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Use this form to add a new glossary term, or update a current term.


1. A telescoping structural member used to attach the bottom of the leads to the crane base and used to position or batter leads in or out, left or right. Can be mechanically, hydraulically or pneumatically operated; it is used with either fixed leads or semifixed leads. Also called Bottom Brace, A-Frame, Spotter, Spreader Bar, Spider, Kicker, Stinger, Strut, Apron. 2. A structural member used in bracing. See sketches in DFI Glossary of Terms Appendix B.
French: cadre triangulaire

A/E or E/A

Abbreviation for Architect/Engineer or vice versa.


American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

acceptance test

French: essai de réception
German: Abnahmeprüfung
Italian: test di accettazione
Portuguese: teste de recepção
Dutch: controleproef


American Concrete Institute.


See Augered, Cast-in-Place Pile
German: Bohrpfahl
Italian: palo trivellato
Portuguese: estaca executada com trado contínuo
Dutch: avegaarpaal

active earth pressure

French: poussée des terres
German: aktiver Erddruck
Spanish: empuje activo de tierras
Italian: spinta attiva del terreno
Portuguese: impulso activo das terras
Dutch: active gronddruk


Structural steel fabrication or iron casting placed in a pile helmet to adjust to a different type or size of pile. Also called filler or insert.
French: adaptateur
German: Verbindungsstück
Spanish: adaptador
Italian: adattatore, pezzo di connessione
Portuguese: ajustador, adaptador
Dutch: verloopstuk


French: adjuvant
German: Zusatzmittel
Spanish: aditivo
Italian: additivo
Portuguese: aditivo
Dutch: toeslagstof


The adhesion of soil to a foundation unit resulting from the freezing of soil water. Also referred to as "frost grip."


French: adhérence
German: Adhäsion
Spanish: adhesión
Italian: adesione
Portuguese: adesão, adesividade
Dutch: adhesie

Adjacent Piles

The nearest piles to a given pile or location

admixture, addition

French: produit d'addition, mélange
German: Beimischung, Zusatz
Spanish: material adiciónal
Italian: additivazione, addizione
Portuguese: aditivo, adição
Dutch: bijmengsel, toevoeging


The International Association of Foundation Drilling - Formerly the Association of Drilled Shaft Contractors

adsorbed water

Water bound to soil particles because of the attraction between electrical charges existing on soil particle surface and (dipole) water molecules.
French: eau adsorbée
German: adsorbiertes Wasser
Spanish: agua adsorbida
Italian: acqua adsorbita
Portuguese: agua adsorvida
Dutch: geadsorbeerd water

Advance Splicer

Trade name for a tapered steel unit for connecting pipe piles by driven friction.

Aeolian soil

Soil mainly composed of silt-sized particles of wind blown deposits. See also Loess, which is aeolian soil.
French: loess
German: Löß
Spanish: loes
Italian: loess
Portuguese: loess, limo argilo-calcáreo
Dutch: loss


ASEAN Federation of Engineering Organisations. Engineering Organization consisted of ten national professional engineering organisation from ten ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries

Aft Batter

Colloquial term for driving a pile at an angle from the vertical where the bottom of the pile is inclined toward the crane. Same as Negative Batter. See also Inclined Pile
French: inclinaison arrière


American General Contractors Association


French: granulat (agrégat)
German: Zuschlagstoff
Spanish: arido, agregado
Italian: aggregati, inerti
Portuguese: inerte, agregado
Dutch: granulaat


French: air
German: Luft
Spanish: aire
Italian: aria
Portuguese: ar
Dutch: lucht

air entrainment

French: entraínement d'air
German: Luftporenzusatz
Spanish: aire incluido, aire atrapado
Italian: inglobamento d'aria
Portuguese: ar incorporado
Dutch: lucht bijmenging

air hose

French: manche á air, gaine
German: Druckluftschlauch, Ansaugschlauch
Spanish: manguera de aire
Italian: tubo dell'aria
Portuguese: tubo de ar, mangueira de ar
Dutch: luchtslang

Air Port(s)

The ports on a diesel hammer which serve as both air intake and air exhaust ports.

Air/Steam Hammer

Impact pile driver powered by compressed air or steam; action of machine may be single, double, differential or compound.


Device for lifting slurry, suspended solids and drill cuttings from the bottom of a bentonite or polymer slurry-filled excavation for a trench, coffer dam cell or drilled shaft. Usually, compressed air is introduced into the slurry at the bottom of the excavation via a small pipe inside a larger pipe. The upward airflow inside the larger pipe reduces slurry density. The higher density of the surrounding slurry causes an upward flow inside the larger pipe that tends to lift material from the bottom of the excavation.
French: extraction/élévateur à air comprimé


Device use to control internal pressure of Pneumatic caissons.
French: sas à air


The ports on a diesel hammer which serve as air intake and exhaust ports.

allowable bearing value

French: force portante limite
German: zulässige Tragfähigkeit
Spanish: carga admisible, carga de seguridad del terreno
Italian: valore di carico ammissibile
Portuguese: capacidade de carga
Dutch: toelaatbare draagkracht

Allowable Load

The maximum load permitted, considering structural strength, bearing capacity, horizontal movement, code requirements, or measured settlement in a load test.
French: force portante limite des pieux
German: Pfahltragfähigkeit
Spanish: capacidad admisible de un pilote
Italian: carico ammissibile su palo
Portuguese: carga admissivel de estacas
Dutch: toelaatbare paaldraagkracht


A sedimentary soil deposit that has been transported by water.
French: alluvions
German: Alluvium
Spanish: aluvión
Italian: alluvione
Portuguese: aluvião
Dutch: Alluvium/Holoceen


Mechanical device used to transfer load (tension or compression) from a superstructure to supporting soil/rock
French: tirant d'ancrage
German: Anker
Italian: ancoraggio
Portuguese: ancoragem
Dutch: anker

anchor head

French: tête d'ancrage
German: Ankerkopf
Italian: testa di ancoraggio
Portuguese: cabeça de ancoragem
Dutch: ankerkop

Anchor Pile

1. Piles driven behind retaining walls, and beyond the area where soil may slip, to which a retaining wall's tie-back rods or cables are attached . See also Deadman. 2. Piles constructed near test pile to anchor jacking beam (See also Reaction Pile).
French: poids mort
German: Erdanker
Spanish: muerto
Italian: ancoraggio, corpo morto
Portuguese: bloco de ancoragem
Dutch: ballastanker

anchor wall

French: rideau d'ancrage, mur d'ancrage
German: Ankerwand
Spanish: muro de anclaje
Italian: muro d'ancoraggio
Portuguese: cortina de ancoragem
Dutch: ankerwand

anchorage, anchoring, anchor plate

French: ancrage, plaque de'ancrage
German: Verankerung, Verankern, Ankerplatte
Spanish: anclaje, placa de anclaje
Italian: ancoraggio
Portuguese: ancoragem, ancorar, placa de ancorajem
Dutch: verankering, verankeren, ankerplaat

anchored bulkhead

French: palplanche ancree
German: verankerte Spundwand
Spanish: tablestaca anclada
Italian: muro di sostegno ancorato
Portuguese: pranchada ancorada
Dutch: verankerde damwand

Angle Iron Guides

A part fitted to the sides of a pile hammer which engage the rails of a set of leads to hold the hammer in the leads. Also called Side Guides, Angle Iron Guides, Grooves, Gibs, Jaws, Ways.
French: ferrure angulaire

Angle of Internal Friction

Value used in soil analysis approximately equal to the angle formed by a naturally occurring pile of cohesionless soil.

angle of repose

French: angle de talus naturel
German: natürlicher Böschungswinkel
Spanish: ángulo de talud natural
Italian: angolo di riposo
Portuguese: ângulo natural
Dutch: hoek van natuurlijk talud


French: anode
German: Anode
Spanish: ánodo
Italian: anodo
Portuguese: anodo
Dutch: anode


An irregular response or unexpected signals detected by non-destructive testing.
French: anomalie


1. The part of a pile hammer seated directly under the ram which transmits the blow of the ram to the pile or to the drive cap (also called Impact Block). 2. Steel plate on top of cushion material in drive cap which impact block strikes. Also called Anvil Block, Penny, Striker Plate or Top Plate. See Sketches in Appendix A.
French: enclume


American Petroleum Institute.

apparent tendon free length

French: longueur libre équivalente
German: Rechnerische freie Stahllänge
Italian: lunghezza libera apparente del trefolo
Portuguese: comprimento livre equivalente
Dutch: schijnbare (fictieve) vrije ankerlengte

applied stress

French: contrainte appliquee
German: auftretende Spannung
Spanish: tensión aplicada
Italian: tensione applicata
Portuguese: carga aplicada, tensão aplicada
Dutch: aangebrachte spanning


A telescoping structural member used to attach the bottom of the leads to the crane base and used to position or incline leads in or out, left or right. Can be mechanically, hydraulically or pneumatically operated; it is used with either fixed leads or semifixed leads. Also called Bottom Brace, A-Frame, Spotter, Spreader Bar, Spider, Kicker, Stinger, Strut, Apron. 2. A structural member used in bracing.
French: ecran, tablier, voile
German: Dichtungsschürze
Spanish: pantalla, cortina
Portuguese: cortina


French: couche imperméable
German: wasserundurchlässige Schicht
Spanish: acuicluso
Italian: aquiclude
Portuguese: aquicluso
Dutch: ondoorlatende laag


A soil layer that carrries water.


French: effet de voute
German: Gewölbewirkung
Spanish: efecto de arco
Italian: inacrcamento
Portuguese: efeito de arco
Dutch: gewelfwerking

Artesian Head

The amount by which water pressure in an aquifer that causes water to rise above the normal groundwater table or the ground surface.

artesian pressure

French: pression artésienne
German: artesischer Druck
Spanish: presión artesiana
Italian: pressione artesiana
Portuguese: pressao artesiana
Dutch: artesische druk (spanningswater)

Artesian Water

Subsurface water with sufficient pressure (head) to raise the water in a well or pipe above the normal groundwater table or ground surface.


American Society of Civil Engineers.


American Society of Foundation Engineers.


American Society for Testing and Materials.

at rest pressure

French: pression au repos
German: Erdruhedruck
Spanish: empuje en reposo
Italian: pressione a riposo
Portuguese: pressao em repouso
Dutch: neutrale (grond)druk

Atomization, Impact

A type of fuel atomization used in a diesel hammer in which the raw fuel injected and trapped between the ram and the anvil is atomized by impact of the ram on the impact block. The hammer normally will have a time delay between impact and combustion.
French: atomisation, par impact

Atomization, Injection

A type of diesel fuel atomization used in a diesel hammer in which the fuel is atomized by an injector. Combustion will normally occur prior to impact.
French: atomisation, par injection