(502) 364-9100
info@flynnbrothers.com

Glossary

Click on a term below to read the definition.

Aggregates
Usually various sized stones, crushed rock, gravel, etc. that make up approximately 92-96% of the asphalt mixture. (Asphalt Cement makes up the other 4-8 %).
Articulated rock truck
A four-wheel drive dump truck with heavy duty tapered box and pivoting connection between cab and box.
Asphalt
The common name for "Bituminous Asphalt Concrete". It is also known as "flexible pavement". It is a mixture of aggregates and hot asphalt cement that when placed, compacted and subsequently cooled, becomes the familiar asphalt.
Asphalt Base
Asphalt mix where the largest stone used is no larger than 3/4 of an inch ( typically #57 gradation). Base mixes are usually laid over a stone base at a minimum depth of 2 inches compacted.
Asphalt Binder
The asphalt layer between the base layer of rock or other aggregate and the driving surface layer. The asphalt binder layer is usually made up of coarser materials and is usually thicker than the surface layer. The binder layer can be used as either a first layer or a driving surface, but its use is actually fairly limited. The vast majority of jobs call for a stone base layer, an asphalt base layer, then a surface layer.
Asphalt Cement
A petroleum byproduct used to "glue" the pavement together. By volume, this material makes up about 4-8% of the pavement mixture. (Aggregates make up the other 92-96%).
Asphalt Concrete
See definition of "Asphalt" above.
Back Fill
Placing dirt behind an existing wall or structure.
Backhoe
A rubber tired vehicle with loader bucket in front and small excavator bucket at back.
Base Failure
Base failures occur when the layer beneath the binder layer and driving surface can no longer adequately support the weight of the structure or the traffic. Base failures can occur for a number of reasons, including: ground water, excessive load counts (too much weight), and inadequate design. The failure can be corrected by excavating the failed material and replacing it with bridging stone material.
Bedding
Fine gravel or crushed rock placed around culverts to evenly distribute load.
Bench mark
An elevation reference point
Bob-cat
Trade name for a four wheeled skid steer loader.
Box Culvert
Culvert of rectangular cross section, commonly of precast concrete.
Boring
Drilling into the ground to extract samples of earth for testing.
Bull dozer
A piece of heavy equipment with front mounted blade, used for clearing lots and property. It is used to push over trees and grade construction sites.
CADD
Computer Aided Design and Drafting.
Cast-in-place
Construction of forms and filling with concrete at final location.
Cement
AKA Portland Cement - a dry powder consisting of burned limestone, gypsum and other chemicals - used in the manufacture of concrete, mortar, grout etc.
Clearing & Grubbing
The removing of trees, shrubs, and debris prior to beginning construction.
CMP
Corrugated metal pipe, generally galvanised and/or tarred for corrosion resistance
Compaction
Compressing a given volume of material into a lesser volume. A compacted subgrade and base is essential.
Concrete
The common name for "Portland Cement Concrete Pavement". A hard, compact building material formed when a mixture of cement, sand, gravel, and water dries.
Contour
An imaginary line linking points of equal elevation.
Cut & Fill
How many yards of dirt will be cut or excavated or how many yards of fill dirt will be brought in or imported for a particular project
Cracking
A separation of the asphalt layer due to excessive loads (weights), heat, or age.
Deflection
Deviation of a pavement from profile under weight loads.
Density (thickness or compactness)
Technically, density refers to the weight of a material at a specific volume (unit weight). A specific density of asphalt is achieved my mechanically compacting (rolling) the hot material after it has been placed by the paving equipment. To most consumers of asphalt, it means the compaction of the material versus a theoretical value that is usually derived in a laboratory.
Density Test
a test done to check the level of soil compaction achieved during compaction. This is done with a density testing instrument. This instrument will indicate the rate of compaction that has been achieved. From this reading, it will be known if the moisture content is correct and if there is a further need for compaction.
Depth of Cover
Depth of fill placed atop a culvert.
Directional Drilling
Drilling sideways under structures/roadways/streams etc to place pipes, utility lines without excavation. Generally limited to less than 30cm diameter.
Drainage
A system of drains and pipes for carrying away surface water. An asphalt surface is sloped to maximize the removal of surface water for vehicular safety.
Drainage maintenance
To remove sediments and vegetation from ditches/ canals etc in order to improve conveyance.
Excavator
Generally tracked vehicle with rotating body and front mounted digging arm.
Fall
Slope. The degree to which a paved surface is angled to aid in the drainage of water.
Fill Dirt
Dirt that is brought in or imported to be used as fill in a foundation or used to back fill utility ditches or undercut areas
Floodplain
The region flanking a river channel that is subject to periodic inundation.
Form
Wood or metal structure that concrete is poured into.
Geotechnical Investigation (or Survey)–
The process of evaluating the earth under the project site. This is done to determine the stability of the site and what, if anything, needs to be done to reinforce the site prior to construction.
Geo-textile
Heavy weight fabric of generally synthetic material used to stabilize aggregates, soil etc. May be of woven or felted composition.
GPS
Global Positioning System – a series of satellites and ground based hardware that allow precision location anywhere on the surface of the globe.
Grade
Slope. The degree to which a paved surface is angled to aid in the drainage of water. The act of leveling or sloping the subgrade or base layer before paving.
Grader
Rubber tired vehicle with blade mounted between front and rear axles.
Headwall
A wall built at top and sides of a culvert end to secure adjacent soil.
Inlet Structure
An arrangement of wing walls and apron that smooths the hydraulic transition from open channel to culvert flow and increases maximum capacity. It may also be the mounting point for a trash rack.
Invert
The bottom of the culvert.
I/P
Abbreviation - iron pin (normally used to mark corners of property lots)
Joints
An asphalt joint is the area where two different "pulls" of asphalt meet. This area is usually highly visible after the paving operation and is sometimes referred to as a "seam".
Light weight
The addition of lightweight aggregates such as pumice.
Limestone
A sedimentary rock often used as a building material, and for the base layer in an asphalt or PCCP paving system, and the major stone component for asphalt materials produced in our region.
Loader
Wheeled or tracked vehicle with wide front mounted bucket to scrape and load trucks.
Low boy
Truck tractor and low semi-trailer used to transport large excavators, dozers etc.
Nuclear Density
Measuring the density of a previously placed material achieved by using a special instrument designed to measure the penetration of radiation into that material.
Outlet structure
An arrangement of apron, wing walls and sometimes energy absorption structure at the end of a culvert.
Overlay
The practice of placing new asphalt over an existing asphalt or concrete surface. Also called resurfacing.
Portland Cement Concrete Pavement (PCCP)
A hard, compact building material formed when a mixture of cement, sand, gravel, and water dries. Commonly known as concrete.
Procter Test
A method to determine the maximum density that can be achieved through wetting and packing for a given aggregate.
O/S
Abbreviation – offset (generally used when a survey stake cannot be placed on the exact point of interest).
RAP (Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement)
Asphalt millings or other asphalt pavements that have been excavated for re-use. The RAP is oftern used as a component of new hot-mixed asphalt.
Reflective Cracking
Cracks in the asphalt overlay that mirror the cracks in the original asphalt surface below. The photo at right illustrates a crack in the asphalt overlay "mirroring" (reflecting) the control joint of the old concrete street under the asphalt.
Road Base
A mixture of gravel, sand and fines that compacts well.
R/W
Abbreviation – right of way
Sanitary Manhole
Manholes that are part of a sewage system. There are many types and sizes of manholes. Most manholes are cylindrical in shape and made of concrete.
Sheep's Foot
A heavy piece of equipment used in dirt compaction. Because of the angle of the projections on the roller, the Sheep’s Foot is able to compact at a high value per square inch. Most are also able to vibrate while it is compacting. This increases it ability to compact.
Slope
The degree to which a paved surface is angled to aid in the drainage of water.
Slump
The "sloppiness" of wet concrete, generally more slump equals less strength.
Stone Base
The layer in the pavement system below the asphalt binder and driving surface. The base usually consists of crushed stones of varying sizes and gradations.
Stone slinger
Conveyor belt equipped dump truck than can precision place or "throw" gravel.
Subgrade
The soil prepared to support an asphalt structure or pavement system. It is the foundation for the base and the pavement structure.
Subgrade Failure
Subgrade failures occur when the prepared soil beneath the asphalt structure can no longer adequately support the weight of the structure or the traffic. Subgrade failures can occur for a number of reasons, including: ground water, excessive load counts (too much weight), and inadequate design. The failure can be corrected by excavating the soft material from the affected area and replacing it with compacted soil or bridging stone material.
Superpave
Is short for "Superior Performing Asphalt Pavement". It is an asphalt design philosophy that uniquely designs roads, parking lots and other asphalt structures according to the environment. Variables such as weather, the amount of traffic, the type of traffic, etc. are taken into account.
Surface
Asphalt mix where the largest stone used is no larger than 3/8 of an inch ( typically #8 gradation). Surface mixes are usually laid at a minimum depth of 1" compacted.
Tri-axle
Three axle (rear) dump truck.
Topsoil
Native or manufactured soil with 15-40% organic content. It is normally used to provide a good growing base for vegetation. This soil is usually dark in color and a sandy loam consistency.
Transverse Crack
A break in the asphalt pavement that is at a ninety degree angle to the direction of the roadway or the direction in which the asphalt was laid.
Transverse Joint
A joint in the asphalt pavement that is at a ninety degree angle to the direction of the roadway or the direction in which the asphalt was laid.
Wedging
Is a layer of asphalt applied as leveling prior to the application of the final driving surface of asphalt. The wedging layer is intended to even out any imperfections in the existing pavement prior to applying the final layer.
Wing Wall
A flaring vertical wall on either side of a culvert.