divider

The angle divider is used by the tilesetter to determine the degree of an angle to cut. It is used for fitting trim, moldings, and floors into corners. A corner angle is measured by adjusting the divider to fit the corner.
Ashlar. Masonry composed ‘of squared stones; one pattern of masonry construction.


A pressure vessel in which an environment of steam at high pressure may be produced; used in the curing of concrete products and in the testing of hydraulic cement.

Autoclave curing

Steam curing of concrete products, sand-lime brick, asbestos-cement products, hydrous calcium silicate insulation products, or cement in an autoclave at maximum ambient temperatures generally between 340-420 F (170-215 C).



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