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UNIVERSIDAD DE LA SERENA

FACULTAD DE HUMANIDADES
DEPTO. DE ARTES Y LETRAS

CARRERA: CONSTRUCCION CIVIL

UNIT FOUR
THE CONSTRUCTION
INDUSTRY

Prepared by
Prof. Sergio Ríos Jabalquinto

2019
READING 1. THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY

VOCABULARY:

agreed, adj. acordado


amendment, s. enmienda
asphalt, s. asfalto
asphalt pavement, f.s. pavimento asfáltico
assume, vr. asumir
basin, s. cuenca
bear (p.t. bore; p.p. born/borne), vi. aguantar, sostener, sustentar
bid (p.t. & p.p. bid), vi. licitar
bidding, s. licitación
bidder, s. licitador, postor
body, s. corporación
bond, s. fianza
bonus, s. bonificación, prima
borrow, vr. pedir o tomar prestado
build (p.t. & p.p. built), vi. construir, edificar
builder, s. constructor
climate, s. clima
completion, s. consumación, término
concrete, s. concreto
concrete pavement, f.s. pavimento de concreto
concrete pipe, f.s. tubería de concreto
construct, vr. construir
contractor, s. contratista
cool, vr. enfriar
cope with, vr. competir con, hacer frente a
core, s. cascote, cilindro de roca sacado con un taladro, testigo
cubic, adj. cúbico
cubic yards, f.s. yardas cúbicas
dealer, s. comerciante
debris, s. escombros
degree, s. grado
delay, s. retraso
deliver, vr. entregar
delivery, s. entrega
discretion, s. juicio
encourage, vr. alentar, animar
exert, vr. ejercer

108
(One hundred eight)
(One hundred nine) 109

delivery, s. entrega
discretion, s. juicio
encourage, vr. alentar, animar
exert, vr. ejercer
expedite, vr. acelerar, apurar
expense, s. gasto
fall (p.t. fell; p.p. fallen), vi. caer
fall behind, vi. quedarse atrás, rezagarse, retrasarse
fee, s. honorario
feeding, s. alimentación
finance, vr. financiar
finished, adj. acabado, terminado
foot (pl. feet), s. pie (pl. pies) (medida de longitud)
freezer, s. congelador
funding, s. financiamiento
furnish, vr. proporcionar, suministrar
gangway, s. pasamano, portalón
gas, s. gasolina
gas filter, f.s. filtro para gasolina
ground, s. piso, suelo
hard-fought, adj. reñido
hasten, vr. acelerar, apurar
headquaters, s. centro de dirección; oficina principal
headquarters office, f.s. oficina principal
heat, vr. calentar
highway, s. camino, carretera
hold (p.t. & p.p. held), vi. mantener, sostener
hose, s. manguera
incur, vr. incurrir
insurance, s. seguro
job, s. trabajo
keep up with (p.t. & p.p. kept up with), vi. ir al mismo paso que, correr a parejas con
key, adj. importante, principal
lack, s. carencia, falta
law, s. ley
look for, vr. buscar
loss, s. pérdida
lower, vr. rebajar
lump-sum, adj. (suma) total o global
managerial, adj. administrativo, directivo, gerencial
maneuverability, s. maniobrabilidad
might, v.m. puede, podría, (a lo mejor)
no longer, adv. ya no, no más
on-site, adj. en terreno
(One hundred ten) 110

others, pron. otros


outcome, s. resultado
own, vr. poseer, ser dueño de, tener
owner, s. propietario
pay (p.t. & p.p. paid), vi. pagar
pipeline, s. ducto, tubería
planning, s. planificación, proyecto
policy, s. plan de acción, política
polyethylene, s. polietileno
procedure, s. procedimiento
profit, s. ganancia, utilidad
put up (p.t. & p.p. put up), vi. construir, edificar
quotation, s. cotización
reimburse, vr. reembolsar
reject, vr. rechazar
rent, s. alquiler
roughly, adv. de manera general
site, s. emplazamiento, sitio
size, s. talla, tamaño
spoil, vr. deteriorarse, echarse a perder
(the) square of, f.s. (el) cuadrado de
square yards, f.s. yardas cuadradas
stall, vr. ahogarse (el motor), pararse
steel erection, f.s. montaje de estructuras de acero
successful, adj. exitoso
surety, s. fiador, garante
sustain, vr. soportar
swift, adj. rápido, veloz
tax, s. impuesto
there are, v.imp. hay (2 o más personas o cosas)
there is, v.imp. hay (solo una persona o cosa)
threaten, vr. amagar, amenazar
ton (AmE); tonne (BrE), s. tonelada
trapped, adj. atrapado
under, prep. bajo, debajo de
underbid (p.t. & p.p. underbid), vi. ganar una propuesta, superar a otro rival en una
propuesta
win (p.t. & p.p. won), vi. ganar
(One hundred eleven) 111

READING 1: THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY

Construction is essentially a service industry whose responsibility is to convert


the plans and specifications prepared by an engineer or an architect into a finished
project. The construction of projects involves thousands of details and complex
interrelationships among owners, architects, engineers, general contractors, specialty
5 contractors, manufacturers, material dealers, equipment distributors, governmental
bodies and agencies, labor, and others. The contractor assumes the responsibility
for the delivery of the completed facility at a specified time and cost. In so doing,
he accepts legal, financial, and managerial obligations.
Contractors, mainly specialty contractors, are professionals who have specialized
10 in the types of work which they construct. Although there are no clear lines separating
the fields of construction, they may be roughly divided into building, highway, heavy,
railroad, pipeline, municipal, marine, steel erection, etc. Several of these can be
subdivided into smaller fields. The reasons for specializing are primarily a matter
of business discretion. Few contractors, if any, can afford to own all the different
15 types of equipment required for construction in all engineering fields. A contractor
who attempts to own and operate such a large quantity of equipment might find
himself “equipment-poor”.
In the construction industry, the contractor is usually a builder, a professional
with solid bases on construction methods and techniques. To be a successful con-
20 tractor, a builder should show a certain degree of dissatisfaction over the plans and
methods under consideration for constructing a project. Complacency in members
of the construction industry will not contribute toward developing new equipment,
new methods, or new construction planning, all of which are desirable for continuing
improvements in the products of the industry at lower costs. A contractor who does
25 not keep informed on new equipment and methods will soon discover that his competitors
are underbidding him.
Costs may be lowered by:

1) conducting studies of the project and the site to determine the effect of topography,
geology, climate, sources of material, etc.;
30 2) using alternate construction equipment having higher capacities, higher efficiencies,
higher speed, more maneuverability, and lower operating costs;
3) holding periodic conferences with key personnel to discuss plans, procedures and
results;
4) paying bonuses to the key personnel for production in excess of a specified rate;
35 5) using radios as a means of communication between the headquarters office and
key personnel on projects covering large areas;
and so on.
As in any business activity, construction jobs are done under contract. There
are basically three types of construction contracts: lump-sum, unit-price, and cost-
40 plus-a-fixed-fee contracts.
A lump-sum contract specifies that the owner will pay to the contractor a specified
(One hundred twelve) 112

sum of money for the completion of a project conforming to the plans and specifications
furnished by an engineer or an architect.
A unit-price contract provides that the owner will pay to the contractor a specified
45 amount of money for each unit of work completed in a project. The units of work
may be any item whose quantities can be determined, such as cubic yards of earth,
linear feet of concrete pipe, square yards of concrete pavement, tons of asphalt
pavement, etc.
A cost-plus-a-fixed-fee contract (or simply “cost-plus fee” contract) states that
50 the owner reimburses the contractor for specified costs, usually on-site costs, incur-
red by the contractor in constructing a project, plus an additional fee, which is essen-
tially a management fee, to reimburse the contractor for the costs incurred at his
head office resulting from the construction of the project. Items of expense cover-
ed by the fee include, but are not limited to, salaries, rent, taxes, insurance, interest
55 on money borrowed to finance the project, expediting the delivery of materials to the
projects, etc.
Under the terms of any of these contracts, a contractor may earn a profit, or he
may sustain a loss.
Whichever the contract may be, contractors are frequently required to furnish a
60 performance bond for each project. The bond, which is issued by an approved
surety, protects the owner by guaranteeing that the project will be completed satis-
factorily for the contract price. In the event the original contractor fails to complete
the project, it then becomes the responsibility of the surety to obtain satisfactory
completion by engaging another contractor or by using some other method which is
65 acceptable to the owner. The cost of the performance bond, amounting to approxi-
mately 1 percent of the cost of the project, is paid by the contractor.
(Adapted form R. L. Peurifoy’s CONSTRUCTION PLANNING, EQUIPMENT, &
METHODS, pages 1 to 6.)

READING COMPREHENSION SECTION

MAIN IDEA. Which statement best expresses the main idea of the text? Mark the one you
chose with an X on the dotted line.

1. In the construction industry, the contractor is a professional with solid


bases on construction methods and techniques. ………...

2. Construction jobs are done under contract. ………...

3. Specialization is basic for anyone involved in the field of construction. ………..

4. Construction is a service industry in which contractors, working under


contract, assume the responsibility of putting up a project according
to the conditions stated by the designer. ………..
(One hundred thirteen) 113

CONTEXTUAL REFERENCE. What does the underlined expression refer to?

1. …. whose responsibility is to …. (l. 1) …………………………….

2. …. he accepts legal, financial, …. (l. 8) …………………………….

3. …. professionals who have specialized …. (l. 9) …………………………….

4. …. work which they construct. (l. 10) …………………………….

5. …. they may be roughly divided …. (l. 11) ……………………………..

6. Several of these …. (l. 12) ……………………………..

7. …. all of which are desirable …. (l. 23) ……………………………..

8. …. discover that his competitors …. (ls. 25-26) ……………………………...

9. …. be any item whose quantities …. (l. 46) ……………………………..

10. …. incurred at his head office …. (ls. 52-53) ……………………………..

11. …, which is issued by an …. (l. 60) ……………………………...

12. …. using some other method which …. (l. 64) ……………………………...

UNDERSTANDING THE READING. Decide whether these ideas are STATED (S) or NOT
STATED (NS) in this reading. If not stated, indicate the line number where the ideas should
have hypothetically been stated.

S/NS

1. Under a unit-price contract, the contractor receives payments at specified


intervals during the period of construction. ………...

2. Under any construction contract, losses may be due to differences


between the total cost of construction and the total amount of the
contract. …………

3. Specializing is a decision most people in the construction industry make


due to the many different types of work and equipment which the
activity involves. …………
(One hundred fourteen) 114

4. A contractor should be sometimes dissatisfied if he wants to improve


the project under construction. ………….

5. Costs may be reduced by adopting realistic safety practices to lower


the rate of accidents at work. …………

6. The bond a contractor provides guarantees the proprietor that the


work will be finished on time and at the agreed price. …………

LOCATING INFORMATION. Fine the line(s) in the text where the following ideas
are expressed. Write the line number(s) on the dotted line provided for each item.

LINE(S)

1. The contractor is responsible for finishing the project according to


the terms agreed. …………….

2. A contractor cannot manage to have equipment for every type


of construction work. …………….

3. If the contractor cannot finish the work in due time, the surety is
responsible for the satisfactory completion of it. …………….

4. The construction of a project implies the participation of lots of


people and institutions. …………….

5. There are reasons of business criterion which back up the special-


ization of builders. …………….

6. The surety has at least two options to finish a project which has
not been completed by the original builder. ……………..

UNDERSTANDING WORDS. Find a SYNONYM for:

1. corporations (l. 6) ………………………………..

2. put up (l. 10) ………………………………..

3. areas (l. 15) ………………………………..


(One hundred fifteen) 115

4. important (l. 32) ……………………………….

5. quantity (l. 45) ………………………………..

6. provide (l. 59) ………………………………..

Find an ANTONYM for :

7. simple (l. 3) ………………………………..

8. light (l. 12) ………………………………..

9. small (l. 16) ………………………………..

10. weak (l. 19) ………………………………..

11. unimportant (l. 34) ………………………………..

12. lose (l. 57) ………………………………..

GRAMMAR SECTION

PART A. WORD FORMATION IV

◙ Non-hyphenated Compounds

There are many examples of “non-hyphenated compound” words in the English language
and they are widely used in scientific and technical literature. A few examples to illustrate this
are:

COMPOUN SINTAX MEANING

percent (Preposition + Noun) (a certain amount) per cent (=for each hundred)
furthermore (Adverb + Adjective) additionally more
windmill (Noun + Noun) the wind powers the mill
handwriting (Noun + Verb-ing) X writes with the hand
rattlesnake (Verb + Noun) the snake rattles
darkroom (Adjective + Noun) the room is dark
manmade (Noun + Verb-ed) something [is] made by man
homesick (Noun + Adjective) X is nostalgic for his country
(One hundred sixteen) 116

EXERCISE 1. With the help of dictionaries (both bilingual and monolingual in English) that
you may find in the Irma Salas Library, try to find the meaning of the following non-hyphenated
compounds in English first, then give the meaning in Spanish.

COMPOUND MEANING IN ENGLISH MEANING IN SPANISH

breakthrough …………………………………. ………………………………..

doorknob …………………………………. ………………………………..

snowflake …………………………………. ………………………………..

homework …………………………………. ………………………………...

standstill …………………………………. ………………………………..

hardboard …………………………………. ……………………………….

paperback …………………………………. ……………………………….

sawdust …………………………………. ……………………………….

motorcycle …………………………………. ……………………………….

daylight …………………………………. ……………………………….

bloodstain …………………………………. ………………………………

searchlight …………………………………. ………………………………

◙ Reduplicates

Some compounds have two or more elements which are either identical; eg. goody-goody,
or only slightly different. The difference between the two elements may be in the initial conso-
nant; eg. walkie-talkie, in the medial vowels, e.g. criss-cross, ping-pong. They are mentioned
here only as a reference.
(One hundred seventeen) 117

PART B. THE STRUCTURE OF THE NOUN PHRASE IV: Post-nominal Relative


Clauses (Adverbial Position)

Models: We injected water into the holes from which the cores were obtained.
The time rate at which money earns interest is called interest rate.

NOTE. In Unit 3, the relative pronouns (which, that, who, whose) were used in
subject position, e.g.

The machine that cuts the logs is broken.

“That” substitutes for “the machine” and it is the subject for the predicate
“that cuts the logs”.

In Unit 4, the relative pronouns (which, who, whose) will be used in object
position, e.g.

The time rate at which money earns interest is called interest rate.

In this case, “at which” is an object of verb “earns”, observe:

The time rate [money earns interest at a time rate] is called interest rate.

where “which” substitutes for “a time rate”, so

The time rate [money earns interest at which] is called interest rate.

and then “at which” is advanced to initial position in the clause,

The time rate at which money earns interest is called interest rate.

In object position, “that” is never used and “who” is written (and pronounced)
“whom” in formal style.
(One hundred eighteen) 118

EXERCISE 2. Write just one sentence by combining the two circumstances given. Use the
relative pronouns “that”, “which”, or “who”.

1. a) The pressure is equivalent to the square of the surface.


b) The air is exerted at a certain pressure.

2. a) Polyethylene is obtained from a raw material.


b) This raw material is unknown to most people.

3. a) A construction worker is using a a 20 inch in diameter rubber hose.


b) a mixture of cement and water in being injected into the cavity through the rubber hose.

4. a) The university discontinued the program.


b) The students received health care free through this program.

5. a) The method is called the zone method.


b) The hole is filled part by part by this method.

6. a) The professor does no longer work in this university.


b) You borrowed that book from the professor.

7. a) The method is called foundation grouting.


b) Faulty foundation sites are reinbforced by this method.

8. a) The contract was objected by the construction workers’ association.


b) This building was built under that contract.

9. a) USAF jet fighters destroyed the facility.


b) Iraqui scientists were developing biological weapons at that facility.

10. a) This stream of hot water flows through that hole.


b) The hole was opened by the blastings of a nearby mine.

PART C. BY + GERUND

Models: When a contractor fails, the surety may obtain satisfactory completion of a
project by engaging another contractor.

The bond protects the owner by guaranteeing the satisfactory completion of


the project for the contract price.
(One hundred nineteen) 119

NOTE. This structure is used to express the manner of doing things. It answers the
question “How ……?” In this structure, the subject of the sentence begin-
ning with preposition “by” is the subject of the main clause. Look at this:

a) The bond protects the owner.


b) The bond guarantees the satisfactory completion of the project for the
contract price.

If we assume a relation of manner between both statements, then:

The bond protects the owner by guaranteeing the satisfactory completion of


a project for the contract price.

EXERCISE 3. Establish a relation of manner between each pair of statements below. Follow
the example given in the Note above.

1. a) Contractors gain competitiveness.


b) Contractors specialize in a certain field of construction.

2. a) A contractor shows a certain degree of dissatisfaction over the plans and methods used.
b) A contractor may help improve a project under construction.

3. a) Construction costs may be lowered.


b) Contractors may hasten the delivery of materials to the site of construction.

4. a) A contractor may improve his service.


b) A contractor keeps informed on new equipment and methods.

5. a) The government can introduce an amendment to the law that regulates the activity.
b) The government may reactivate the construction industry.

6. a) The Construction Chamber may stop the devastation of agricultural soils.


b) The Construction Chamber may encourage the construction of high buildings.

7. a) Before starting any construction, the engineers inspect the construction site.
b) The engineers lower a man into an inspection hole for a visual analysis of the formation.

8. a) The site for the construction of a big dam should be analyzed.


b) The specialists drill a certain number of holes to test the strength of the rock formation.
(One hundred twenty) 120

PART D. MODAL VERBS (will, might)

Models: This new jet fighter will fly at over mach 2.


Studying English might not be necessary in the future.

NOTE. These verbs express modality and substitute the auxiliary verbs “do”, “does”,
“did”, or any other modal verb in the structure.

◙ WILL (in technical English) is used to express “prediction”; there is a sense of


futurity involved, e.g.

That rock will fall on your heads any moment.


(MEANING: “We predict that the rock is going to fall on your heads any moment”.)

EXERCISE 4. Rewrite these sentences so that they express “prediction”.

1. The chips of the future are going to be microscopic.


2. Androids are going to replace man in domestic activities.
3. The swift growth of technology is going to help increase unemployment.
4. The size of computers is going to continue being reduced.
5. The next generation of computers is not going to use electric power.
6. Construction is going to undergo deep changes during the next decade.
7. The never-ending expansion of cities is going to destroy all agricultural grounds.
8. The value of the backhoe is going decrease faster than expected.
9. There is a possibility that the workers go on a strike next week.

EXERCISE 5. For each situation, write a sentence predicting a possible outcome. Follow the
example.

e.g. Situation 0: ECOMAC is going to hire 150 new workers for the
construction of a new condominium in Totoralillo.
This firm has always employed the services of ALFIN
to provide on-site feeding to its workers.
(One hundred twenty-one) 121

Student’s predictions: (This time, the bidding will be more hard-fought


as new competitors will appear to threaten Alfin’s
position.)

(The bidding will be declared null as no bidders


will meet the firm’s requirements.)

Situation 1: The project is under construction. Date of completion is September 30.

Situation 2: The construction of a new dam in the Elqui Valley is being bid. Fredericksen, Inc.
has underbid their competitors in the last five bid calls made in this region.

Situation 3: Our engineers are trying to lower the firm’s operating costs. Costs may be lowered
by taking different operational policies.

Situation 4: Fredericksen, Inc. is in the process of renewing its heavy-duty equipment to cope
with the construction of the new dam in the Elqui Valley. Atlas Copco has sent
the most convenient quotations on this type of equipment.

Situation 5: Land tenants in the vicinity of the dam construction have made observations with
respect to the impact of this new facility on the soils of the valley.

◙ MIGHT (in technical English) is used to express a theoretical or factual possibility, e.g.

An engineer who doesn’t keep up with the latest developments in his field
might find that he has fallen behind with respect to his colleagues.

EXERCISE 6. Rewrite each sentence so that they express theoretical or factual possibility
with “might”.

1. According to the latest estimation on crude oil reserves, today’s automobiles are going to be
obsolete by 2030.
2. If chips continue being reduced in size, it is not going to be necessary to use diskettes.
3. According to ufologists, it is theoretically possible that extraterrestrial creatures be living
among us.
4. Considering the Aztec calendar, it is factually possible that there is a tenth planet beyond
Pluto.
5. It is possible that this section of the building collapse if the seam is not well grouted.
(One hundred twenty-two) 122

6. When your car repeatedly stalls, it is factually possible that it needs a new gas filter.
7. The fall of the gangway in Valparaíso is possible to be due to material fatigue or lack of
mainteanace.
8. It is factually possible that engineers have greater responsibility on ecological disasters than
what it is normally thought.
9. If the mixture in transit is not continually agitated, it is possible that the aggregates separate
en route to the site of construction.

PART E. THERE IS / THERE ARE (Simple Present tense)


THERE WAS / THERE WERE (Simple Past tense)
THERE HAS BEEN / THERE HAVE BEEN (Present Perfect tense)

Models: There is a new project under construction.


There is no money to pay the workers.
There have been lots of engineers who have rejected that possibility.
There haven’t been any clear lines separating the fields of construction.
Is there a new condominium under construction?
Were there any problems to be solved?

NOTE. “There is” (singular) and “there are” (plural) are used to indicate existence of
an item or items. “There is” precedes a singular noun phrase containing a
definite or an indefinite expression of quantity, whereas “there are” precedes a
plural noun phrase containing a definite or an indefinite expression of quanti-
ty. This noun phrase is the subject of the sentence.

EXERCISE 7. Write the proper form of the existential verb “there to be” on the dotted lines, as
corresponds, to complete each sentence.

1. ……………….. any concern about ecological issues in the 19th century.


2. ……………….. a few strategies to lower construction costs.
3. ……………….. no business activity in this region since 1990.
4. ……………….. satisfaction among members of the construction industry?
5. ……………….. no limits to what a professional can achieve.
6. ……………….. any special specifications for the construction of these Doric
columns?
(One hundred twenty-three) 123

EXERCISE 8. Using “there is”/”there are”, make a commentary about the situation stated. In
your commentary, use the phrase given in parenthesis. Imitate the examples.

e.g. T.: Where is a good restaurant? (down the street)


S.: There is a good restaurant down the street.

T.: Education has not coped with technological advances. (many people)
S.: There are many people worried about this problem.

1. Purchasing power has increased almost 300% in the last seventy years. (basic driving force)

2. People always look for personal fulfillment. (lots of options)

3. How can construction costs be reduced? (several actions)

4. People in the construction field should always specialize in a certain area. (a good reason)

5. How may contractors guarantee the owner for the completion of a project? (a performance
bond)

6. How can grouting success be measured? (several methods)

7. I don´t know how to pronounce this word. (several sources)

8. The cost of living is constantly rising. (economic reasons)

9. Can you tell me how to get to the airport? (a bus service)

PART F. “IF” CLAUSES

Models: – You can solve a problem if you use a calculator.


– If you keep meat in the freezer, it will not spoil.
– What happens to a metal if you heat it at a very high temperature?

NOTE. “If” clauses denote the dependence of one circumstance (or group of circums-
tances) on another. The dependency established is one of a condition (the “if”
clause) versus a consequence, e.g.

If it rains in the afternoon, the game will be suspended.


(condition) (consequence)
(One hundred twenty-four) 124

EXERCISE 9. Join both sentences establishing a condition/consequence relationship between


the circumstances.

1. a) Water boils.
b) You heat water at 100° C.

2. a) There weren’t any professionals.


b) What would happen to a nation?

3. a) Contractors adopt good safety precautions at work.


b) Costs may be successfully lowered.

4. a) A contractor will not have to lament failures and delays.


b) The contractor sticks to the specifications provided by the project designer.

5. a) The owner usually reimburses the contractor.


b) The contractor is forced to incur in an expense not considered in the original project.

6. a) Manufacturers use proper material in the construction of their equipment.


b) Accidents at work will be greatly reduced.

7. a) The operator exerts the grout at a pressure higher than the maximum accepted.
b) The whole rock formation can be uplifted.

8. a) The situation calls for the designing of a new platform.


b) Cella, the Italian manufacturer, may undertake that endeavor.

EXERCISE 10. Make sentences following the model given.

Model: T.: water / evaporate / boil


S.: Water evaporates if it is boiled.

1. gas / liquify / compress


2. hard rock / break / blast
3. metals / expand / heat
4. metals / contract / cool
5. air / rise / heat
6. water / solidify / freeze
(One hundred twenty-five) 125

EXERCISE 11. Complete the following statement by adding the condition or the con sequence
missing.

1. If the core is badly broken, the foundation …………………………………………..................

…………………………………………………………………………………………………...

2. The rock foundation is considered to be solid ………………………………………………….

…………………………………………………………………………………………………..

3. If it is necessary to perform visual inspections of the formation, ………………………………

……………………………………………………………………………………………………

4. The whole rock formation may be raised, ………………………………………………………

……………………………………………………………………………………………………

5. We may leave several holes opened ……………………………………………………………

…………………………………………………………………………………………………..

6. If grout appears through these holes,


………………………………………………………………………………………………………

………………………………………………………………………………………..................
(One hundred twenty-six) 126

READING 2. FOUNDATION GROUTING

VOCABULARY.

air line, f.s. tubería de aire


back up, vr. apoyar, respaldar
bottom, s. fondo
break, s. grieta
chemicals, s. productos químicos
depth, s. profundidad
diamond drill, f.s. taladro diamantado
enough, adv. suficientemente
fault, s. falla
faulty, adj. defectuoso
foundation, s. cimentación, cimientos, fundación
fracture, s. fractura
grouting, s. enlechado, relleno con lechada
hole, s. agujero, hoyo, perforación
jackhammer, s. martillo perforador, perforador manual
length, s. longitud
lift, vr. elevar, levantar
lock, s. esclusa
match, vr. equiparar, igualar a, parear, ser igual a
oakum, s. estopa
packer, s. tapón
paddle, s. paleta
pattern, s. diagrama, patrón
pier, s. pilastra
pressure gauge, f.s. manómetro
pump, s. bomba
reservoir, s. depósito de abastecimiento, estanque
rubber, s. caucho, goma
seam, s. filón, vena
shaft, s. árbol, eje
shot drill, f.s. taladro a munición
slip, s. dislocación, falla
spacing, s. espaciamiento, distancia (entre dos objetos)
suitable, adj. adecuado, apropiado, conveniente
terrain, s. terreno
upward, adv. hacia arriba, más arriba
void, s. hueco, vacío
wagon drill, f.s. taladro de carreta
(One hundred twenty-seven) 127

Grouting is a process by which faulty rock deposits in a construction site are


reinforced by injecting a mixture of materials such as cement and water, or simply
asphalt or some chemicals. These rock deposits may contain fissures, cavities, slips,
faults, seams, or breaks, which make them unsuitable for dams, reservoirs, buildings,
5 bridge piers, locks, tunnels, etc. The process is applied when, from an economical
point of view, it is reasonable to correct such a structural defect to make the found-
ation suitable for the intended use. On the contrary, it may be necessary to abandon
the site.
To know if a foundation area is suitable for construction, core samples are obtain-
10 ed from representative locations within the area. Holes are drilled by means of
diamond or shot drills depending on the desired size of each hole. If it is necessary
that a man may be lowered into them for visual inspection of the formation, then
several shot-drilled holes, 30 in in diameter may be desirable.
A record should be kept for each exploratory hole showing the location, size, and
15 depth of it. The recovered core should show the physical nature of the formation. If
a core is recovered in long, continuous pieces, with little loss in length compared with
the depth of the hole, this indicates a reasonably solid formation, which may require
little or no grouting. However, if the core is badly broken, and if the recovered length
is small in proportion to the depth of the hole, this indicates a bad foundation condition,
20 which will probably require a large amount of grout.
After testing the foundation site, a drilling pattern is adopted in which the size,
depth, and spacing of the injection holes are mapped. According to the terrain, class
of foundation material, and dimensions of the holes, they may be drilled with jack-
hammers, wagon drills, diamond drills, or shot drills.
25 Once the terrain has been prepared, the grout operation begins injecting the mix-
ture into each hole using a given pressure. In the interest of economy and effective-
ness, it is desirable to use the highest pressure that is safe. However, care must be
taken to prevent pressure from exceeding the maximum safe pressure. If this occurred,
the entire rock formation could be lifted upward, with the resulting fracture that would
30 be more serious than the original condition that grouting was supposed to
correct.
To perform grouting operations, certain equipment is necessary depending on the
materials used. In the case of cement grouting, for instance, cement is injected by
using piston-type pumps to produce the necessary pressure. These pumps are backed
35 up by one or more air compressors, a grout mixer, an agitator-type reservoir tank, one
or more grout pumps, a grout discharge pipe or hose, valves, pressure gauges, etc.
The grout mixer contains a shaft with paddles, operated by a motor. After the
grout is mixed, it is discharged into a tank, with an agitator to prevent separation of the
solids from the water. The pumps draw their charges directly from the agitator tank.
40 The grout discharge line may be a pipe, a rubber hose, or a combination of both to
facilitate moving from one grout hole to another.
Two methods are currently used to inject cement grout: the full-length and the
zone method. The full-length method consists in installing a section of pipe in the
(One hundred twenty-eight) 128

grout hole, with the top end projecting out a short distance for connection to an air
45 line or a pump. The space around the bottom of the pipe is sealed with oakum or
other suitable material. Then the mixture is injected under a given pressure. The
zone method consists in using an injection pipe that is long enough to reach the lowest
zone of injection. The zone to be grouted at a given time is isolated from the rest of
the hole by means of a packer, which is set near the bottom of the injection pipe and
50 just above the top of the zone. The pressure used in injecting the mixture is reduced
as the depth of injection diminishes accordingly.
The final step in a grouting operation consists in determining its success. Several
methods have been used with varying degrees of success. One method leaves several
holes opened to see whether grout will appear in them. The appearance of grout in
55 these holes serves as a guide to indicate the extent of the flow. A second method con-
sists in drilling additional exploratory holes before concluding a grouting operation in
order to obtain cores from the formation. If these cores show the existence of sufficient
grout to produce good consolidation where voids originally existed, this indicates
that the grouting operation has been successful. Finally, the effectiveness of the grouting
60 operation may also be tested by attempting to inject water or grout into the holes from
which the cores were obtained. If the holes refuse to take grout, the test indicates that
the formation has been consolidated adequately by previous injections.
(Abridged and adapted from R. L. Peurifoy’s CONSTRUCTION PLANNING,
EQUIPMENT, AND METHODS, pages 491-500)

READING COMPREHENSION EXERCISES

CONTEXTUAL REFERENCE. What does the underlined segment refer to?

1. …. by which faulty rock deposits …. (l. 1) ……………………………………

2. These rock deposits may contain …. (l. 3) ……………………………………

3. …. to correct such a structural defect …. (l. 6) …………………………………...

4. …. depth of it. (l. 15) …………………………………...

5. …. this indicates a reasonable …. (l. 17) ……………………………………

6. …. which will probably require …. (l. 20) ……………………………………

7. …. is adopted in which the size, …. (l. 21) ……………………………………

8. …. they may be drilled with …. (l. 23) ……………………………………


(One hundred twenty-nine) 129

9. …. the highest pressure that is safe. (l. 27) ……………………………………

10. …, it is discharged into a tank, …. (l. 38) …………………………………...

11. The pumps draw their charges …. (l. 39) …………………………………...

12. …, or a combination of both to …. (l. 40) …………………………………..

13. …. that is long enough to reach …. (l. 47) …………………………………..

14. …, which is set near the bottom …. (l. 49) …………………………………..

15. …. in determining its success. (l. 52) …………………………………..

16. …. whether grout will appear in them. (l. 54) …………………………………..

17. …. originally existed, this indicates …. (l. 58) ………………………………….

18. …. from which the cores were …. (l. 61) ………………………………….

UNDERSTANDING THE READING. Decide whether these statements are TRUE (T) or
FALSE (F), according to the reading. If a statement is FALSE, correct it so that it may become
TRUE.

T/F

1. The process of grouting is applied when it is economically convenient


to improve the condition of a site in which a construction is intended. ……….

2. The information obtained from the study of the construction site is kept
in the form of a record. ……….

3. When injecting grout, pressure can be exerted at the highest one which
is possible to get from the pumps. ……….

4. A piston-type pump is used to introduce cement directly into the


agitator. ……….

5. There are over ten methods which are used for measuring the success
of a grouting operation. ……….
(One hundred Thirty) 130

6. When adopting a drilling pattern, some additional exploratory holes


should be planned to avoid obtaining incomplete information. ……….

7. Grouting operations always do good to the formation even if the terrain


is unnecessarily uplifted due to the application of excessively high
pressure. ……….

8. When applying the zone method, the seam or fracture is intended to be


filled section by section starting from the bottom section and ending
with the section nearest the surface. ……….

UNDERSTANDING WORDS. a) Find a SYNONYM for:

1. cracks (l. 3) ……………………………….

2. pillar (l. 5) ……………………………….

3. bored (l. 10) ……………………………….

4. fractured (l. 18) ……………………………….

5. base (l. 19) ………………………………

6. secure (l. 27) ………………………………

7. do (l. 32) ………………………………

8. axle (l. 37) ………………………………

9. extract (l. 39) ………………………………

b) Find an ANTONYM for:

10. solid (l. 1) ……………………………..

11. appropriate (l. 4) ……………………………..

12. unfit (l. 7) ……………………………..

13. raised (l. 12) ……………………………..

14. short (l. 16) ……………………………..


(One hundred thirty-one) 331

15. weak (l. 17) ………………………………

16. finishes (l. 25) ………………………………

17. inject (l. 39) ……………………………...

18. top (l. 45) ……………………………...

COMPLETION OF IDEAS. Complete the following statements using appropriate information


from the reading. Some changes in the function of words may be necessary.

1. A construction site may be abandoned when ….………………………………………

…………………………………………………………………………………………

2. Core samples are obtained to know …………………………………………………..

…………………………………………………………………………………………

3. Visual inspections of a formation are performed by …………………………………

…………………………………………………………………………………………

4. Piston-type pumps are used to …..…………………………………………………….

…………………………………………………………………………………………

5. The grout is mixed by means of a ….…………………………………………………

…………………………………………………………………………………………

6. The method by which ….................................................................................................

……………………………………………………………. is called the zone method.


(One hundred thirty-two) 132

CONTENT REVIEW. Complete the following summary using the words in the box.

grouting jackhammers
structural defects samples
full-length-hole pressure
spacing injection holes
packer bottom

The grouting process is applied when the construction site presents ……………...
……….. which are considered suitable for reinforcing from an economical point of view. The
first step in the process is to get ………………………… from the area to determine the suitability
of the site. If it is suitable, ………………………… are mapped in a drill- ing pattern indicating
the size, depth, and ………………………… of each hole. Other- wise, the site is abandoned.
The holes are drilled by means of different drilling equipment such as …………………………,
wagon drills, shot drills, and diamond drills. The second step consists in injecting grout into each
hole using the equipment appropriate for the type of ………………………… being used.
Finally, the success of the operation is measured by applying one of several methods that exist to
determine its success.
In the case of cement grout, there are two methods of injecting it: the …………...
……………. method and the zone method. The first one consists in injecting grout from the
bottom to the top of the hole in one single operation at a ………………………… that must match,
at any moment, the depth at which the operation is being carried out. When the zone method is
applied, the hole is divided into several sections from top to ………….
…………….., and the operation of grouting begins from the bottom section which is isolated from
the rest of the hole by means of a ………………………… At later stages, the other sections are
also filled with grout in a similar way.
(One hundred thirty-three) 133

READING 3. ‘UNIQUE’ ACCESS PLATFORM FOR CHERNOBYL REACTOR

VOCABULARY.

approach, vr. acercarse, abordar


at will, exp. a voluntad
claim, vr. alegar, pretender
clockwise, adv. en el sentido de las agujas del reloj
counterclockwise, adv. en el sentido contrario al de las agujas del reloj
enable, vr. capacitar, habilitar
fit, vr. equipar
height, s. altura
maneuver, s. maniobra
raise, vr. alzar, elevar
shattered, adj. destrozado
stabilizer, s. estabilizador
through, prep. a través de
throughout, prep. a través de todo, a lo largo y ancho de
uneven, adj. accidentado, desigual, disparejo, irregular
upright, adj. derecho, recto, vertical

‘Unique’
access
platform for
Chernobyl
Reactor
Cella, the Italian manufacturer, has produced
what it claims to be the only access platform of its type
specifically designed to carry out repairs to the shattered
Chernobyl nuclear reactor.
Fitted with as basket capable of carrying four
persons, the platform can be raised to a height of 30 meters
and extended laterally to 25 meters. Cella says it was
approached by Soviet officials because there was nothing
on the market to do this particular job.
The platform is fitted with four independent
(One hundred thirty-four) 134

hydraulic stabilizers enabling it to work on uneven


surfaces. The tower can be rotated clockwise and
counterclockwise through 360 degrees and the basket
remains upright throughout all maneuvers. Of very
compact construction, the platform is easily demountable
and transportable.
Cella has already sold several platforms to the Soviet
Union capable of 65-meter vertical extensions.
Cella. Circle N° 70
(Slightly adapted from CII, April 1987, p. 61)

READING COMPREHENSION EXERCISES

UNDERSTANDING THE PASSAGE. Decide whether the following ideas are Stated (S) or can
be Inferred (I) after reading the passage.

S/I

1. Cella is an industry in a Western European country. ………

2. Soviet officials approached Cella requesting the construction of an


access platform to be used in the destroyed nuclear plant of Chernobyl. ………

3. There were no similar platforms on the market at the time. ………

4. The platform turns around an axis. ………

5. The platform works like an elevator. ………

6. The platform can be assembled and disassembled at will. ………

7. The features which this access platform included were designed


to meet the specific needs at Chernobyl. ………

8. The tower can be rotated vertically to the right or left of its axis. ………

9. A system of hydraulic stabilizers allows the platform to work on all


kinds of surfaces. ………

10. The platform was designed after the disaster at Chernobyl had taken
place. ………
(One hundred thrity-five) 135

11. At present, there are larger access platforms of this type. ………

12. Cella produces heavy equipment for the construction industry. ………

UNDERSTANDING WORDS. a) Find in the text a SYNONYM for:

1. perform .........................................

2. specific ..........................................

3. equipped ..........................................

b) Find in the text an ANTONYM for:

4. lowered ..........................................

5. smooth ..........................................

6. horizontal ..........................................
(One hundred thirty-six) 136

WRITING SECTION

WRITING DEFINITIONS

DEFINING SHAPES AND OBJECTS

Look at these pictures

NAMES CLASSIFICATION

Geometrical Figures

Instruments

Tools

Containers
(One hundred thirty-seven) 137

NOTE.

It is very common to find definitions in technical books, either to explain a certain


item to non-experts or to tell specialists about new items.
A definition usually includes the classification of the thing being defined, e.g.

A can (is ) a container.


(can be defined as)

Most definitions, however, also include an explanation (or description) of the


main features and/or uses of the thing being defined. This is usually done by means of a
relative clause, e.g.

A can is a container which is made of tin.

The relative pronouns used in this case are:

who/that (person)
which/that (thing)
where (location or place)
when (time)

When both features and uses are included in the definition, one may be intro-
duced by a relative clause and the other may be expressed in another sentence separated
from the first one by a stop, e.g.

A can is a container which is usually made of tin. It is used


to store liquid or solid preprepared food.

They may also be included in just one sentence by using a contracted relative
clause for the first one and a complete relative clause for the second one, or viceversa,
e.g.

A can is a container, usually made of tin, which is used to


store liquid or solid preprepared food.

A can is a container which is usually made of tin and is used to


store liquid or solid preprepared food.
(One hundred thirty-eight) 138

HERE YOU HAVE SOME MODEL DEFINITIONS USING FIGURES FROM PAGE 144

- A circle is a geometrical figure which consists of a space enclosed by a curved line,


every point of which is the same distance from the center.

- A ruler is an instrument, usually flat and made of wood, plastic, or metal, which is
used for drawing straight lines.

- A hammer is a tool which consists of a metal head and a metal or wooden handle. It is
used for driving in nails, breaking things, etc.

- A can is a container, usually made of tin, which is used for storing liquid or solid pre-
prepared food.

EXERCISE 1. Complete the following definitions using the appropriate words from the list.
Look up all new words in the dictionary and add them to your vocabulary.

bottle right
cap rotating thimble
measuring sealed
micrometer storing
neck straight
nuts tools

1. A ……………………. triangle is a geometrical figure which has three ……………..


sides.

2. A ……………………. is an instrument which consists of a ……………………. and


a scaled barrel. It is used for ……………………. very small objects.

3. Wrenches are ……………………. made of metal, which are used for gripping and
turning ……………………., bolts, etc.

4. A ……………………. is a container, usually made of glass and with a narrow …….


……………, which is used for …………………… liquid or powdered stuffs. It is
usually ……………………. with a metal or plastic …………………….
(One hundred thirty-nine) 139

EXERCISE 2. Write a definition for all the remaining figures in the pictures, using the
vocabulary provided for each one of them, e.g.

0. T.: a pair of compasses: V-shaped / arms / hinge / draw circles / measure distance

S.: (Model 1)
A pair of compasses is a V-shaped instrument which consists of two arms joined
by a hinge. It is used for drawing circles, measuring distances on a map or chart,
etc.

(Model 2)
A pair of compasses is a V-shaped instrument consisting of two arms joined by a
hinge. It is used to draw circles, measure distances on a map or chart, etc.

1. a square: equal sides / right angles / opposite / parallel

2. a rectangle: four sides / opposite sides / equal / parallel

3. a speedometer: rounded scaled face / needle / motor-vehicle

4. gauges: circular / semicircular / square / temperatures / pressures

5. a screwdriver: metal / wooden / plastic / handle / metal rod / flat extreme /


slotted head / turn screw

6. a hacksaw: wooden or metal handle / frame / replaceable blade / cut metal

7. a box: any size / paper, wood, metal, etc. / hold solids

8. a drum: cylindrical / metal or wood / oil

9. a bucket: wood / metal / plastic / hold or carry water, sand, milk, etc.
(One hundred forty) 140

READING 4. CONCRETE

VOCABULARY.

admixture, s. mezcla, mixtura


aggregate, s.
assure, vr.
bag, s. bolsa, saco
batch, vr. mezclar en cantidad preestablecida
batcher, s. mezcladora
batching, s. el proceso de mezclar en cantidad preestablecida
beam, s. brazo; traviesa, viga,
tare beam, brazo de tara
weighing beam, brazo de báscula
belt, s. cinturón, correa
belt conveyor, transportador de cinta
brush, s. brocha, cepillo, escobilla
buggy, s. carretón, carro
bulk, s. bulto, masa, volumen
in bulk, a granel
conveyor, s. máquina transportadora
conveyor belt, correa transportadora
crane, s. grúa
curing, s. curación; tratamiento
drum, s. cilindro, tambor
dump, s. camión mezclador
entrain, vr. incorporar (al concreto)
form, s. encofrado, molde (para concreto)
hardening, s. endurecimiento
haul, vr. transportar
hoisting, s. alzamiento, izado, elevación
hoisting tower, torre de elevación
hopper, s. colador, embudo de relleno; tolva
hydrate, vr. hidratar
lining, s. forro, entibación, (obra de) revestimiento
moisture, s. humedad
multistory, adj. de muchos pisos
overhead, adj. arriba, en la parte superior
pipeline, s. tubería (conductora), línea de tubos; canalización
runway, s. pista (o franja) de aterrizaje
scoop, s. cucharón, pala de mano
clamshell scoop, cucharón de almeja (o de quijadas, o de mordazas)
setting, s. fraguado (del concreto u hormigón)
shotcrete, s. chocreteo, cemento disparado
(One hundred forty-one) 141

skip, s. balde, cubilote de carga


slab, s. baldosa, losa
floor slab, losa de piso
sprayer, s. atomizador, pulverizador, rociador
squeeze, vr. apretar, comprimir, expirmir
stockpile, s.
strength, s.
track, s. carril, huella, vía
crawler track, carril articulado, vía de rodamiento (o desplazamiento)
uneven, adj. desigual
watertight, adj. hermético, impermeable (al agua)
wet, adj. humedo, mojado

CONCRETE
Concrete is basically cement, aggregate, and water, which have been mixed together,
deposited, and permitted to solidify. Sometimes admixtures are used for various pur-
poses, such as to produce a desired color, improve the workability, entrain air, reduce the
segregation, or accelerate setting and hardening.
5 The operations in the production of concrete will vary with the type of project requiring
it and the type of concrete produced. In general, the operations include batching the
materials, mixing, handling and transporting, placing, finishing, and curing.

Handling and batching the materials. Batching the materials refers to controlling
the quantity of each material that goes into a batch. Although batching may be done by
10 volume or by weight, the former method is so unreliable that it should not be used on any
job where the properties of concrete are of importance. Weight batching is much more
dependable and more commonly used than volume batching.
There are two ways of handling the materials used in making concrete. Cement may
be shipped to a job in paper bags containing 1 cu ft (cubic foot) and weighing 94 lb, or
15 as bulk cement in special railroad cars, in boxcars, or by truck. Bulk cement is cheaper
than bag cement but unless a job is large enough to justify the installation of facilities to
handle bulk cement, it will be more satisfactory to use cement in bags. To keep it dry,
bulk cement is usually unloaded from the cars or trucks and stored in a suitable silo or a
fully enclosed overhead bin. To do this, the cement flows from the bottom hopper of the
20 car or truck into an under-track screw conveyor to a bucket-type elevating conveyor and
thence into the overhead storage bin.
When the specifications require the use of aggregate, this is usually shipped in bulk in
the required size. It is the function of the batching equipment to measure the size of the
aggregate. When a project is large enough to justify the additional investment in equip-
25 ment for handling and batching aggregate, an elevated storage bin, equipped with a
weighing batcher, should be used. It will be necessary to provide a clamshell, tractor-
(One hundred forty-two) 142

mounted scoop, or other suitable equipment to handle the aggregate from the stock pile
to the bin. When the specified quantities of aggregate have flowed from the bins into
the weighing hopper, the hopper is moved along the trolley of the trolley-type batching
30 plant being used, to permit the aggregate to be discharged into the skip of the concrete
mixer. Bins of this type have capacities varying from 3 to 40 tons. The batchers have
capacities varying from 1,000 to 4,000 lb and are equipped with two, three, or four
weighing beams, in addition to a tare beam.
As the quantity of water used in the preparation of concrete has a significant effect, it
35 is necessary to provide a method of accurately measuring the quantity of water per batch.
Concrete mixers are usually equipped with water-measuring tanks, which may be adjust-
ed to supply any reasonable amount of water per batch. These tanks should be checked
periodically to verify the amount of water supplied. Other water-measuring devices
include water meters and water-weighing tanks.

40 Mixing. Concrete mixers may be classified as (1) construction mixers, (2) paving
mixers, and (3) transit mixers.
Construction mixers are mainly used to mix concrete for large structures, such as a
dam, or for sale to the public. For construction mixers with a single-compartment drum,
the standard sizes are 3½S, 6S, 11S, 16S, 28S, 56S, 84S, and 112S. The number indicates
45 the nominal volume of mixed concrete in cubic feet, while the letter S designates that
the equipment is a construction mixer. These mixers must be capable of mixing 10
percent more that the rated capacities when they are operating in a level position.
Paving mixers are used primarily to mix and place concrete for highways, streets, and
airport runways. They are mounted on crawler tracks in order that they may move along
50 with the placing of the concrete. For paving mixers with single-compartment drums, the
standard sizes are 27E and 34E. For mixers with two-compartment drums, the standard
sizes are 16E and 34E. The number indicates the nominal volume of mixed concrete in
cubic feet, while the letter E designates that the equipment is a paving mixer. These
mixers are capable of mixing 20 percent more concrete than the rated capacities when
55 they are operating on a level surface.
A transit mixer or agitator truck is a truck on which there is mounted a concrete mix-
er. If the aggregate, including the cement, is charged into the mixer at a central batching
plant, with mixing to be done en route to the job, the unit is called a transit mixer. If the
unit is used to haul ready-mixed concrete, which requires agitation en route to the pro-
60 ject only to prevent it from segregating, the unit is called an agitator.
Transit mixers are available in sizes varying from 1 to 7½ cu yd. If a unit is used as
an agitator, the capacity will be considerably greater than when it is used as a transit mix-
er, because the concrete is premixed, and thus it occupies a volume less than that of the
aggregates measured separately.

65 Handling and transporting concrete. Concrete may be handled and transported by


several methods, such as buggies, buckets handled by cranes, hoisting towers, belt con-
veyors, trucks, transit mix or dump, pumps and pipelines. Each method, which has
advantages and disadvantages, is suitable for use under certain conditions. The method
(One hundred forty-three) 143

selected should permit the use of a concrete having the required properties, such as
70 consistency, maximun-size aggregate, etc.
In order to reduce segregation, concrete should flow vertically downward as it is dis-
charged into the forms or from one unit of equipment to another.

Placing concrete. Concrete may be placed by using several different equipment,


depending on the type of facility being constructed; for instance, a conveyor belt may be
75 used to place concrete for a floor slab or for other sections of big concrete structures.
This system provides considerable flexibility in placing concrete for different parts of a
structure and, at the same time, it reduces the number of workers required to place the
concrete. When constructing a canal, it would be preferable to use a shotcrete method
when placing the concrete for the lining of the canal. This method is also useful in the
80 construction of tunnels, in mines, or in any structure being constructed below the surface
of the ground. In the construction of multistory buildings, pumps, usually mounted on
trucks, are used to place concrete. These can be of three types: piston-type, pneumatic-
type, and squeeze-presure-type pumps. These truck-mounted pumps are usually equip-
ped with a hydraulic-crane-supported delivery line which takes the concrete to the level
85 in which it has to be placed.
The placing of concrete may be affected by the environment. When concrete is
placed during cold weather, it is usually necessary to preheat the water, the aggregate, or
both in order that the initial temperature will assure an early set an gain in strength. Pre-
heating the water is the most effective method of providing the required temperature.

90 Curing concrete. If concrete is to attain its maximum strength and other desirable
properties, it should be cured with adequate moisture and at a favorable temperature.
Failure to provide these conditions may result in an inferior concrete.
The initial moisture in concrete is adequate to hydrate all the cement, provided it is
not permitted to evaporate before it is used. Curing should prevent the loss of initial
95 moisture, or it should replace the moisture that does evaporate. This may be accomplish-
ed by several methods, such as leaving the forms in place, keeping the surface wet, or
covering the surface with a liquid curing compound, which forms a watertight membrane
that prevents the escape of the initial water. Curing compounds may be applied by
brushes or pressure sprayers.
100 Concrete should be placed at a temperature not less than 40 or more than 80% F. A
lower temperature will reduce the rate of setting, while a higher temperature will reduce
the ultimate strength.
(Taken and adapted from R. L. Peurifoy’s CONSTRUCTION PLANNING, EQUIP-
MENT, AND METHODS, pp. 670-698.)
(One hundred forty-four) 144

READING COMPREHENSION EXERCISES

CONTEXTUAL REFERENCE. What does the underlined word or phrase refer to?

1. ...., the former method is so unreliable .... (l. 10) ...........................................................

2. To keep it dry, .... (l. 17) ...........................................................

3. To do this, the cement .... (l. 19) ...........................................................

4. .... in order that they may move .... (l. 49) ...........................................................

5. .... they are operating on a level .... (l. 55) ...........................................................

6. .... to prevent it from segregating .... (l. 60) ...........................................................

7. .... and thus it occupies a volume .... (l. 63) ...........................................................

8. This system provides considerable .... (l. 76) ...........................................................

9. ....in which it has to be placed. (l. 85) ............................................................

10. Failure to provide these conditions .... (l. 92) ............................................................

11. .... to evaporate before it is used. (l. 94) .............................................................

12. This may be accomplished .... (l. 95) .............................................................

UNDERSTANDING WORDS. a) Find a SYNONYM for:

1. sent (l. 14) …………………………………

2. transporter (l. 20) ....................................................

3. transport (l. 59) ....................................................

4. appropriate (l. 68) ....................................................

5. certify (l. 88) ....................................................

6. humidity (l. 93) ....................................................


(One hundred forty-five) 145

b) Find an ANTONYM for:

7. the same (l. 2) …………………………………

8. leaves (l. 9) …………………………………

9. wet (l. 17) …………………………………

10. unimportant (l. 34) …………………………………

11. uneven (l. 55) ....................................................

12. above (l. 80) …………………………………

LOCATING INFORMATION. Find the passages in the text where the following ideas are
expressed. Indicate the line number(s) on the dotted line.

LINE(S)

1. During the batching operation, the materials used in the preparation


of concrete are strictly measured to get the desirable properties. ……………..

2. Bag cement is preferably used in small project constructions. ……………..

3. It is important to measure the amount of water used in the preparation


of concrete. ……………..

4. In the specifications of mixers, the number indicates the capacity in


cu. ft. and the letter, the type of mixer it is. …………….

5. Transist mixer and agitator truck refer to the same type of vehicle
designed for transporting cement. …………….

6. There are different types of equipment for placing concrete depending


on the type of construction being done. …………….

7. In the construction of skyscrapers, pumps mounted on trucks are used


to take concrete to the upper levels and place it. …………….

8. There are different methods of manipulating and hauling concrete


depending on the type of construction project being done. …………….
(One hundred forty-six) 146

9. The weather may affect the placing of concrete. …………….

10. Curing is used to avoid the loss of humidity in order that concrete may
obtain its best properties. ……………..

LOCATING INFORMATION. Find the passages in the text where the following ideas are
expressed. Give the line references.

LINE(S)

1. Batching cement by volume may be used where the quality of concrete


is not of great importance. .......................

2. To keep the consistency of the concrete mixture while being transport-


ed, concrete mixers mounted on trucks are used to maintain it constant-
ly agitated. ........................

3. To keep the consistency of the concrete mixture while filling in the


forms, the mixture should flow from a level higher than the level of
the forms. ........................

4. In the process of lining the walls of a tunnel, it is better to use a


shotcrete method. ........................

5. The expression 27E in a mixer indicates that it is a paving mixer


with the capacity of mixing a nominal volume of 27 cu ft of concrete. ........................

6. Transit mixers can be used to mix concrete while it is carried to the


construction site or to agitate ready-mixed concrete on its way to its
destination. ........................

7. Moisture at a convenient temperature is very important in the


process of setting and hardening of concrete. ........................

8. One way of curing concrete during the construction of a highway is


by keeping it covered with water.