List provided by a November 1990 article from the Services Magazine.
A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z
Abrasion - The wearing away of a film by friction.
Abrasive Cleaners – Those types o cleaners that clean mainly by their abrasive or scouring action.
Acid Cleaners – A detergent that partially or totally consists of one or more of the acids.
Acrylic Floor Finish – refers to a water-based floor finish that dries hard and glossy.
Acrylic – Refers to a fiber used in the carpet industry, a polymer that is composed of at least 85% (by weight) of acrylonitrite units.
Adhesion – The adhering or sticking together of substances in contact with each other.
Alkali Resistance – The ability of a product to withstand chemical attack by alkalis.
Alkaline Cleaners – A detergent that has a pH greater than 7.
Alkalis – A term that refers to hydroxides and carbonates of sodium and potassium, but is applied also to other alkaline compounds such as the bicardonates and ammonia.
All-purpose Detergent – A detergent formulated for general purposes.
Anhydrous Soap – Soap that is free of water.
Anionic Detergent – A detergent that produces negatively charged colloidal ions in solution.
Anti-slip – That property of a floor finish that makes a floor non-slip.
Application Requirement – It should be practical to apply a satisfactory coating using standard floor maintenance methods. String mop and lamb’s wool are common methods of application.
Asphalt Tile – Asphalt tile is made of asbestos fibers, mineral coloring pigments and inert fillers bound together with a binder. In the case of dark colors, this binder is Gilsonite asphalt.
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Binder – That part of the composition of floor tile that binds or holds together the rest of the parts.
Biodegradability – The susceptibility of an organic material, such as a surfactant, to completely break down or to chemically change to simple substances like water and carbon dioxide in sewage treatment.
Bleeding – The diffusion of coloring matter through a coating from the substratum.
Blooming – Blooming is a white discoloration or deposit on the surface of a new concrete or magnesite floor.
Blushing – A term applied to the whitening effect that sometimes occurs as a solvent finish dries.
Brittleness Test – See Flexibility. A test for floor coating in which a coating on a metal strip is bent over a ¼” mandril and an examination is made for cracks and breaking.
Buffability – The property of a finish that allows repairability and enhancement of gloss through buffing or spray buffing.
Buffer Action – The resistance of a solution to change in pH.
Buffer Agent – A material added to a solution to aid stability through buffering action.
Buffering Activity – A measure of the ability of the detergent to stand up under acid soils without losing its cleaning action.
Buffing – Polishing with a pad or brush.
Builder – A material added to soap or synthetic detergent to improve its effectiveness under the conditions of use.
Buildup – When successive coats of a floor finish are applied over an area where there is not a wearing down of the film, there is buildup of the coatings.
Built Soap or Detergent – A cleaner made of soap or detergent base with builders added to aid in the cleaning; these builders are generally alkaline in nature.
Burnish – To buff a protective floor coating before it dries, resulting in a hard finish.
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Carnauba – Derived from the Brazilian wax palm.
Caustic – Having the capability of burning, corroding, dissolving, or otherwise eating away by chemical action.
Caustic Cleaners – Cleaners that partially or totally consist of caustic materials.
Celsius – The temperature unit for the metric system.
Centigrade – A standard scale of a thermometer consisting of a hundred degrees or divisions.
Chalking – a phenomenon of certain coatings manifested by the presence of loose powder that results from the film itself, at or just beneath the surface.
Checking – A type of film failure, after exposure, which is manifested by small breaks in the film observed running at random throughout the surface of the film.
Chemical Cleaning – Cleaning by the use of some chemical, as opposed to mechanical or abrasive cleaning.
Chemical Disinfection – Disinfection by the use of chemicals as opposed to heat and other physical or electronic means.
Chemical Resistance – The property of a floor finish that allows it to be unaffected by chemicals spilled on it.
Clarity – The clearness of a liquid product.
Cleaning – A process of removing undesirable matter.
Compatible – Capable of being used together in a product and having no undesirable effects.
Concrete Floors – Concrete is a mixture of cement, sand, and crushed stone or gravel that is made into a paste with water.
Concrete Hardener – A special chemical treatment for anew concrete that combines with it and hardens the surface.
Concrete Seal – A protective coating applied to a new or old concrete floor to harden, seal, and reduce dusting.
Conductivity – Quality of power of conducting or transmitting heat, electricity, etc.
Cork Floors – Cork comes from the outer bark of the cork oak tree.
Corrosion – Action or effect of eating away by degrees, as by the action of a strong acid, caustic alkali, or other material.
Corrosion Inhibitors – Ingredients incorporated in a product to protect metal parts with which the product may come in contact.
Cove Base – Concave joining of wall to floor to eliminate angle and facilitate cleaning.
Coverage – The number of square feet of surface covered by a gallon.
Crystalline – Having the properties of a solid with the characteristic shape caused by arrangement of its atoms or molecules into a pattern.
Curing – A term applied to the drying out of excess water in freshly laid concrete.
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Damp Mopping – Involves using a cotton or synthetic mop with plain water or mild detergent solution that is wrung out to remove lightly adhering soil.
Degreaser – A chemical (solvent, soap, detergent, or alkali) that removes greases and oils.
Detergency – Cleaning efficiency or effectiveness of cleaning that is, cleaning quality or power of a detergent given as a percentage in reports.
Detergent – Any composition that cleans.
Detergent Germicide – A one-step product that is a combination of a germicide and detergents.
Detergent, Soapless or Synthetic – A detergent produced by chemical synthesis and comprising an organic composition other than soap.
Dilution – A substance made thinner or more liquid by mixture with something else, especially with water.
Dirt Retention – When tracked-in soil adheres to floor finish or is worked into it easily and quickly, it is said to have high dirt retention.
Discoloration – This is the tendency of a wax or plastic film to darken or yellow a floor.
Disinfectant – Chemicals used on inanimate objects that destroy microorganisms.
Double Bucket Procedure – A mopping procedure using two buckets, one with germicide, the other with water.
Drier – A composition that accelerates the drying of oil, paint, printing ink, or varnish.
Dry Time – This is the time it takes a finish (or seal) to dry tack free under average drying conditions.
Durability – The wearing quality of a floor finish.
Dusting – The property of a powdered product to have a large quantity of fine particles leave the main bulk when agitated, poured, or mixed.
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EDTA – Ethylenediamine tetra acetic acid; the disodium and trisodium salts of this acid are popular determent builders and chelating agents sometimes used as a replacement for phosphates in detergents.
Efflorescence – The forming of a white deposit on the surface of concrete or brick.
Emulsion – A substantially permanent heterogeneous liquid mixture of two or more liquids that do not normally dissolve in each other but are held in suspension, one in the other, by small amounts of additional substances known as emulsifiers.
Enamel – A paint that employs varnish as the vehicle and is colored with suitable pigments.
Epoxy – A shortened name for a class of synthetic resins.
Etching – Cutting lines in metal or glass or other objects by using acid.
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Fading – The change of color (from original) of the film after exposure.
Filler – A filler is primarily a cost reducing material used in the manufacture of flooring materials or paint.
Film – A thin covering or coating.
Finish – A protective coating used as a top coat.
Flexibility – The ability of a floor finish to be pliable, resilient, or plastic in nature.
Floor Machine – A power-driven machine equipped with a scrubbing or buffing pad or brush used to remove soil by scrubbing, buff-polish or burnishing floor surfaces.
Foam – A mass of bubbles formed on liquids by agitation.
Foaming Agent – A material that increases the stability of a suspension of gas bubbles in a liquid medium.
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Germicide – See Disinfectant. Substances used on either inanimate or animate objects that destroy harmful microorganisms or germs.
Gloss – A surface shininess or luster.
Grout – Concrete or similar substance used between ceramic tile on floors and walls.
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Hard Water – The presence of any amount of chemical compound that interferes with the property of soap to form a lather. Compounds usually found are clcium and magnesium salts with small amounts of iron and aluminum.
Hardwood Floor – Nonresilient flooring of maple, pecan, oak, beech, and various other hardwoods.
Heeling – Method of exerting pressure on one side of a floor machine to remove rubber heel marks or heavily soiled areas.
Hiding Power – the power of a paint or paint material when it is used to obscure a surface painted with it.
Humidity – A measure of moisture in the atmosphere.
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Impact Resistance – The ability of a film to resist sudden forceful blows, such as from a hammer.
Indentation – An impression or mark in a tile caused by an object hitting or resting on the tile for a time.
Inorganic Alkaline Detergent – A water-soluble inorganic alkaline salt or alkali having detergent properties but containing so soap or synthetics.
Insulating Film – A film built up on a conductive floor so that it does not conduct electricity.
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James Machine – An instrument for measuring the static coefficient of friction of a surface (such as a floor).
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Latex – A dispersion in which natural or synthetic rubber or some closely related or similar material is the dispersed substance. The milky sap from the rubber tree is, of course, the prime natural example.
Lather – A foam or froth formed when a detergent is agitated in water or other liquid.
Linoleum Floors – Linoleum is made from oxidized linseed oil or a combination of drying oils, wood flour, and/or ground cork, resins, and pigment.
Low Sudsing – Refers to a product that cleans without forming any significant amount of foam.
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M.S.D.S. – Material Safety Data Sheet – Required to be available from all manufacturers of any chemical compounds and products.
Magnesite Floors – The binder in these “hard composition” floors is magnesium oxychloride.
Maintenance – The care and upkeep of buildings and grounds.
Marble Floors – Marble is principally calcium carbonate in crystalline form. Dolomite marble also contains a proportion of magnesium carbonate.
Mastic – Commonly used interchangeably with asphalt.
Matrix – A place or an enveloping substance within which something originates or develops.
Mechanical Cleaning – Removing of soil or dirt from a surface by manual scrubbing or by use of abrasives, as opposed to chemical cleaning.
Metal Interlock or Complexed Polish – A floor polish that incorporates a metal salt in its formulation to provide detergent and water resistance and improved removability.
Mild Cleaner – A cleaner that is mild or non-damaging in its action on the soiled surface.
Mopping, Damp – Mopping with a mop wrung out in clear water or with a very diluted, soapless detergent solution.
Mopping, Strip – 1. A process in which tile floors are stipped of flor finish using a product which contains sufficient cleaning and emulsifying ingredients to eliminate the need for agitation or scrubbing with a floor machine. 2. A product containing solvents and emulsifing agents that are aggressive enough to facilitate complete removal of floor finish without the need for machine scrubbing.
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Neutral – Neither acid nor alkaline.
Neutralize – To destroy the peculiar properties or effect of a substance; to neutralize an acid with a base and visa versa.
NFPA – National Fire Protection Association – A nonprofit educational and technical association formed in 1896 and devoted to the protection of life and property from fire through development of fire protection standards and public education. They set the standards for conductive flooring tests for determining conductivity.
Non-buff Finish – A hard floor finish designed to give high initial gloss that is not repairable by regular dry buffing, only spray solution.
Nonionic Detergent – A detergent that produces electrically-neutral colloidal particles in solution.
Nonvolatile – See Solids
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Odor – Most products have an odor before perfuming.
Orange Peel – A slight pitting of a surface of a finish that resembles the skin of an orange.
OSHA – Occupational Safety and Health Administration – A government agency that is concerned with safety and employee health in the workplace.
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Peeling – The pulling or falling away of pieces of coating from a surface.
Pencil Hardness – A measure of the hardness of a finish by means of graded pencils.
Penetrate – Any compound used to increase the speed and ease with which a liquid permeates a material.
pH Value – A measure of acidity or alkalinity on a scale from 0-14, with 7 as the neutral point.
Phenolic Germicide – A germicide that contains a phenolic comound.
Phosphates – Alkaline builders used in detergents for their anit-redeposition properties and water-softening effects.
Pigment – A coloring matter; any powdered substance mixed with a suitable liquid in which it is relatively insoluble to form paints, enamels, etc.
Pitting – Small holes that form in hard-surface floorsing.
Plasticizer – A substance added to paint, varnish, lacquer, wax or polymer to impact flexibility.
Plastic Finish – A coating made from one or more of the plastics. (Also see Plastics)
Plastics – Organic materials that can be molded or shaped by mechanical means to yield tough, non-crystalline substances that are solid at ordinary temperatures.
Polyethylene – A type of polymer used in the construction of floor finish to add flexibility and elasticity to the product.
Polymer – A substance (often synthetic) composed of giant molecules that have been formed by the union of a number of simple molecules with one another.
Porosity – State of being porous.
Porous – Full of tiny openings usually only seen under a microscope.
Powdering – The development of a fine, white, flaky deposit resulting from abrasion of the surface by buffing or heavy traffic.
Power Scrubber – A power-driven machine equipped with scrub pads or brushes, solution, rinse tanks, a squeegee, and vacuum system that is used to scrub and rinse floors in one operation.
PPM – Abbreviation for parts per million.
Precipitation – the formulation of solid particles in a solution or the setting or rising up of small particles in a liquid medium.
Precoating/Undercoating – The application of a seal to a freshly-scrubbed surface that is free of floor finish in order to close the pores of the floor prior to application of the finishing coats.
Primer – The first of two or more coats of a paint, varnish, or lacquer system.
Protection – All types of flooring need some kind of protection to preserve their surfaces.
PVC – (Polyvinyl Chloride) – A common plastic material used in vinyl or vinyl asbestos flooring.
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Quality Control – The result of many factors, which include proper selection of raw materials, careful handling, judicious processing, adequate packaging, and effective consistent sanitation in a manufacturing plant.
Quanternary Ammonium – Kills by damaging the living microorganism so that leakage through the cell wall occurs.
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Re-coatability – The application characteristics of a surface coating and its appearance after successive applications.
Redeposition – A condition of soil settling back on a cleaned surface before the cleaning solution has been removed.
Reflectance – The numerical reading of the photoelectric reflection meter used in a detergency test.
Relative Humidity – The ration of the quantity of vapor actually present in the air to the greatest amount possible at a given temperature.
Repairability – In floor maintenance, the property of being able to do feathering and add more finish do to a spot that is damaged and then to buff or use other methods to bring both the repaired spot and the surrounding area to the same appearance.
Resilient Flooring – Capable of withstanding shock without permanent deformation or rupture. Examples include asphalt, linoleum, rubber, vinyl, vinyl asbestos, and cork.
Resin – Hard, fusible, and more or less brittle materials that are solids at ordinary temperatures and insoluble in water but may be dissolved in solvents, oils, and waxes.
Resistance to Soil – A treated floor should remain cleaner than an untreated surface exposed to the same traffic or soil.
Restorer – Product used in conjunction with a high-speed or thermoplastic floor finish system; replaces spray buff compound.
Rinsability – The ability or ease of being rinsed or washed completely away.
Rubber Burn – This occurs when a rubber heel or shoe makes a black mark on the floor coating.
Rubber Floors – Rubber floors are made chiefly of synthetic rubber, fillers, and mineral pigments.
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Sanitation – The science or use of sanitary measures.
Saponification – The process of converting a fatty acid into a soap by reacting it with an alkaline compound.
Scour – The use of steel wool or an abrasive fiber product disc to dry-abrade a sealed surface in preparation for another coat.
Scrubbing – Using a scrub brush or fine or medium fiber pad and a mild detergent solution to remove soil, but leaving as much of the protective coating as possible.
Scuff – Scuff occurs when a person walks without lifting the feet.
Seal – A floor seal is designed to penetrate the floor material and fill pores rather than produce a surface finish.
Semibuffable Finish – A floor finish that is designed to give good initial gloss but is soft enough to allow repair by buffing or spray buffing.
Sequestering Agent – Certain chemicals, the first of them phosphates, that react with the calcium, magnesium, and iron compounds that make water “hard”.
Shelf Life – The length of time a product will remain unchanged in its container after packaging.
Skinning – A drying of volatile materials on the surface of product so that a layer of solid matter is formed.
Slip Coefficient – this is a measure of the angle of a person’s foot at the point where it begins to slip.
Soap – The product formed by the saponification or neutralization of fats, oils, waxes, resins, or their acids with organic or inorganic bases.
Soap Scum – Insoluble lime soaps formed by calcium and magnesium salts reacting with the fatty acid in the soap.
Softening Point – The nonvolatile material of a compound is tested for the temperature at which it begins to become fluid.
Soil – (in reference to detergency) – Soil is a matter out of place.
Soil Retention – Visible foreign matter remaining in surface film after the cleaning process on a floor coating film.
Solids – All materials in a product that do not evaporate or become volatile at 105 degrees C.
Solvent Finish – A finish that is made of waxes, resins, or plastics dissolved or dispersed in one or more solvents.
Solvents – The liquid component of a solution in which a substance is dissolved.
Spalling – The cracking, breaking or splintering of materials due to heat, especially with concrete or terrazzo floors.
Specific Gravity – The ratio of the mass of a solid or liquid to the mass of an equal volume of distilled water at 4 degrees C or of a gas to an equal volume of air or hydrogen under prescribed conditions of temperature and pressure. (American Heritage Dictionary)
Specular Gloss – Specular gloss is the ability of a surface t reflect light by specular reflection, i.e., by the kind of reflection shown by a mirror.
Spray Buffing – A form of cleaning the traffic area of a floor in order to extend the period between stripping.
Spread and Leveling – The ability of a wax or a plastic product to be applied to a floor without streaking or drying unevenly.
Streaking – Uneven spots, usually in rows in a floor finish, that are caused by improper application.
Stripper – That which removes, peels, loosens, or blisters paint, varnishes, seals, or similar coatings from surfaces such as metals or wood.
Stripping – Using a scrub brush or a medium or coarse fiber pad and a strong detergent in a stripping solution to remove both the soil and the previous protective coating, leaving as much as possible of any sealer that may be present and causing no harm to the flooring.
Suds – A foam or lather generated on or in a detergent solution.
Surface Active Agent – A material that, when added to a liquid medium, modifies the properties of the medium at the surface or interface.
Surface Tension – A natural force at the surface of liquids exposed to air that acts inwardly, the liquid behaving as if it were covered by an elastic skin.
Surfactant – A contraction of surface active agent.
Suspension – A liquid medium having small solid particles uniformly dispersed through it.
Sward Hardness – The hardness of a finish determined by means of a Sward Rocker.
Syndet – A contraction for the term synthetic detergent used loosely to signify synthetic detergents or compositions containing synthetic detergents.
Synthetic – A raw material that has been made or built up by the union of simpler compounds or of its elements, yielding synthetics (soapless) detergents, synthetic waxes, plastics, polymers, etc.
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Taber Abrasion Test – A standard test recording the number of cycles under a standard abrasive wheel and standard pressure when a coating fails.
Tack Rag – A cloth moistened with a liquid to remove dust and lint from a surface before coating.
Tackiness – The property of being sticky or adhesive. A floor coating can be tacky for a few hours or remain permanently tacky.
Temperature – A detergent may clean better when a higher temperature is employed in the cleaning action.
Terrazzo – Terrazzo has smooth surface that consists of marble in a Portland cement matrix.
Thermoplastic – Synthetic and natural resins that may be softened by heat and then regain their original properties upon cooling.
Thixotropic – Exhibiting the property of being still and jellylike when at rest but becoming fluid or free flowing when shaken.
Tile – (Clay-Ceramic) – This type of tile is make of clay mixed with water and burned or “fired” in kilns.
Topaka Floor Slip Tester – Instrument used to check the slip resistance of a floor, finished or unfinished.
Transparency of Film – A wax or plastic film is laid on glass and a comparison to the transparency of glass is made.
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Ultra High Speed Finish – Floor finish with polymer composition that is thermally reactive (must be burnished with a floor machine with a floor speed in excess of 2000 rpm) in which molecules actually bond to form a thin plastic laminate.
Ultra High Speed Machine – A floor machine designed to run at 2000 rpm or higher.
Undercoating – See Precoating.
Underwriters’ Laboratories – (U.L.) – A nonprofit organization founded in 1894 and sponsored by the National Board of Fire Underwriters.
Urethane – A synthetic resin, ethyl carbamate, used in coatings for wood, concrete, and metal.
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V.O.C. – (Volatile Organic Compound) – Measure of the amount of pollutants in a given product, e.g., finishes, strippers, degreasers, etc.
Vehicle – That component in a paint (or finish, seal, etc.) that produces a film upon drying.
Vinyl Asbestos Floors – Vinyl asbestos tile is comparable to asphalt tile, except that vinyl-type resins are the binder instead of other resins.
Vinyl Composition Tile – Floor covering material similar to vinyl asbestos tile but containing no asbestos.
Vinyl Cork Tile – Flooring of natural cork with clean plastic fused on; it has the appearance, durability, and smoothness of vinyl.
Vinyl Floors – Homogeneous flexible vinyl resins are used as the binding agent in vinyl flooring.
Viscosity – The resistance to flow exhibited by a liquid resulting from the combined effects of cohesion and adhesion.
Volatile – The volatile matter of a product is removed by heating it a 105 degrees C for three hours.
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Washing – Cleaning in an aqueous medium.
Walter Hardness – The amount of metallic salts such as calcium, magnesium, or iron dissolved in water, measured in parts per million or grains.
Water Resistance – The ability of a floor finish to be unaffected by water spilled on it.
Wax Applicator – A 12 to 16 inch woodblock with a lamb’s wool pad or similar arrangement used for applying protective floor coatings.
Wax Stripper – A special detergent composition that removes wax and similar floor finishes from a floor.
Wax, True – Beeswax and substances of plant or animal origin closely resembling beeswax such as spermaceti Chinese wax and carnauba wax; also, solid substances of mineral origin closely resembling beeswax, such as Ozokerite and paraffin, consisting usually of higher hydrocarbons. (Definition courtesy Federal Trade Commission)
Wear – Any mechanical action, such as foot wear, that causes a distortion of the surface of a floor coating film.
Wet Abrasion – A standard test to determine the effect of water on a floor finish with some abrasive action.
Wet Mopping – Using a cotton or synthetic mop to apply a liberal amount of disinfecting solution to kill bacteria.
Wetting Agent – A material that increases the spreading of a liquid medium on a surface.
Wood Floors – Wood floors may be either softwoods or hardwoods in a variety of widths, thicknesses, and designs.
Wrinkling – Surface irregularity that may vary from dull to pronounced.
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Yellowing – Discoloration of a floor finish due to aging or composition.
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