dee Concrete

Glossary of Concrete Terms

To help site visitors, industrial distributors, and contractors understand or clarify many terms used in the concrete and paving industry, dee Concrete Accessories has included this one-of-a-kind glossary. The glossary is organized as an alpha listing to assist you to quickly find the term you are looking for.

Click a letter below to take you to the corresponding page in the glossary:

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An implement used to consolidate concrete or mortar in molds or forms. A hand-operated device for compacting flooring topping or other unformed concrete by impact from the dropped device in preparation for strike off and finishing. Contact surface often consists of a screen or a grid of bars to force coarse aggregates below the surface that prevents interference with floating or troweling. It is also know as a jitterbug. See troweling.


The addition of water to the cement mix whether at the batch plant, during transit, or at the jobsite to achieve the specified water to cement ratio. See cement mixture.

Temperature rise

The increase of temperature caused by absorption of heat or internal generation of heat, as by hydration of cement in concrete. See hydration and heat of hydration.

Temperature rise period

The time interval during which the temperature of a concrete product rises at a controlled rate to the desired maximum in autoclave or atmospheric-pressure steam curing.


A steel element such as a wire, cable, bar, rod, or strand used to impart pre-stress to concrete when the element is tensioned. See rebar.

Tensile strength

Maximum unit stress which a material is capable of resisting under axial tensile loading, based on the cross sectional area of the specimen before loading.


The gauge or depth of a material.

Tilt-up construction

A method of constructing concrete walls in which the wall panels are cast and cured flat on the floor slab or surrounding area and then tilted up into their final wall positions.

Tilt-up forms

Forms used in tilt-up construction. Forms that are placed on the ground and a flat horizontal slab is poured. When the slab is dry it is picked up with heavy equipment and lifted into place as a vertical wall. See tilt-up construction.

Tilt-up reversible forms

Specially engineered forms with two-sided formed metal channels used to pour horizontal concrete slabs that will later be tilted up to vertical and fastened in place and used as walls. Each side of the tilt-up form will have a different height so that two different wall thickness depths can be poured using the same set of forms.

Tilt-up wall

Cast concrete units which are preformed which, when cured, are tilted to their vertical position and secured by mechanical fasteners to prior erected structural steel. Tilt-up wall units may be pre-cast. See pre-cast concrete.

Top spreader

(1) A "U" shaped clip that fastens the curbface form to the back form in a curb and gutter application to hold the face form firmly in position during concrete placement.

(2) Concrete forming accessories used to secure a curbface form to the back form of the curb and gutter system, or to secure two forms running in parallel to form a stand-alone curb or knee wall. See curb face form, curb and gutter forms, and placement.

Transit-mixed concrete

Concrete mixed in a drum on the back of a truck as it is transported to the construction site. Also know as ready-mixed or pre-mixed concrete.

Transition forms

(1) Metal or wood sections used to change from straight to flexible forming, or vice versa. They are typically used in all flatwork and curb and gutter applications.

(2) A concrete forming accessory used to connect flexible and straight forms. Small lock clamps are used to connect the flexible form to the transition form. See flatwork forms, flexible forms, straight forms.


A tube with removable sections and a funnel at the top used in concrete application. The bottom is kept beneath the surface of the concrete and raised as the form is filled and is used to pour concrete underwater. See hydraulic cement.


A thin, flat steel tool, either pointed or rectangular, provided with a handle and held in the hand, used to manipulate concrete, mastic, or mortar create a dense, smooth finish on a concrete surface. It is also a machine whose rotating blades are used to finish concrete slabs. See screed, float, bull float, and darby.

Trowel finish

The smooth finish surface produced by troweling. See trowel and troweling.


Smoothing and compacting the unformed surface of fresh concrete by strokes of a trowel. See trowel and trowel finish.

Truck mixer

A concrete mixer capable of mixing concrete in transit when mounted on a truck chassis. See agitator truck.

Truckload or Trailerload

A quantity of commodities weighing as much as 44,000 pounds, that is the standard weight limit on U.S. highways.

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