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construction pathology: construction deterioration & building durability glossary

Construction deterioration & building durability glossary

Article & glossary hosted by A. Sebastian Engineering and Investigation Services

back·fill/ -"fil/
Date: 20th century
transitive verb: to refill (as an excavation), often with the excavated material
intransitive verb: to backfill an excavation; to fill up a space
noun: filler material

back fill
1. Rough masonry built behind a facing or between two faces
2. Brickwork in spaces between structural timbers, sometimes called brick nogging
3. Filling over the extrados of an arch
4. Waste material used to fill the void created by excavation or mining an orebody

backup 1. Part of a masonry wall hidden behind the exterior facing
2. A substitute or support "a backup plan"; alternate; alternative
3. Accumulation caused by a stoppage in the flow "water backup" or "traffic backup"

BackwashWater movement against the primary direction of flow

A partition or grating in a furnace, container or channel

Device for removing sludge and water from a drill hole or mine

A mechanical device (normally spring loaded) used in single- and double-hung windows as a means of counterbalancing the weight of the sash during opening and closing.

Balance sheet
A formal statement of the financial position of a company on a partic ular day, normally presented to shareholders once a year. Everything owned by the company (i.e. its assets) must be equal to the sum of the company's debts (liabilities) and the value of its shares and retained earnings (net worth)

Barrier Coat
A coating used to isolate a paint system either from the surface to which it is applied or a previous coating for the purpose of increasing adhesion or insuring compatibility

An extrusive volcanic rock composed primarily of plagioclase, pyroxene and minor olivine.

Basal till
Unsorted glacial debris at the base of the soil column where it comes into contact with the bedrock below

Any compound that will combine with an acid and neutralize it, forming a salt; also bottom or support for any structure

Base metal
Any non-precious metal (eg. copper, lead, zinc, nickel, etc.)

Underlying fundamental; rocks with little silica; also the opposite of acidic

Basic research
Fundamental scientific research concerned solely with scientific principles as opposed to applied scientific research which is concerned with the commercial applica tion of those principles

Recessing or sloping masonry back in successive courses; the opposite of corbel

Bay window
An arrangement of three or more individual window units, attached so as to project from the building at various angles. In a three-unit bay, the center section is normally fixed, with the end panels operable as single-hung or casement windows.

A wood strip against which a swinging sash closes, as in a casement window. Also, a finishing trim at the sides and top of the frame to hold the sash, as in a fixed sash or a double-hung window. Also referred to as bead stop.

The arrangement of sedimentary rocks in layers.

Solid rock forming the Earth's crust, frequently covered by soil or water.

Natural or man-made step-like terrace

A clay which has great ability to absorb water and which swells accordingly

best practices
Concept of achieving a minimum standard for a construction project; to possess the following basic qualities: acceptable aesthetics, solid construction using appropriate materials, and safety

The nonvolatile portion of the vehicle of a coating which holds together the pigment particles.

Bituminous Coating
A coal tar or asphalt based coating material usually used in thick films.

Blackbody. The ideal, perfect emitter and absorber of thermal radiation. It emits radiant energy at each wavelength at the maximum rate possible as a consequence of its temperature, and absorbs all incident radiance.

Blast Cleaning
The cleaning and roughing of a surface by the use of sand, artificial grit or fine metal shot which is projected at a surface by compressed air or mechanical means

A mine employee responsible for loading, priming and detonating blastholes

Blast furnace
A reaction vessel in which mixed charges of oxide ores, fluxes and fuels are blown with a continuous blast of hot air and oxygen-enriched air for the chemical reduc tion of metals to their metallic state. Iron ore is most commonly treated in this way, and so are some ores of copper, lead, etc.

Blasthole, Blast hole
A hole drilled for purposes of blasting rather than for exploration or geological information

Detonating explosives to loosen rock for excavation

Blister copper
The product of the Bessemer converter furnace used in copper smelting. It is a crude form of copper, assaying about 99% copper, and requires further refining before being used for industrial purposes

The fading of a color toward white generally caused by exposure to chemicals or ultraviolet radiation.

The diffusion of color matter through a coating from underlying surfaces causing color change.

The formation of blisters in paint films by the local loss of adhesion and lifting of the film from the underlying substrate.

A haziness which develops on paint surfaces caused by the exudation of a component of the paint film.

A film defect which manifests itself as a milky appearance which is generally caused by rapid solvent evaporation or the presence of excessive moisture during the curing process.

Building Officials and Code Administrators.

Boiling Point
Point at which a substance boils; for water, 212 degrees F or 100 degrees C

1. Adhesion between various components and materials, such as adhesion between mortar (or grout) and masonry units or reinforcement
2. Patterns formed by exposed faces of units
3. Tying various parts of a masonry wall by lapping units one over another or by connecting with metal ties
4. Attachment between a (coating) film and the substrate material to which it is applied
5. A form of insurance agreement under which a bonding company guarantees to pay an owner or developer within stated limits for any financial loss, or for failure of the binder (contractor) to perform in accordance with the terms of the contract, i.e., to follow specifications, to charge the agreed-upon price, or to otherwise be found in default of the contract
6. Process of joining two structures together, i.e., to create an assembly by means of adhesive linkage

Course or courses of a masonry wall grouted and usually reinforced in the horizontal direction. Serves as horizontal tie of wall, bearing course for structural members or as a flexural member itself.

The course consisting of units which overlap more than one wythe of masonry.

Telescoping, (usually) hydraulically powered steel arm used to deliver hoses (such as in concrete pumping), manbaskets or hydraulic hammers to the work location on a particular site

Common term for a drill hole

Common term for rock-cutting drill

Bottom rail
The bottom horizontal member of a window sash.

Bounce Back
The rebound of atomized paint, especially when applied by conventional air spray methods.

bow window
Rounded bay window that projects from the wall in an arc shape

Mixing of coatings by pouring from one container to another.

Method of joining metal pieces by using a nonferrous filler metal heated below the melting point of the base metals to be joined, but above 800° F (430° C).
The filler metal, also called hard solder, may be brass, bronze, or a silver or gold alloy; the filler metal distributes itself between the surfaces to be bonded by capillarity. Brazing is different from welding; in welding, partial melting of the surfaces is likely to occur, and the filler metal is not distributed by capillarity. Brazing differs from soldering only in the temperature of the operation: ordinary, or soft, solder melts at temperatures below 430° C.
Brazing requires surface preparation (thourough cleaning) and the use of a flux, such as borax, to reduce any oxide film on the surfaces. In manufacturing operations, furnaces are often used to heat the parts to be brazed, or the parts are brazed by dipping in baths of molten filler alloys. For construction site operations, the joint is usually preheated with a gas torch.

Any arrangement of masonry units which prevents continuous vertical joints from occurring in adjacent courses.

A solid masonry unit of clay or shale, formed into a rectangular prism while plastic and burned or fired in a kiln. 1. Acid-Resistant Brick: Brick suitable for use in contact with chemicals, usually in conjunction with acid-resistant mortars.
2. Adobe Brick: Large roughly-molded, sun-dried clay brick of varying size.
3. Angle Brick: Any brick shaped to an oblique angle to fit a salient corner.
4. Arch Brick: a: Wedge-shaped brick for special use in an arch; b:. Extremely hard-burned brick from an arch of a scove kiln.
5. Building Brick: Brick for building purposes not especially treated for texture or color. Formerly called common brick. See ASTM C62
6. Clinker Brick: A very hard-burned brick whose shape is distorted or bloated due to nearly complete vitrification.
7. Common Brick: See Building Brick.
8. Dry-Press Brick: Brick formed in molds under high pressures from relatively dry clay (5 to 7 percent moisture content).
9. Economy Brick: Brick whose nominal dimensions are 4 by 4 by 8 in.
10. Engineered Brick: Brick whose nominal dimensions are 4 by 3.2 by 8 in.
11. Facing Brick: Brick made especially for facing purposes, often treated to produce surface texture. They are made of selected clays, or treated, to produce desired color. See ASTM C216
12. Fire Brick: Brick made of refractory ceramic material which will resist high temperatures.
13. Floor Brick: Smooth dense brick, highly resistant to abrasion, used as finished floor surfaces. See ASTM C410
14. Gauged Brick: a. Brick which have been ground or otherwise produced to accurate dimensions. b. A tapered arch brick.
15. Hollow Brick: A masonry unit of clay or shale whose net cross-sectional area in any plane parallel to the bearing surface is not less than 60 percent of its gross cross-sectional area measured in the same plane. See ASTM C652
16. Jumbo Brick: A generic term indicating a brick larger in size than the standard. Some producers use this term to describe oversize brick of specific dimensions manufactured by them.
17. Norman Brick: A brick whose nominal dimensions are 4" by 2 2/3" by 12".
18. Paving Brick: Vitrified brick especially suitable for use in pavements where resistance to abrasion is important. See ASTM C7
19. Roman Brick: Brick whose nominal dimensions are 4 by 2 by 12 in.
20. Salmon Brick: Generic term for under-burned brick which are more porous, slightly larger, and lighter colored than hard-burned brick. Usually pinkish-orange color.
21. "SCR Brick" (Reg U.S. Pat Off., SCPI (BIA)): See SCR
22. Sewer Brick: Low absorption, abrasive-resistant brick intended for use in drainage structures. See ASTM C32
23. Soft-Mud Brick: Brick produced by molding relatively wet clay (20 to 30 percent moisture). Often a hand process. When insides of molds are sanded to prevent sticking of clay, the product is sand-struck brick. When molds are wetted to prevent sticking, the product is water-struck brick
24. Stiff-Mud Brick: Brick produced by extruding a stiff but plastic clay (12 to 15 percent moisture) through a die

A method of laying brick so that units touch each other with only enough mortar to fill surface irregularities

Designation for durability of the unit expressed as SW for severe weathering, MW for moderate weathering, or NW for negligible weathering. See ASTM C216, C62 and C652

brick molding
Wood trim piece that covers the gap between the window frame and masonry

BRICK TYPEDesignation for facing brick which controls tolerance, chippage and distortion. Expressed as FBS, FBX and FBA for solid brick, and HBS, HBX, HBA and HBB for hollow brick. See ASTM C216 and C652

The formation of a paint film over a depression.

The lack of resistance to cracking or breaking of a paint film when bent or flexed.

The ease of applying a coating by brush.

Btu (B.T.U.)
Abbreviation for British Thermal Unit: the amount of heat required to increase the temperature of one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit.

A temporary or permanent film defect in which bubbles of air or solvent vapor are present in the applied film.

The wet or dry thickness of a coating film.

Bulk sampling
Removing mineral substances in substantial quantities (over 50 tonnes) in order to do mineral processing tests.

Placing plastic mortar on a masonry unit with a trowel. Back to the top

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