Find a term you're unfamiliar with while learning about decorative concrete?
Turn to our Decorative Concrete Resource Center Glossary for quick definitions to keep you in-the-know.
ABRASION RESISTANCE The ability of a coating to resist degradation due to mechanical wear.
ABRASIVE BLASTING Propelling an abrasive medium (such as sand or steel shot) at high velocity against concrete to roughen, clean, or profile the surface in preparation for decorative coatings or overlays. Methods include sandblasting, shotblasting, bead blasting, and sand brushing.
ABRASIVE MEDIA The material used in abrasive blasting to remove surface contaminants. Examples of abrasive media are sand, Iron, shot, crushed iron slag, glass beads or ground nut shells.
ABSORPTION Process of attraction or attachment to a surface. The retention of foreign molecules on the surface of a substance.
ACCELERATED WEATHERING A test designed to simulate but at the same time intensify and accelerate the destructive action of natural outdoor weathering.
ACCELERATOR A substance used in small proportions to increase the speed of a chemical reaction. Accelerators are often used in the paint industry to hasten the curing of a coating system.
ACETONE Common solvent. Often used as a carrier for solvent based sealers. Considered an exempt solvent from VOC regulations.
ACID ETCHING Application of muriatic or phosphoric acid to clean or profile a concrete surface. Used as an alternative to abrasive blasting for surface preparation. (Also see neutralize.)
ACID STAIN A stain containing inorganic salts dissolved in an acidic, water-based solution that reacts chemically with the minerals in hardened concrete to produce permanent, transparent color that will not peel or flake. Gives concrete an attractive variegated or marbleized appearance. Colors tend to be earth tones, such as tans, browns, reddish browns, and greens. (Also see polymer stain).
ACRYLIC LATEX An aqueous dispersion of acrylic resins.
ACRYLIC RESIN A clear resin attained by polymerizing various acrylic monomers either alone or in combination.
ACTIVATOR The curing agent of a two component coating systems
ADHESION The degree of attachment between a paint film and the underlying material to which it is in contact.
ADHESIVE STENCILS Adhesive-backed masking patterns made of vinyl or plastic used for creating stenciled concrete effects. The adhesive keeps the patterns firmly in place on the concrete surface while the decorative treatment of choice is applied, such as acid stains, dyes, spray-down systems, etching gels, or sandblasting. (Also see sandblast stenciling.)
ADMIXTURE An ingredient in concrete other than water, portland cement, and aggregate used to modify the properties of concrete in its freshly mixed, setting, or hardened states. May be added to concrete at the batch plant or on the job site. Prepackaged admixtures are available for convenient job site addition, giving contractors the ability to modify the concrete they receive when necessary, such as extending the amount of time available for decorative stamping.
AGGREGATE A granular material such as sand, rock, crushed stone, gravel, or other particles added to concrete to improve its structural performance. (Also see decorative aggregate.)
AIR CAP (AIR NOZZLE) Perforated housing for directing the atomizing air at the head of an air spray gun.
AIR CONTENT The amount of entrained or entrapped air in concrete, usually expressed as a percentage of total volume.
AIR DRYING The most common form of curing a coating in which drying takes place by oxidation or solvent evaporation by simple exposure to air without heat or catalyst.
AIR ENTRAINMENT Adding an air-entraining admixture to fresh concrete to cause the development of microscopic air bubbles. Helps to improve the freeze-thaw resistance and durability of hardened concrete.
AIR ENTRAPMENT The inclusion of air bubbles in liquid paint or a paint film.
AIRLESS SPRAY A spraying system in which paint is atomized using high hydraulic pressure rather than compressed air.
ALCOHOLS A group of solvents of relatively high evaporation rate but with fairly low solvent strength. Methanol, ethanol and isopropyl alcohol are common alcohols.
ALIPHATIC HYDROCARBONS A class of organic solvents which are composed of open chains of carbon atoms. Aliphatics are relatively weak solvents. Mineral spirits and VM & P Naphtha are aliphatic solvents.
ALKALI An aqueous liquid which has a pH value of between 7 and 14. A base or caustic material.
ALKYD RESIN Resins prepared by reacting alcohols and fatty acids. Widely used in general purpose coating.
ALLIGATORING Surface imperfections of a coating film having the wrinkled appearance of alligator skin.
AMBIENT TEMPERATURE Room temperature or the existing temperature of the surroundings.
AMINE Materials often sued as curing agents for epoxy coatings.
ANCHOR PATTERN The surface profile generated by abrasive blasting. The distance between peaks and valleys of the blast profile.
ANODE The positive terminal of an electrical source. In a corrosion cell, the anode is the electrode that has the greater tendency to go into solution or the point at which corrosion occurs.
ANTIQUING A color layering technique for giving decorative concrete surfaces an aged or mottled appearance.
AROMATIC HYDROCARBONS A class of relatively strong organic solvents which contain an unsaturated ring of carbon atoms. Examples are benzene, toluene and xylene.
ASPHALT Black resinous material of petroleum origin.
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.
BINDER The nonvolatile portion of the vehicle of a coating which holds together the pigment particles.
BITUMINOUS COATINGS A coal tar or asphalt based coating material usually in thick films.
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.
BLAST PROFILE Same as anchor pattern. A cross sectional view of an abrasive blasted surface.
BLEACHING The fading of a color toward white generally caused by exposure to chemicals or ultraviolet radiation.
BLEED THROUGH Color change caused by the diffusion of color from an underlying surface.
BLEEDING The diffusion of color matter through a coating from underlying surfaces causing a color change.
BLISTERING The formation of blisters in paint films by the local loss of adhesion and lifting of the film from the underlying substrate.
BLOOMING A haziness which develops on paint surfaces caused by the exudation of a component of the paint film.
BLUSHING 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.
BOND BREAKER A material that prevents adhesion of materials to a concrete substrate.
BONDING The attachment between a coating film and the underlying material to which it is applied.
BONDING AGENT An adhesive agent used to increase the adherence of coatings or toppings to the existing surface. Also used to bond new concrete to old. Also known as a primer.
BOUNCE BACK The rebound of atomized paint, especially when applied by conventional air spray methods.
BOXING Mixing of coatings by pouring from one container to another.
BRIDGING The formation of a paint film over a depression.
BRITTLENES The lack of resistance to cracking or breaking of a paint film when bent or flexed.
BROADCASE To hand toss a dry-shake color hardener, decorative aggregate, or other dry material in a uniform layer over fresh concrete, overlays, or coatings to add color or traction. (Also see seeding.)
BROOM FINISH Surface texture obtained by pushing a broom over freshly placed concrete.
BRUSHABILITY The ease of applying a coating by brush.
BUBBLING A temporary or permanent film defect in which bubbles of air or solvent vapor are present in the applied film.
BUILD The wet or dry thickness of a coating film.
BULL FLOAT A tool with a 3- to 4-foot rectangular blade made of wood, resin, aluminum, or magnesium. Used to eliminate high and low spots in freshly placed concrete slabs, embed large aggregate at the surface, bring a layer of paste to the surface needed during final finishing, and float in dry-shake color hardener. Long handles either clip on or screw into the float head so it can be pushed out onto the slab while the user stands at the perimeter. (Also see hand float.)
BUSH HAMMER A percussive hammer with rows of pyramid-shaped points used to roughen or profile a concrete surface.
CALCIUM CHLORIDE TEST An ASTM test used to measure the volume of moisture vapor released from a concrete substrate over time (typically 24 hours). Too much moisture emitted from a slab can affect the performance and bonding of overlays, coatings, and sealers. Moisture vapor test kits are available that include small containers of preweighed, unhydrated calcium chloride.
CAST IN PLACE Concrete placed and finished in its final location.
CATALYST An accelerator, activator or curing agent which chemically increases the rate of reaction in a coating.
CATHODE The negative terminal of an electrolytic cell which, in the corrosion process, is protected and not attacked.
CATHODIC PROTECTION The reduction or prevention of corrosion of a metal surface caused by making it cathodic. This is accomplished by using a sacrificial anode (such as in zinc rich coatings or galvanizing) or by using impressed current.
CAUSTIC A strong base or alkaline material.
CAUSTIC SODA A common name for sodium hydroxide, a strong base or alkali.
CELLOSOLVE Proprietary name for ethylene glycol monoethyl. A slow evaporating, water miscible, relatively strong solvent used in epoxy coatings.
CEMENT REPLACEMENT A material used in concrete as a partial replacement for portland cement. Includes pozzolans, fly ash, and granulated blast furnace slag. Can have positive effects on decorative concrete by improving finishability, reducing permeability, and reducing efflorescence.
CEMENTITIOUS COATINGS A coating containing Portland cement as one of its components held on the surface by a binder.
CENTIPOISE One hundredth of a poise which is a unit of measurement for viscosity. Water at room temperature has a viscosity of 1.0 centipoise.
CHALKING The formation of a friable powdery coating on the surface of a paint film, generally caused by exposure to ultraviolet radiation resulting in a loss of gloss.
CHECKING Cracks in the surface of a paint film.
CHLORINATED HYDROCARBON A class of strong, fast evaporating, nonflammable solvents such as carbon tetrachloride, methylene chloride or trichioroethylene.
CHLORINATED RUBBER A coating resin formed by the reaction of rubber with chlorine gas. Often used for chemical or water resistant properties.
CLEANERS A detergent, alkali, acid or similar contamination removing material which is usually water borne.
COAL TAR A dark brown to black bituminous material produced by the destructive distillation of coal.
COAL TAR EPOXY A coating in which the binder or vehicle is a combination of coal tar and epoxy resins.
COALESCENCE The formation of resinous or polymeric material when water evaporates from an emulsion or a latex system, permitting contact and fusion of adjacent particles.
COAT The paint applied to a surface in a single application to form a film when dry.
COATING SYSTEM A number of coats separately applied, in a predetermined order, at suitable intervals to allow for drying and curing, resulting in a completed job.
COBWEBBING Premature drying of a coating during spraying causing a spider web effect.
COHESION The forces which bind the particles of a paint film together into a continuous film.
COLD ROLLED STEEL Low carbon, cold-reduced, sheet steel. Differs from hot rolled steel by the absence of mill scale.
COLOR CHIPS Plastic chips, available in various colors and sizes, for broadcasting onto freshly placed epoxy resin flooring systems, such as epoxy terrazzo, to produce multicolored effects.
COLOR FAST Nonfading.
COLOR LAYERING Applying layers of color to achieve variegated or faux finish effects, such as antiquing or marbleizing. For example. a dry-shake color hardener may serve as the base color, accented by a pigmented powdered or liquid release agent, followed by additional accenting with acid stains, dyes, or tints.
COLOR RETENTION The ability to retain its original color during weathering or chemical exposure.
COMBUSTIBLE LIQUID Any liquid having a flash point at or above 100ÔÇöF (37.8ÔÇôC).
COMPATIBILITY The ability to mix with or adhere properly to other coatings without detriment.
COMPRESSIVE STRENGTH The maximum compressive stress concrete or cementitious overlay materials are capable of sustaining, expressed as pounds per square inch (psi).
CONCICAL MANDREL Instrument used to evaluate a coating‚Äôs resistance to cracking when bent over a specified radius.
CONCRETE COUNTERTOPS A handcrafted alternative to manufactured countertop surfaces. Can be precast in a shop in molds built to the customer‚Äôs specifications or cast onsite, by setting a mold on top of the base kitchen cabinets and then filling with concrete. The use of stains, pigments, decorative aggregates, and epoxy coatings can give concrete countertops the look, texture, and feel of quarried stone such as marble, granite, and limestone.
CONCRETE SURFACE PROFILE (CSP) The degree of roughness of a concrete surface achievable with various surface preparation methods. The International Concrete Repair Institute has identified nine distinct roughness profiles considered to be suitable for the application of sealers, coatings, and polymer-modified overlays.
CONROL (OR CONTRACTION) JOINT Sawed or tooled groove in a concrete slab used to regulate the location of cracking.
CONSISTENCY The ability of fresh concrete to flow. The usual measure of consistency is slump.
COPOLYMER Large molecules obtained by simultaneous polymerization of different monomers, as in vinyl copolymers.
CORROSION The decay, oxidation or deterioration of a substance due to interaction with the environment.
COVERAGE RATE The area that a specified volume of coating will cover to a specified thickness upon drying.
CRACK CHASING Routing out cracks in concrete with a saw or angle grinder before filling with a repair material.
CRACK STITCHING A method of repairing cracks that involves drilling holes on both sides of the crack and grouting in wire or U-shaped metal strips that span the crack.
CRACKING Splitting of a paint film usually as a result of aging.
CRACKS, MOVING Cracks in concrete that are still moving, or active. Often they are structural in nature and continue through the entire depth of the concrete.
CRACKS, STATIC Random, non-moving hairline cracks that only affect the concrete surface (also see craze cracks and plastic shrinkage cracks).
CRATERS The formation of small bowl shape depressions in paint films.
CRAZE CRACKS A series of fine, random cracks caused by shrinkage of the surface mortar.
CROSS SPRAYING Spraying the first pass in one direction and the second at a right angle to the first, providing more even film distribution.
CROSSLINKING The setting up of chemical links between molecular chains to form a three dimensional network of connected molecules.
CRUSTING A condition that occurs when the surface of freshly placed concrete dries too quickly, often due to exposure to direct sun, wind, or high temperatures.
CURING Action taken to maintain favorable moisture and temperature conditions of freshly placed concrete or cementitious materials during a defined period of time following placement. Helps to ensure adequate hydration and proper hardening.
CURING AGENT A hardener or activator added to a synthetic resin to develop the proper film forming properties.
CURING COMPOUND A liquid that, when applied to the surface of newly placed concrete, forms a membrane on the con
CURTAINS Long horizontal runs in a coating film that occur on vertical surfaces when a coating is applied too heavily.
DARBY A longer version of a hand float, ranging in length from 2 to 4 feet. Useful for leveling problem areas.
DECORATIVE AGGREGATE Richly colored natural stones, such as basalts, granite, quartz, or limestone, used to enhance exposed-aggregate concrete or decorative toppings.
DECORATIVE CONCRETE Concrete that has been enhanced by color, pattern, texture, or a combination of ornamental treatments.
DEGREASER A chemical solution or compound designed to remove grease, oils and similar contaminants.
DEIONIZED WATER Water which has been purified to remove mineral salts.
DELAMINATION The separation between layers of coats due to very poor adhesion.
DENSIFIER A penetrating liquid chemical hardener applied to concrete to help solidify and densify the surface and provide extra protection from water penetration and staining. Often recommended for polished concrete, because hard concrete produces a better polish.
DENSITY Mass per unit volume, usually expressed as grams per milliliter or pounds per gallon.
DESCALING The removal of mill scale or rust from steel by mechanical means, sometimes assisted by flame cleaning.
DEW POINT The temperature of a surface, at a given ambient temperature and relative humidity, at which condensation of moisture will occur.
DFT Dry film thickness.
DIAMOND GRINDING A multistep grinding procedure for producing polished concrete surfaces. Contractors use a floor polish equipped with diamond-segmented abrasives, progressing from coarser to finer grits until the desired level of sheen is achieved. (Also see dry polishing, wet polishing.)
DILUENT A portion of the volatile components of a coating which is not a true solvent and has minimal affect on the viscosity.
DISPERSION The suspension of tiny particles, usually pigments, in a liquid, usually resin.
DISTILLED WATER Water which has been purified by vaporizing the liquid and collection the vapor which is then condensed back to a liquid having, in the process, removed all salts, metals, etc.
DRIER A chemical which promotes oxidation and subsequent drying of a paint film. Primarily used in oil base paints.
DRY FALL A coating which is designed to dry rapidly so that the overspray can be easily removed from the surfaces below.
DRY POLISHING The method most commonly used for polished concrete. The floor polisher is hooked up to a dust-containment system that vacuums up the dust from diamond grinding of the surface. (Also see wet polishing.)
DRY SPRAY Overspray or bounce back producing a sandy finish due to the sprayed particles having partially dried before reaching the surface.
DRY TIME Time allotted for an applied coating film to reach a set stage of cure or hardness.
DRY TO HANDLE The degree of cure at which a film will resist deformation due to handling.
DRY TO RECOAT The time required for a cured film to dry prior to the application of a second coat.
DRY TO TACK FREE A stage at which a coating film will form a skin to which dust will not adhere.
DRY TO TOUCH The state of dry at which a coating film will not transfer onto an item touched lightly against it.
DRY-SHAKE COLOR HARDENER A mixture of coloring pigments, cement, aggregates, and surface conditioning agents. Applied as a dry shake to stamped concrete or stamped overlays to produce a colorful, wear-resistant surface.
DRYIING SHRINKAGE A decrease in the volume of concrete as it dries, due to loss of moisture. See also plastic shrinkage cracks
DRYING OIL An oil having the property of hardening by oxidation to a tough film when exposed to air in the form of a thin film.
DULLING A loss of gloss or sheen.
DYES Translucent color solutions containing very fine pigments that penetrate into the concrete surface. Will not chemically react with concrete (like acid stains will). Both water-and solvent-based dyes are available, with colors ranging from soft pastels to bolder hues such as red, blue, and orange.
EDGER A tool used on the edges of fresh concrete to provide a clean, finished edge.
EFFERVESCENCE An effect in the film caused by rapid solvent release. This ‚Äúboiling‚Äù of solvent causes a pinholed or cratered appearance reducing gloss.
EFFLORESCENCE Water soluble salts, deposited as moisture evaporates, on the exterior of brick or concrete.
ELASTIC The ability of a substance to return to its original shape or volume after a distorting force on the substance has been removed.
ELCOMETER A trademark and brand name for a magnetic instrument for measuring dry film thicknesses of coatings applied to ferrous surfaces such as steel.
ELECTRICAL POTENTIAL A minute voltage produced by the separation of molecules into their ionic state.
ELECTROLYTE A substance that dissociates into ions in solution thereby becoming electrically conductive.
ELECTROMOTIVE SERIES A listing of elements arranged according to their standard electrical potentials.
ELECTROSTATIC SPRAY The spray application of paint where the particles are charged causing them to be electrically attracted to the grounded surface.
EMULSION A two phase liquid system in which small droplets of one liquid are immiscible in and are dispersed uniformly throughout a second continuous liquid phase.
ENAMEL A term used to characterize a coating which has a glossy smooth finish. A common term for alkyd coatings.
ENGRAVING The use of special tools and equipment to cut or route out patterns and designs in hardened concrete. Usually the concrete is stained first to give it color, so the routed areas look like grout lines.
EPOXY A synthetic resin, derived from petroleum products, that can be cured by a catalyst or used to upgrade other synthetic resins to form a harder, more chemical resistant film.
EPOXY INJECTION A method for sealing or repairing cracks in concrete by low-pressure injection of an epoxy adhesive.
EPOXY RESINS Organic chemical bonding systems used in the preparation of protective and decorative coatings for concrete, adhesives for injection of cracked concrete, or as binders in epoxy mortars.
EPOXY TERRAZZO A poured-in-place topping for concrete substrates that goes on at a thickness of 1/4 to 3/8 inch. The epoxy resin matrix can be pigmented to achieve an unlimited spectrum of colors and is often seeded while still wet with decorative aggregates or color chips.
ESTER Compounds formed by the reaction of alcohols and organic acids.
ETCHING The treatment of a surface with an acid in order to dissolve loose particles or provide a profile.
ETCHING GEL A gentle etching medium often used with adhesive stencils to lightly etch designs in concrete surfaces. The material is thick enough to be applied by brush, permitting controlled application.
EVAPORATION RETARDER A waterborne, spray-applied film that temporarily reduces moisture loss when applied to the surface of freshly placed concrete.
EXPANDED METAL LATHE A sturdy but flexible diamond mesh often used as a framework or support system for concrete sculptures, faux rock, and vertical stamped concrete.
EXPOSED AGGREGATE A decorative surface formed by removing the surface mortar from a concrete slab (either by scrubbing, pressure washing, or abrasive blasting) to expose the underlying aggregates. (Also see surface retarder.)
EXTERNAL ATOMIZATION Using air to break up a coating material after it has exited the spray gun nozzle.
FADING Loss of gloss or sheen.
FAN PATTERN The geometry of a spray pattern.
FAUX ROCK An artificial rock formation sculpted or molded from concrete and then textured and colored to replicate the look and feel of natural rock. Popular applications include waterscapes, zoo exhibits, landscaping, and theme parks. (Also see glass-fiber reinforced concrete.)
FEATHER EDGE Reduced film thickness at the edge of a dry paint film in order to produce a smooth, continuous appearance.
FIBERS Tiny filaments made of polypropylene, polyolefin, nylon, polyethylene, polyester, or acrylic used alone or in conjunction with rebar or welded wire mesh to reinforce concrete.
FILLER A compound used to extend or bulk a coating to provide extra body or hiding power.
FILM A layer of coating or paint.
FILM BUILD The dry film thickness characteristics of a coat.
FILM INTEGRITY The continuity of a coating free of defects.
FILM THICKNESS GAUGE A device for measuring either wet or dry film thickness.
FILM-FORMING SEALER A type of sealer that blocks the penetration of water and contaminants by forming a barrier on the concrete surface. May also impart a gloss or sheen, which enhances colored or exposed aggregate concrete. See also membrane.
FINENESS OF GRIND The degree of dispersion of particles within a liquid.
FINGERING A broken spray pattern delivering heavier paint to one area than another.
FINISHING Leveling, smoothing, compacting, and otherwise treating the surface of newly placed concrete or concrete overlays to produce the desired appearance and service properties.
FLAMMABLE Any substance easily ignited in the presence of a flame; any liquid having a flash point below 100ÔÇöF (37.8ÔÇôC).
FLASH OFF TIME Time which must be allowed after the application of a paint film before baking in order that the initial solvents are released, which prevents bubbling.
FLASH POINT The lowest temperature of a liquid at which sufficient vapor is provided to form an ignitable mixture when mixed with air.
FLASHING (OR FLASH BROADCASTING) A technique for applying accent colors of dry-shake hardener to concrete surfaces before stamping. Results in subtle, natural-looking color variations.
FLEXIBILITY The degree at which a coating is able to conform to movement or deformation of its supporting surface without cracking or flaking.
FLEXURAL STRENGTH The ability of hardened concrete or an overlay to resist failure in bending.
FLOAT FINISH Surface texture (usually rough) obtained by finishing with a bull float or hand float.
FLOATING (FLOODING) A concentration of one of the ingredients of the pigmented portion of a paint at its surface giving rise to a color change.
FLOOR POLISHER A walk-behind machine used in the production of polished concrete. Most machines are equipped with a planetary drive system, a large primary polishing head (from 17 to 36 inches in diameter) fitted with three or four smaller satellite heads that hold the diamond abrasives. When the machine is operating, the satellite heads rotate in the opposite direction of the primary head to eliminate linear grinding marks in the floor. (Also see diamond grinding, dry polishing, wet polishing).
FLOURESCENT A class of pigments which, when exposed to visible light, emit light of a different wave length producing a bright appearance.
FLOW The degree to which a wet paint film can level out after application so as to eliminate brush marks and produce a smooth uniform finish.
FLUID TIP The orifice in a spray gun to which the needle is seated.
FLY ASH A byproduct resulting from the combustion of ground or powdered coal; sometimes used as a cement replacement in concrete.
FORCE DRYING The acceleration of drying by increasing the ambient temperature.
FOREIGN THINNER Any thinner not recommended on the label or in published literature of the manufacturer, which can affect the coatings performance.
FORM LINER Material used to line the interior face of formwork in order to impart a smooth or patterned architectural finish.
FOULING Marine growth such as weeds or barnacle adhering to the surface.
FRESNO A large trowel (about 2 to 4 feet in length) used for final finishing after bull floating. Long handles (like those used for bull floats) either clip on or screw into the blade.
FUNGICIDE A substance poisonous to fungi which retards or kills mold and mildew growth.
GALVANIC ANODE A metal which, when properly connected to metallic structures of different composition, will generate an electric current.
GALVANIC CORROSION Corrosion associated with the current of a galvanic cell made up of dissimilar electrodes.
GALVANIZED STEEL Cold rolled steel which has been coated with a thin layer of metallic zinc by hot dipping or electroplating.
GAUGE RAKE A tool with an adjustable depth gauge designed for application of high-build coatings or cementitious toppings at a preset, uniform thickness.
GELLED A coating which has thickened to a jelly like consistency making it unusable.
GENERIC Belonging to a particular family.
GFRC Glass-fiber reinforced concrete is a portland cement-based composite containing glass fibers for reinforcement. Substantially lower in weight than plain concrete, with higher flexural and compressive strengths. Often used in the production of faux rock formations and concrete countertops.
GLOSS The sheen or ability to reflect light.
GLOSS RETENTION The ability to retain the original sheen during weathering.
GLYCOL ETHER A group of relatively slow evaporating, strong solvents commonly utilized in epoxy coatings.
GRINDING A mechanical surface preparation method using rotating abrasive stones or discs to remove thin coatings and mastics or slight flaws and protrusions.
GRIT An abrasive blasting media obtained from slag and various other materials.
GRIT BLASTING Abrasive blasting using grit as the blasting media.
GROOVER A tool with a V-shaped bit used to create control joints in plastic concrete.
GROUT A mixture of cementitious materials and water, with or without aggregate, proportioned to produce a creamy consistency. Can be purchased preblended in a multitude of colors to define joints and sawcuts in decorative concrete slabs or walls, especially those with stone, brick, or tile patterns.
HAND FLOAT A smaller handheld version of the bull float, ranging in length from 12 to 18 inches. Especially useful for floating along the perimeter of forms or to work in tight spots.
HARD-TROWELED FINISH Surface finish obtained by using a trowel with a steel blade for final finishing of concrete. Often used where a smooth, hard, flat surface is desired.
HARDENER An activator curing agent, catalyst or cross linking agent.
HARDNESS The degree to which a material will withstand pressure without deformation or scratching.
HIDING The ability of a coating to obscure the surface to which it is applied.
HIGH BUILD A term referring to a paint film which can produce a thick film in a single coat.
HIGH-BUILD COATING A protective or decorative coating that produces a thick film (usually greater than 10 mils) in a single coat.
HIGH-PRESSURE WATER BLASTING A process for cleaning or roughening concrete surfaces using a stream of water delivered at high pressure.
HOLIDAY Any discontinuity, bare or thin spot in a painted area.
HOPPER GUN A gravity-fed system for spray application of coatings or toppings. The material is placed in a hopper attached to a spray gun, which is powered by an air compressor. Often used to apply spray-down systems.
HOT ROLLED STEEL Steel which has been formed while still hot, generally characterized by the presence of bluish-black mill scale.
HOVER TROWEL A patented lightweight power trowel developed specifically for precision finishing of epoxy, polymer modified, and cementitious overlay systems.
HVLP SPRAYER a high-volume, low-pressure spraying device that applies high-solids paints and coatings at low pressure and low velocity, to reduce overspray.
HYDRAPHOBIC A substance which does not absorb or exhibit an affinity for water.
HYDRATION The chemical reaction between cement and water that causes concrete or other cement-based materials to harden.
HYDROCARBON Extracts from petroleum such as gasoline, lubricating oils, solvents, etc.
HYDROPHILIC A substance which absorbs or has an affinity for water, water loving.
IMMERSION Referring to an environment which is continuously submerged in a liquid, often water.
IMPACT RESISTANCE The ability to resist deformation or cracking due to a forceful blow.
INCOMPATABILITY Unsuitable for use together because of undesirable chemical or physical effects.
INDUCTION TIME The period of time between mixing of two component products and the moment they can be used.
INERT PIGMENT A nonreactive pigment, filler or extender.
INHIBITIVE PIGMENT A pigment which assists in the prevention of the corrosion process.
INORGANIC The designation of compounds that do not contain carbon.
INORGANIC ZINC A coating based on a silicone resin and pigmented with metallic zinc which has excellent resistance to organic solvents and general weathering.
INTEGRAL COLOR A coloring agent premixed into fresh concrete or cementitious toppings before placement.
INTERCOAT ADHESION The adhesion between successive coats of paint.
INTERCOAT CONTAMINATION The presence of foreign matter such as dust or dirt between successive coats of paint.
INTERNAL MIX A spray gun in which the fluid and air are combined before leaving the gun.
INTUMESCENT COATING A fire retardant coating which, when heated, produces nonflammable gasses which are trapped by the film, converting it to a foam, thereby insulating the substrate.
ION An atom or group of atoms possessing a positive or negative electric charge as a result of having lost or gained an electron.
IRON OXIDE An oxide of iron. The natural occurring state of steel.
ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL (IPA) A volatile, flammable liquid used as a solvent commonly known as rubbing alcohol.
JOINT Control, expansion, or isolation joints are formed, sawed, or tooled grooves in a concrete slab used to regulate the location of cracking (control joint) or to allow expansion or movement of adjoining structures. In decorative concrete, joints can also double as delineating design elements in a pattern.
JOINT FILLER A compressible material used to fill a joint to prevent the infiltration of debris.
KERF A cut in a concrete surface made by a saw or router. (Also see sawcutting.)
KETONE An organic compound with a carbonyl group attached to two carbon atoms. Usually indicates a strong, fast evaporating solvent.
KNEEBOARDS Boards used by concrete finishers to kneel on when hand floating or troweling concrete flatwork. (Also see spiked kneeboards.)
KNOCK-DOWN FINISH Achieved by applying a decorative topping with a hopper gun and then using a trowel to knock-down the material to produce a smooth or lightly textured surface.
KREBBS UNITS (KU) An arbitrary unit of viscosity for a Stormer viscosity instrument.
LACQUER A coating compromised of a synthetic film forming material which is dissolved in organic solvents and dries by solvent evaporation.
LACQUER THINNER Commonly used term used to describe a solvent blend of ethyl alcohol, ethyl acetate and toluene.
LAITANCE An accumulation of fine particles, loosely bonded, on the surface of fresh concrete, caused by the upward movement of water.
LATEX A stable dispersion of a polymer substance in an aqueous medium; a common term for water reducible coatings.
LEAD FREE Contains, by weight, less than 0.5% lead for industrial products and less than 0.6% lead in consumer products.
LEAFING The orientation of pigment flakes in a horizontal plane, usually aluminum.
LIFTING Softening and raising or wrinkling of a previous coat by the application of an additional coat; often caused by coatings containing strong solvents.
MARBLEIZE To give concrete surfaces the look and gloss of marble, through a combination of color layering and finishing techniques.
MARGIN TROWEL A steel trowel with a small, rectangular flat blade about 5 to 8 inches in length and a short handle. It has multiple uses, including scraping off concrete from finishing tools and applying patching materials.
MASKING Covering select areas of a concrete surface with an adhesive stencil, tape, or other medium before applying a decorative treatment that will affect only the exposed areas.
MASTIC A term used to describe a heavy bodied coating.
MATERIAL SAFETY DATA SHEET (MSDS) Information sheets containing pertinent chemical ingredients, product handling and safety guidelines.
MEMBRANE Formed over a concrete surface to provide protection and enhance color. Typically clear plastic like acrylic, polyurethane or epoxy.
METALIZING A method of applying atomized, nolten metal such as zinc and aluminum to a surface.
METHYL ETHYL KETONE (MEK) A low boiling, highly volatile flammable solvent with extremely good solubility for most vinyls, urethanes and other coatings.
METHYL ISOBUTYL KETONE (MIBK) A medium boiling solvent commonly used in vinyls.
MICRON A micrometer or one millionth of a meter.
MICROTOPPING An ultra-thin polymer-based decorative topping, generally less than 1/4-inch total thickness. Typically applied by trowel or squeegee, and given a texture or smooth finish. Pigments can be incorporated into the mix or broadcast onto the surface for a marbleized appearance. (Also see skim coat.)
MIL One one-thousandth of an inch; 0.001 inches. Commonly used to denote coating thickness.
MILDEW A superficial growth of living organic matter produced by fungi in the presence of moisture; results in discoloration and decomposition of the surface.
MILL SCALE A layer of iron oxide formed on the surface of steel plates during hot rolling; blueish in appearance.
MINERAL SPIRITS A refined petroleum distillate having a low aromatic hydrocarbon content and low solubility; suitable for thinning of alkyd coatings.
MISCIBLE Capable of mixing or blending uniformly.
MIST COAT A thin tack coat usually applied to fill porous surfaces such as zinc rich primers.
MIX DESIGN Specific proportions of ingredients (cement, aggregates, water, and admixtures) used to produce concrete suited for a particular set of job conditions.
MIXING STATION A designated work area outfitted with all the equipment and supplies needed to mix materials properly and efficiently.
MOCKUP An architectural concrete sample made using the same materials and methods proposed for an actual project. Often required for quality assurance on large projects, to ensure that architectural requirements and industry tolerances are met. The size should be sufficient to adequately demonstrate all decorative treatments.
MOISTURE VAPOR TRASMISSION The migration of moisture vapor to the surface of a concrete slab, caused by vapor pressure differentials in the concrete and the surrounding atmosphere. Can contribute to the failure of impermeable coatings or other floor toppings that do not permit moisture to escape. (Also see calcium chloride test.)
MONOMER A substance of low molecular weight molecules capable of reacting to form longer molecules called polymers.
MOTTLED Spots of different tones and colors next to each other resulting in a blotchy effect on the coating film.
MUDCRAKING A paint film defect characterized by a broken network of cracks in the film.
MURIATIC ACID Concentrated hydrochloric acid often diluted and used for etching concrete.
NACE National Association of Corrosion Engineers.
NEUTRAL A liquid which is neither acid nor alkali such as water; pH7.
NEUTRALIZE To return concrete to the proper pH after acid etching, generally by washing the surface with a mixture of water and ammonia or sodium carbonate. Ideal pH is 7.0 (neutral), but a pH range of 6.0-9.0 is acceptable for most coatings. ASTM D 4262, ‚ÄúStandard Test Method for pH of Chemically Cleaned or Etched Concrete Surfaces‚Äù covers the procedure for determining the acidity or alkalinity of concrete surfaces prepared by chemical cleaning or etching prior to coating application. See pH test.
NON-DRYING OIL An oil which undergoes little or no oxidation when exposed to air and therefore has no film forming properties.
NONFERROUS A term used to designate metals or alloys that do not contain iron; example: brass, aluminum, magnesium.
NONFLAMMABLE A compound which does not burn in the presence of a flame.
NONVOLATILE The portion of the paint left after the solvent evaporates; solids.
NOTCHED-SQUEEGEE A rubber squeegee with notches or serrations on one or both edges. Used for smooth and consistent spreading of epoxy resin products or other low-viscosity coatings.
OIL LENGTH The ratio of oil to resin expressed as a percentage of oil by weight in the resin. Used to determine the physical properties of a resin.
OPACITY The ability of a paint film to obliterate or hide the color of the surface to which it is applied.
ORANGE PEEL The dimpled appearance of a dried paint film resembling the peel of an orange.
ORGANIC Designation of any chemical compound containing carbon.
ORGANIC ZINC A zinc rich coating utilizing an organic resin such as an epoxy.
OSMOSIS The diffusion of liquid through a paint film or other such membrane.
OVERLAY A bonded layer of material, ranging from 1/4 to 1 inch or more in thickness, placed on existing concrete surfaces to beautify, level, or restore. (Also see polymer-modified overlay, self-leveling overlay.)
OVERSPRAY Sprayed coating that is dry when it hits the surface resulting in dusty, granular adhering particles, reducing gloss and presenting a poor appearance.
OXIDATION The formation of an oxide; the curing mechanisms for alkyds.
PAINT (v.) To apply a thin layer of coating to a substrate by brush, roller, spray or other suitable method. (n.) A pigmented liquid designed for application to a substrate, in a thin layer, which is then converted to an opaque solid film.
PASS The motion of a spray gun in one direction only.
PASSIVATE To make a surface such as steel inert or unreactive, usually by chemical means.
PASTE The product of the dispersion process. It is usually very high viscosity and requires dilution prior to application; a concentrated pigment dispersion used for shading.
PATTERN The shape or stream of material coming from a spray gun.
PATTERNED CONCRETE See stamped concrete
PEELING A paint or coating lifting from the surface due to poor adhesion.
PENETRATING SEALER A sealer with the ability to penetrate into the concrete surface to increase water repellency and resist stains. Often used on decorative concrete to provide invisible protection without changing the surface appearance.
PERMEABILITY The degree to which a membrane or coating film will allow the passage or penetration of a liquid or gas.
pH A measure of acidity and alkalinity; pH 1 ‚Äì 7 is acid and pH 7 ‚Äì 14 is alkali.
ph TEST A test performed on the concrete surface to determine the level of acidity or alkalinity. Typically performed prior to applying sealers or coatings.
PHENOLIC A synthetic resin used for heat or water resistance.
PHOSPHATIZING A pretreatment of steel by a chemical solution containing metal phosphates and phosphoric acid to temporarily inhibit corrosion.
PICKLING The treatment of steel for the removal of rust and mill scale by immersion in a hot acid solution containing an inhibitor.
PIGMENT A finely ground natural or synthetic, insoluble particle adding color and opacity or corrosion inhibition to a coating film.
PIGMENT / BINDER RATIO A ratio of total pigment to binder solids in paint.
PIGMENT GRIND The action of dispersing a pigment in a liquid vehicle.
PIGMENT VOLUME CONCENTRATION (PVC) The percent by volume occupied by pigment in the dried film of paint generally expressed as a percentage.
PINHOLING A film defect characterized by small, pore-like flaws in a coating which extend entirely through the film.
PLASTIC A condition of freshly mixed concrete indicating that it is workable and readily moldable.
PLASTIC SHRINKAGE CRACKS Irregular cracks that occur in the surface of fresh concrete soon after it is placed and while it is still plastic.
PLASTICITY Property of freshly mixed concrete, cement paste, or mortar which determines its ease of molding or resistance to deformation.
PLASTICIZER An agent added to the resin to aid in flexibility.
PLATFORM TOOLS Rigid stamps made of plastic or metal that leave deep grooves in freshly stamped concrete, which can later be grouted or left open.
A high-gloss finish attained by using special floor polishers fitted with diamond-impregnated abrasive disks (similar to sandpaper) to grind down surfaces to the desired degree of shine and smoothness. The resulting surface is very low-maintenance and can be stained to replicate the look of polished stone. (Also see dry polishing, wet polishing, diamond grinding.)
POLYASPARTIC An aliphatic polyurea coating that is very fast-curing and that can be applied to concrete over a wide range of temperatures. Seamless polyaspartic floors are typically applied in two or three coats with embedded vinyl or quartz chips to form a highly stain- and abrasion-resistant coating.
POLYESTER RESIN A group of synthetic resins which contain repeating ester groups. A special type of modified alkyd resin.
POLYMER A substance of molecules which consist of one or more structural units repeated any number of times.
POLYMER STAIN An acrylic-urethane based stain available in a broader palette of colors than acid stains. Very low in volatile organic compounds, with workability characteristics similar to latex paint. Can be applied to concrete surfaces by brush, roller, sponge, cloth, or commercial sprayer.
POLYMER-MODIFIED OVERLAY A cement-based overlay with polymer resins added to improve performance, wear resistance, and aesthetic qualities. Overlay manufacturers use different types of polymer resins, often blending them to produce proprietary products with unique characteristics. Many of today‚Äôs decorative overlays use acrylics or vinyl blends because these resins provide excellent bond strength and UV resistance.
POLYURETHANE An exceptionally hard, wear resistant coating made by the reaction of polyols with a multi-functional isocyanate.
POLYVINYL CHLORIDE (PVC) A hard tough plastic solid used for plastics and coatings, commonly known as vinyl.
POPOUT A pit or crater in the concrete surface, ranging in size from 1/4 inch to several inches in diameter, that results from the fracturing of unsound aggregate particles due to expansion pressure. Usually caused by porous aggregate having a high rate of absorption.
POROSITY The presence of numerous minute voids in a cured material.
PORTLAND CEMENT A hydraulic product that sets and hardens when it chemically interacts with water. Made by burning a mixture of limestone and clay or similar materials. (Also see white cement.)
POT LIFE The length of time a paint material is useful after its original package is opened or a catalyst or other curing agent is added.
POTABLE WATER Water fit for human consumption; as in drinking water.
POZZOLON A siliceous and aluminous material that, in the presence of moisture, chemically reacts with calcium hydroxide to form compounds possessing cementitious properties. (Also see cement replacement).
PRACTICAL COVERAGE The spreading rate of a paint calculated at the recommended dry film thickness and assuming 15% material loss.
PRIMER The first coat of paint applied to a surface, formulated to have good bonding, wetting and inhibition properties.
PROFILE The term used to describe the anchor pattern of a surface produced by sandblasting, acid etching or similar method.
PUMP-UP SPRAYER An airless sprayer often used to apply sealers and liquid release agents.
PYROMETER An instrument used to measure the temperature of a surface.
QUV An accelerated testing device designed to evaluate the fading properties of a coating by exposure to high intensity, ultraviolet light.
RAVELING The dislodging of aggregate at the edges of joints or scored patterns in concrete, generally caused by sawcutting joints too soon after concrete placement.
READY-MIXED CONCRETE Concrete that is batched or mixed at a central plant before delivery to the job site for placement.
REBAR Ribbed steel bars installed in cast-in-place concrete to provide flexural strength. Rebar come in various diameters and strength grades.
REDUCER Commonly known as thinner.
REENTRANT CORNER An angle in a concrete slab that points inward. Often vulnerable to cracking, unless a control joint is installed.
REFLECTANCE The ratio of the intensity of reflected light to that of incidental light.
REFLECTION CRACKING The occurrence of cracks in overlays and toppings that coincide with the location of existing cracks in the substrate.
REINFORCED CONCRETE Concrete construction that has steel rebar or welded wire mesh embedded in it to provide greater tolerance to tension and flexural stress.
RELATIVE HUMIDITY The ratio, expressed as a percent, of the quantity of water vapor actually present in the air to the greatest amount possible at a given temperature.
RELEASE AGENT A powder or liquid parting agent applied to stamping mats or texturing skins before stamping to keep the mats from sticking to fresh overlay or concrete surfaces.
RESIN A group of organic materials, either natural or synthetic, which can be molded or dissolved.
RHEOLOGY The science characterizing fluid deformation or flow.
ROLLER A cylinder covered with lamb‚Äôs wool, felt, foamed plastics or other materials used for applying paint.
RUNS Sagging and curtaining of a coating or paint film, usually caused by improper thinning, excessive film build or poor application techniques.
RUST The reaction product of steel, oxygen and water.
RUSTICATION STRIP A strip made of wood, polystyrene, or plastic that is fastened to forms or form liners to impart arc
SACRIFICIAL COATING A final floor finish or wax designed to protect the sealer or topcoat from wear. Usually applied by mop or floor buffer in several coats to act as a shock absorber to scuffs, scratches, and grime.
SAG RESISTANCE The ability of a paint to be applied at proper film thickness without sagging.
SAGGING The downward movement of a paint film on a vertical surface, between the time of application and drying, resulting in an uneven coating having a thick lower edge.
SALT ATMOSPHERE A moist, heavily ladened air with a high chloride concentration; used as a test for accelerated corrosion evaluations and also present near sea coast areas.
SALT FINISH A textured, decorative finish obtained by broadcasting rock salt onto fresh concrete and then using a roller or float to press the salt particles into the surface. After the concrete sets, the salt is washed away to reveal a speckled pattern of shallow indentations.
SALT FOG TEST A cabinet designed to accelerate the corrosion process. In evaluating coatings; combines 100% humidity with a 5% salt concentration at 100ÔÇôF in an enclosed cabinet.
SAMPLE (OR SAMPLE BOARD) A small (generally 2x2-foot) representation of a decorative concrete installation, used as a selling tool or to experiment with various decorative treatments and techniques for applying materials.
SANDBLAST STENCILING A technique for patterning existing concrete surfaces by applying resilient adhesive stencils followed by sandblasting to lightly remove concrete in only the exposed areas. (Also see stenciled concrete.)
SANDBLASTING A method of abrading or profiling a surface with a stream of sand ejected from a nozzle at high speed by compressed air. (Also see abrasive blasting.)
SAPONIFICATION The alkaline hydrolysis of fats whereby a soap is formed; typical reaction between alkyds and galvanized metals resulting in peeling.
SATIN FINISH A descriptive term generally referenced to paints with a 60ÔÇô gloss reading between 10 and 40.
SATURATED SURFACE DRY (SSD) Condition of concrete when the permeable voids are filled with water but no water is on the exposed surface.
SAWCUTTING Using a concrete saw with abrasive blades or disks to cut joints or score patterns into hardened concrete.
SCALING The flaking or breaking away of a hardened concrete surface, often due to exposure to freezing and thawing.
SCARIFIER Milling equipment used to clean and profile concrete surfaces or to remove existing coatings. Uses rotary impact cutters held at a right angle to the surface.
SCRATCH COAT A base coat used to improve the rigidity and/or bonding of subsequent topcoats. A scratch coat is often required for vertical stamped concrete.
SCREED BOX A walk-behind applicator, similar in appearance to a lawn fertilizer spreader, designed to put down epoxy coating systems at a specific depth.
SEALER A coating used on absorbent surfaces prior to painting.
SEEDING Broadcasting decorative aggregates on the surface of freshly placed concrete or toppings.
SEGREGATION The separation of the components of wet concrete caused by excessive handling or vibration.
SELF-LEVELING OVERLAY A flowable, polymer-modified cementitious topping with the ability to self level without troweling. Used to smooth and level existing concrete surfaces. Can also be enhanced by staining, dying, or sawcutting.
SET The condition reached by concrete when plasticity is lost, usually measured in terms of resistance to penetration or deformation. Initial set refers to concrete that has reached first stiffening. Final set occurs when concrete attains full rigidity.
SETTING The chemical reaction that occurs after the addition of water to a cementitious mixture, resulting in a gradual development of rigidity.
SETTLING The sinking of pigments, extenders or other solid matter in a paint, on standing in a container, with a consequent accumulation on the bottom of the can.
SHADE A term employed to describe a particular hue or tone.
SHELF LIFE The maximum time interval in which a material may be kept in a usable condition during storage.
SHOP PRIMER An inexpensive, rust inhibiting primer designed to protect steel fro general weathering immediately after fabrication and before final coating.
SHOT BLASTING Abrasive blasting with round iron shot, or any material which retains its spherical shape, for peening purposes.
SILICA SAND Clean sand made up of sharp silica particles, not containing dirt or clay, used for abrasive blast cleaning.
SILICONE RESINS Resins based on silicone instead of carbon, generally used for their outstanding heat resistance and water repellency.
SKIM COAT An overlay layer applied very thinly with a squeegee or trowel. (Also see microtopping.)
SKINNING The formation of a solid membrane on the top of a liquid, caused by partial curing or drying of the coating during storage.
SLAG A glassy, granular material formed when molten blast furnace slag is rapidly chilled. Ground granulated slags are sometimes used in concrete mixtures as a cement replacement to help reduce permeability and improve durability. May also slow setting and extend the working time of the concrete.
SLUMP A measure of consistency of freshly mixed concrete, as determined by the distance the concrete slumps after a molded specimen is removed from an inverted funnel-shaped cone.
SOLIDS BY VOLUME The percentage of the total volume occupied by nonvolatile compounds.
SOLIDS BY WEIGHT The percentage of the total weight occupied by nonvolatile compounds.
SOLVENT A liquid in which another substance may be dissolved.
SOLVENT ENTRAPMENT The encapsulation of solvent within a cured paint film due to improper drying conditions; results in a noncontinuous film.
SOUND RUSTED SUBSTRATE A rushed substrate cleaned of all loose rust and other loose materials, but not cleaned to bare metal.
SPALLING A breaking away of concrete at joints in floors or slabs. Typically occurs at joints that are installed improperly or don‚Äôt adequately support the loads applied to them.
SPECIFICATION A set of instructions detailing the plan for coating of a project; a list of criteria for a coating.
SPIKED KNEEBOARDS Kneeboards with spikes on the bottom that elevate finishers off floor surfaces to permit easier finishing of toppings and overlays.
SPIKED ROLLER A cylindrical tool similar in appearance to a paint roller, but with rows of polypropylene spikes. Used to roll across the surface of freshly applied epoxy coatings to release trapped gas bubbles and to assist in leveling.
SPLATTER COAT A coating or topping applied by splattering it onto the surface, typically by dipping a brush into the material and then flicking it.
SPRAY HEAD The combination of needle, tip and air cap.
SPRAY PATTERN The configuration of coating sprayed on the surface.
SPRAY-DOWN SYSTEM A decorative overlay applied as a splatter coat or a knock-down finish to a thickness of about 1/8 inch. Often used in conjunction with paper or adhesive stencils. Available precolored or can be integrally colored during mixing.
SPREAD RATE Coverage, usually at the specified dry film thickness.
SSPC Steel Structures Painting Council
STAMPED CONCRETE Concrete flatwork that is patterned with platform tools, stamping mats, or seamless texturing skins to resemble materials such as brick, slate, stone, tile, and wood planking. (Also see vertical stamped concrete.)
STAMPED OVERLAY Similar to conventional stamped concrete, but can be applied to existing concrete. A cementitious topping is applied at a thickness of 1/4 to 3/4 inch and then stamped to mimic brick, slate, and natural stone. Color options include dry-shake color hardeners, colored liquid or powdered release agents, acid stains, dyes, and tinted sealers.
STAMPING MATS Rigid or semi-flexible polyurethane tools for imprinting stone, slate, brick, and other patterns in stamped concrete surfaces. Stamping mats usually imprint a shallower pattern than platform tools.
STATIC CRACKS Random, non-moving hairline cracks that only affect the concrete surface (also see craze cracks and plastic shrinkage cracks).
STENCILED CONCRETE A decorative surface treatment using heavy-duty paper stencils with stone, tile, or brick patterns that are lightly pressed into fresh concrete, followed by the application of dry-shake color hardeners. When the stencils are removed, the uncolored concrete mimics mortar joints. Another technique, for use on existing concrete, is to apply adhesive stencils and then color, etch, or sandblast the surface. (Also see sandblast stenciling.)
STRAIGHTEDGE A rigid, straight piece of wood or metal used to strike off a concrete surface to proper grade before the floating operation.
STRESS CORROSION CRACKING Spontaneous cracking produced by the combined action of corrosion and static stress.
STRIKE OFF To level off freshly placed concrete to the correct elevation.
STRONG SOLVENT Any solvent capable of dissolving large quantities of a specified subject.
SUBSTRATE The surface to be painted.
SURFACE PREPARATION Preparing concrete surfaces prior to resurfacing or application of a decorative coating to remove contaminants and minor defects or to obtain the necessary degree of roughness for adequate bonding. (Also see abrasive blasting, acid etching, and grinding.)
SURFACE RETARDER A chemical applied to the surface of newly placed concrete to delay setting of the cement paste so it can be removed easily later by scrubbing or power washing to produce an exposed aggregate finish.
SURFACER Pigmented composition for filling depressions in order to obtain a smooth, uniform surface before applying the finish coat.
SURFACTANT An additive which reduces surface tension thereby improving wetting or helping to disperse pigments or inhibit foam.
SUSPENSION A relatively coarse, noncolloidal dispersion of solid particles in a liquid.
SYNTHETIC Manufactured, as opposed to naturally occurring.
TABOR ABRASER An instrument used to measure abrasion resistance.
TACK The stickiness or adhesiveness of a material.
TAILS Finger-like spray pattern produced by improper gun or coating material adjustment.
TAMPER (OR POUNDER) A handheld impact tool used to firmly press stamping mats or texturing skins into fresh concrete to ensure a complete imprint.
TAPE TIME The drying time of a coating required prior to masking sections for lettering or striping after which tape will not distort the finish.
TECHNICAL DATA SHEET Contains important specifications and manufacturer guidelines for product usage. Includes such data as coverage rates, recommended applications, product limitations, surface preparation guidelines, mix ratios and required mixing times, pot life, application procedures, cure times, performance data, and precautions.
TEXTURE ROLLER A cylindrical tool similar in appearance to a paint roller used to impart a stonelike texture to stenciled concrete. It is rolled over the stencil and the fresh concrete to texture only the exposed surfaces.
TEXTURING Giving concrete or overlay surfaces a texture without leaving deep pattern lines.
TEXTURING SKINS Flexible skins for adding seamless textures to concrete surfaces. Generally thinner and more pliable than stamping mats. Often used to texture slab perimeters and vertical faces, such as stair risers. Can also be used to fix blemishes from nonuniform stamping.
THERMOCOUPLE A temperature measuring device.
THERMOPLASTSIC Resins having the property of becoming soft upon the application of heat but which regain hardness after coating.
THERMOSETTING Resins having the property of becoming insoluble or hard upon the application of heat.
THINNERS A liquid (solvent) added to a coating to adjust viscosity.
THIXOTROPIC An adjective which describes full bodied material which undergoes a reduction in viscosity when shaken, stirred or otherwise mechanically disturbed but which readily recovers its original full bodied condition upon standing.
TINT A diluted color wash used to add hints of color to decorative concrete.
TOOTH The profile, mechanical anchor pattern or surface roughness.
TOULENE An aromatic solvent with a high boiling range and low flash point classified as a strong solvent.
TRANSLUCENT A type of finish were the coating has some level of transparency.
TROWEL A flat, broad-bladed steel hand tool used to compact the paste layer at the surface and provide a smooth, flat finish. Also useful for applying topping or repair materials. Available in different shapes (with rounded or square edges) and lengths (ranging from 8 to 24 inches). Smaller trowels are useful for borders, work in restricted areas, or to work in flashing accents of dry-shake color hardener. (Also see margin trowel, fresno).
TROWEL FINISH The smooth or lightly textured surface finish obtained by troweling.
TWO-PACK A coating which is supplied in two parts and must be mixed in the correct portions before use in order to cure.
UNDERCOAT The coat applied to the surface after preparation and before the application of a finish coat.
UNDERFILM CORROSION Corrosion that occurs under films in the form of randomly distributed hair lines.
VAPOR BARRIER A moisture-impervious layer which prevents the passage of water into a material or structure.
VAPOR TRANSMISSION RATE The rate at which moisture passes through a material or coating.
VEHICLE The liquid portion of a paint in which the pigment is dispersed. Comprised of binder and thinner.
VERTICAL STAMPED CONCRETE A decorative finish for walls and other vertical surfaces using a lightweight cementitious overlay formulated to be applied at thicknesses of up to 3 inches without sagging. While the overlay is still plastic, it can be stamped or hand carved to produce deep-relief stone or masonry wall textures. After the material dries, acid stains or dyes can be sprayed or sponged onto the surface to give it the multi-toned look of natural stone.
VINYL COPOLYMER A resin produced by copolymerizing vinyl acetate and vinyl.
VISCOMETER One of several types of instrument for measuring a liquids viscosity.
VISCOSITY A measure of fluidity of a liquid.
VISCOSITY CUP An efflux viscometer utilizing a measured volume of liquid flowing through a precise orifice.
VOIDS Holidays or holes in a coating.
VOLATILE CONTENT The percentage of materials which evaporate from a coating.
VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS (VOC) A measure of the total amount of organic compounds evaporating from a coating film, excluding water.
VOLUME SOLIDS The volume of the nonvolatile portion of a composition divided by the total volume expressed as a percent used to calculate coverage rate.
WASH PRIMER A thin paint, usually a chromate, designed to promote adhesion or to be used as a barrier coat.
WATER BLASTING Blast cleaning of metal using high velocity water.
WATER PLUG A hydraulic cement used to fill cracks and to prevent the migration of moisture.
WATER REDUCER An admixture that either increases the slump of freshly mixed concrete without increasing water content or maintains workability with a reduced amount of water without affecting the strength.
WATER SPOTTING A surface defect caused by water droplets depositing a circular ring of contaminants.
WATER-CEMENT RATIO The ratio of the amount of water to the amount of cement in a concrete mixture. The key to producing high-quality decorative concrete is to keep the water-cement ratio as low as possible without sacrificing workability.
WEATHERMETER A machine designed for the accelerated testing of coatings.
WELD SLAG Amorphous deposit formed during welding.
WELD SPLATTER Beads of metal left adjoining the weld.
WELDED WIRE MESH A woven mesh of wire strands, welded at each intersection, used to reinforce concrete slabs. Also called welded wire fabric.
WET ON WET The technique of painting whereby the second coat is applied before the first coat had dried and the composite film dries as a whole.
WET POLISHING A method for polished concrete that uses water to cool the diamond abrasives and eliminate grinding dust. Not as commonly used as dry polishing, because the process creates a tremendous amount of slurry (a soupy mixture of water and cement dust) that must be collected and disposed of.
WET SANDBLASTING The incorporation of water into the sandblasting operation in order to minimize dust.
WETTING The ability of a vehicle to flow onto the surface in order to achieve a good bond.
WHITE CEMENT A portland cement with a low iron content that hydrates to a white paste. Often used in integrally colored concrete to produce pure, bright color tones, especially pastels.
WHITE RUST The oxide of zinc formed on galvanized metal.
WORKABILITY The ease with which concrete or other cementitious materials can be mixed, placed, and finished.
WORKING TIME The amount of time available for placing and finishing a cement-based material before it begins to set. Often depends on the ambient temperature and substrate temperature.
XYLENE A flammable aromatic hydrocarbon solvent used in epoxies and fast drying alkyds.
ZINC DUST Finely divided zinc metal used as a pigment in protective coatings.
ZINC PHOSPHO OXIDE A rust inhibitive pigment.
ZINC RICH PRIMER An anti-corrosive primer for iron and steel incorporating zinc dust in a concentration sufficient to provide cathodic protection.