Concrete Industry Terms

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accelerator – admixture used to shorten concrete set time and/or earlier strengths

air entrainment – microscopic air bubbles in the cement paste that allows space for expanding  moisture during freeze cycles

bleed water – water that rises  to the surface of freshly placed concrete as the aggregate settles

bottom out – to bottom out is  making certain that the mat textures every inch of the plastic concrete

calcium chloride – admixture used to accelerate the hydration process, not for colored concrete

chemical stains – muriatic acid based pigments that reacts chemically with the concrete

color hardener – (CH) blend  of Portland cement, pigment and silica sand used to color the surface  of fresh concrete

crazing – shallow map or pattern  cracking caused by sealing in bleed water with steel trowels

fiber – secondary reinforcement serves to control shrink cracks… can be steel, polypropylene, nylon, etc. Our 30,000,000 polyester fibers per pound is excellent

finishing aid – liquid or powder  that prevents the rapid evaporation of moisture from the surface; also known as “surface evaporation retardant.” Ask for “Eucobar”

floppy – stamping tool (with joints) that is more flexible, allowing closer imprinting to walls

fly ash – pozolan material used as cement substitute, causes slower set times

franchise – buying territory  and paying fees to a parent stamping company for the benefit of their expertise, technology, advertising and name recognition, but it shortens the learning curve

gauge rake – adjustable cams  allow for varying depths to accommodate different depths of texture when doing stamped overlays

gloss reducing agent – added to sealer to reduce the amount of shine of stamped concrete

integral color – pigment added to the ready mix truck so that the color is throughout the concrete top to bottom. Use in either fly ash or Portland mixes

metal squeegee – flexible  Blue Steel blade used to spread thin overlays

micro topping – silica flour, Portland cement and polymer. Used to stretch a new “canvas” over an unsightly floor. Can be stained and scored

mix design – specific formula  of sand, rock, cement, water and admixtures suited for a particular set of job conditions. Have several to suit different conditions

pH pencil – indicates the acidity/alkalinity level of a slab for subsequent procedures.  Water based stains and some sealers are pH sensitive

plastic – concrete that is still  plastic is still stampable, not yet hardened

pounder – rubber or steel plate with a handle used to bottom out the stamps

psi – pounds per square inch  rating of concrete strength determined by test cylinders breaks

release agent – (RA) substance  used in stamping to keep the wet concrete from sticking to the stamps. Can be pigmented powder or Clear Liquid Release – “bubblegum”

retarder – admixture used to slow down the hydration rate to allow more time for stamping. Add  on site to implement “step retardation”

S tool – used in detailing fresh stamped work, imparting joints or reducing squeeze

sealer – solvent or liquid base  material used to protect and enhance the appearance of stamped concrete

seamless – feather edged texture mats without joints. There are many textures available and in different sized mats

skin – small, thin, jointless  texture mat, especially good against walls and step faces

slip resistant polymer – very  fine material stirred into the sealer to help increase traction

slump – measurement that indicates  the rate of workability of plastic concrete, lower is drier

squeeze – thin ridge of fine  paste and release that may form between the texture mats while stamping

stamper – cream of the crop concrete finisher

stencils – used with sprayed  or troweled overlays, can be sticky back

step retardation – adding on site to delay the setting time, allowing for a more  manageable window. For example: adding retarder to the last half part of the load

super plasticizer – high range  water reducer admixture that provides the advantage of workability  without the penalty of lower strength and segregation from additional water. Can be added on site by the contractor

water to cement ratio – pounds  of water per pounds of cement, lower is better

water based stains – latex or acrylic based pigments can look like acid stains with many more  colors available. Best applied with airless or HVLP equipment

wash – a solution of thinner (xylene, toluene, mineral spirits) added to a smaller amount of  solvent based sealer with dry RA added for color, applied with a pump up sprayer, airless or brush. Effective for accent stamped areas, coloring individual stones or evening out colors

water reducer – admixture that  increases the workability and decreases the amount of water in ready mixed concrete






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