Civil Engineering Dictionary Terms : C

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Sr.TermDefinition
1Calendar DayAny day shown on the calendar, and the 24-hour period thereof from 12:01 a.m. to midnight.
2CantileverA beam which is securely supported at one end, and hangs freely at the other; an overhanging beam.
3CamberA slightly arched surface of a road to compensate for anticipated deflection or to allow for drainage.
4Cantilever FootingA combined footing that supports an exterior wall or exterior columns.
5Capillary Pressure Or Seepage ForceIn ground which is being drained from outside an excavation, capillary pressures help the excavated earth to stand steeply. However, if the ground is being drained from inside and not from outside the excavation, the capillary pressures will help the earth face to collapse.
6Capillary WaterWater just above the water table which is drawn up out of an aquifer due to capillary action of the soil.
7CarriagewayThe part of a highway which carrier vehicles.
8CassionA cylindrical or rectangular rigged-wall for keeping water or soft ground from flowing into an excavation while digging for foundations or piles.
9Cast-In-Place Or Cast-In-SituConcrete deposited in its permanent place.
10CaulkingUsing pressure gun for filling of a crack, crevice, seam or joint to make it air or water-tight.
11CementA mixture of silicates and aluminates of calcium that when mixed with water it binds a stone-sand mixture into a strong concrete within a few days.
12Cement MortarMortar usually composed of four parts sand to one of cement, with a suitable amount of water.
13Centerline Or HighwayA line equidistant from the edges of the median separating the main traveled ways on a divided highway, or the center line of the main traveled way on undivided highway.
14ChannelA natural or artificial water course.
15ChainageA length (Usually 100 feet) measured by chain or steel tape.
16Change OrderA written order issued by the Engineer to the Contractor, and signed by both, which set forth any necessary or desirable changes in the contract including, but not limited to, extra work, increases or decreases in contract quantities, the basis of payment, contract time adjustments and other additions or alteration to the contract. A change order signed by the Contractor indicates his agreement therewith.
17CharacteristicA measurable property of a material, product or item of construction.
18ChevronV shaped strips meeting at an angle.
19Chezy Manning EquationUsed to measure water flow in open channels.
20ChromatingPriming with lead or zinc to prevent forming of rust.
21ClayVery fine-grained soil of colloid size(Finer than 0.002 mm), consisting mainly of hydrated silicate of aluminum. It is a plastic cohesive soil which shrinks on drying, expands on wetting, and gives up water when compressed.
22Coarse Aggregate(1) For concrete: aggregate which retained on the No. 4 sieve (4.76 mm). (2) For bituminous material: aggregate which retained on a sieve of 3 mm square opening.
23CobbleRock fragments between 3 to 6 in size.
24Cohesion Of SoilThe stickiness of clay or silt. It is the shear strength of clay, which generally equals about half its unconfined compressive strength.
25Cohesive SoilA sticky soil like clay or clayey silt.
26Cohesionless SoilSand, gravel and similar soils, also known as frictional soils since their properties are defined more by their angle of internal friction than by cohesion.
27CompactionArtificial increase of the dry density of a granular soil by mechanical means such as rolling the surface layers, or driving sand piles for deep compaction, vibroflotation, or impact methods. There are many methods of compaction, six main types of compacting equipment are: (1) pneumatic-tyred rollers, in which the rear wheels cover the gaps left by the front wheels, (2) tamping rollers, (3) sheepsfoot rollers, (4) vibrating rollers, (5) frog rammers (trench compactors), and (6) vibrating plates. The last two are used for confined spaces.
28CompoundA homogeneous substance composed of two or more elements that can be decomposed by chemical changes only.
29ConcreteA mixture of water, sand, stone, and a binder (Usually portland cement) which hardens to a stonelike mass. There are four types of portland cement.
30Normal Portland CementThis is a general-purpose cement used whenever sulfate hazards are absent and when the heat of hydration will not produce objectionable rises in temperature. Typical uses are sidewalks, pavement, beams, columns and culverts.
31Modified Portland Cement (Sulfate-Resistant Portland Cement)This type of cement is applicable when exposure to severe sulfate concentration is expected, generally used in hot weather in the construction of large concrete structures. Its heat rate and total heat generation are lower than for normal portland cement.
32High-Early Strength Portland CementThis type develops its strength quickly. It is suitable for use when the structure must be put into early use or when long-term protection against cold temperatures is not feasible. Its shrinkage rate, however, is higher than for types I and II, and extensive cracking may result.
33Low-Heat Portland CementFor extensive concrete structures, such as gravity dams, low-heat cement is required to minimize the curing heat. The ultimate strength also develops more slowly than for the other types.
34ConduitAny open channel, pipe, etc., for flowing fluid. A pipe or tube in which smaller pipes, tubes, or electrical conductors are inserted or are to be inserted.
35Consistency Of ConcreteEase of flow or workability of concrete, measured by slump test or Kelly ball test.
36ConsolidationThe gradual, slow compression of a cohesive soil due to weight acting on it, which occurs as water, or water and air are driven out of the voids in the soil. Consolidation only occurs with clays or other soils of low permeability, it is not the same as compaction, which is a mechanical, immediate process and only occurs in soils with at least some sand.
37Continuous BeamA beam extending over several spans in the same straight line.
38Continuous Or Combined FootingA long footing supporting a continuous wall or two or more columns in a row.
39ContractorThe person or persons, firm, partnership, corporation, or combination thereof, private or municipal, who have entered into a contract with the State (Client).
40ContractThe written agreement between the State (Client) and the contractor setting forth the obligation of the parties hereunder, including, but not limited to, the performance of the work, the furnishing of labor, equipments and materials and the basis of payment. The contract includes the Advertisement for Bids, Proposal, Bidding Schedule, Contract Agreement and Contract Bonds, Certificate of Insurance, Standard Specifications, Supplemental Specifications, Special Provisions, Project Plans, Standard Drawings and any Supplemental Agreements that are required to complete the construction of the work in an acceptable manner within a specified period, including authorized extensions thereof, all of which constitute one instrument.
41Contract Payment BondThe approved form of security, executed by the Contractor and his surety or sureties, guaranteeing complete performance of the contract and all supplemental agreements pertaining thereto and the payment of all legal debts pertaining to the construction of the project.
42CopingThe cap or top course of a wall.
43CorrosionDisintegration or deterioration of metal, concrete or reinforcement by electrolysis or chemical attack.
44CorrugationsRegular transverse undulation or alternate ridges upon a metal pipe surface to give greater rigidity to thin plates.
45CourseThe roadway horizontal pavement layer.
46CriteriaThe Client's requirements for the design and construction of a particular type of building, or structure.
47Critical(1) Of, relating to, or being a turning point or specially important juncture. (2) Relating to or being a state in which a measurement or point at which some quality, property or phenomenon suffers a definite change.
48Cracking In ConcreteCracking is always expected in reinforced concrete, since it has such a high shrinkage on hardening. Additional cracks will occur on the stretched side of a beam. Reinforcement shall be inserted sufficient in quantity and closeness to make the cracks invisible to the naked eye and very close together. Contraction and expansion joints are constructed to reduce cracking.
49CrackAn open seam not necessarily extending through the body of a material. There are around 7 types of cracks in asphaltic or portland cement concrete.
50Alligator CrackA crack caused by fatigue of the asphaltic concrete surface layer or excessive movement of the underlying layers. Typically alligator cracks form an interconnected network of irregularly shaped polygons varying in size from a few square inches to 1 square foot.
51Block CrackA crack caused by shrinkage of the bound surface material. Typically block cracks form an interconnected network of nearly square shapes varying in size from 1 square foot to several square feet.
52Durability(D) CrackA series of closely-spaced cracks adjacent and roughly parallel to concrete pavement joints. caused by the freezing and thawing of unsound aggregates that have a high moisture content.
53Random CrackA crack that is neither longitudinal or transverse crack and that has a little or no interconnection with other cracks. May be caused by movement, either of the pavement structure or subgrade or both.
54Reflective CrackCrack in a pavement surface layer caused by the high stresses from movements of a cracked underlying layer.
55Transverse Or Temperature CrackA long crack approximately perpendicular to the centerline caused by longitudinal shortening of the bound surface layer, sometimes called temperature cracks as the shortening is often caused by contraction from temperature changes. Typically transverse cracks extend across the full width of the pavement.
56Craze CrackNumerous fine cracks which appear on the surface of concrete in a hexagonal or octagonal pattern. This type of crack is caused by improperly trowelled concrete surface.
57CulvertA covered channel up to about 12 feet in width or a large pipe for carrying a watercourse below ground level, usually under a road or railway.
58CuringKeeping freshly poured concrete or mortar damp for specified time (Usually the first one week of its life) so that the cement is always provided with enough water to harden. This improves the final strength of concrete, particularly at the surface, and should reduce surface cracking or dusting.

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