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Glossary of Common Terms

Aggregate: Any loose, particulate materials, such as sand, gravel, pebbles, stone added to cementing agent to make concrete.


Broom Finish: Surface texture obtained by pushing a broom over freshly placed concrete, giving the surface traction. Broom finishes can be light or heavy depending on use.


Compaction: The process by which the looseness of a given form of sediment is decreased as a result of it being pressed together by mechanical means.


Compressive Strength: Refers to concrete's ability to resist compression, or pushing together forces. Compressive strength is expressed in pounds per square inch (PSI).


Decorative Aggregate: Richly colored natural stones, such as basalts, granite, quartz, or limestone, used to enhance exposed-aggregate concrete or decorative topping.


Decorative Concrete: Concrete that has been enhanced by color, pattern, texture, or a combination of ornamental treatments.


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.


Fiber Reinforcement: Tiny filaments made of polypropylene, polyolefin, nylon, polyethylene, polyester, or acrylic used to control shrinkage cracking. Fibers do no provide structural reinforcement.


Finishing: Leveling, smoothing, compacting, and otherwise treating the surface of newly placed concrete to produce the desired appearance and service properties.


Hydration: The chemical process where cement goes from a semi-liquid mixture to a hard solid.


Pounds per Square Inch (PSI): It is the pressure resulting from a force of one pound-force applied to an area of one inch. Often considered the true strength of your concrete. Also, a measurement of the amount of cement versus the amounts of aggregate and water in one yard of concrete.


Stamped Concrete: Concrete Flatwork that is patterned with platform tools, stamping, mats, or seamless texture skins to resemble materials such as brick, slate, stone, tile and wood planking.

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