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LIQUID WAX A combination of wax and solvent, liquid at room temperature.


MATT A smooth, but dull, surface.


METAL FIBRE FLOOR PADS These pads are circular and are supplied in a wide range of sizes to fit most makes of floor maintenance machines. They are generally manufactured in three grades – coarse, medium and fine.


MILDEW Type of fungus similar to mould.


MISCIBLE Two or more liquids are said to be miscible if, when brought together, they completely intermix to form one liquid. Two or more liquids are said to be immiscible if, when brought together, they will not intermix and separate into two or more layers.


MOULD Name for any of numerous small fungi appearing on bread, jam, cheese etc. as a fluffy or woolly growth.


NON-IONIC DETERGENT One that when added to water the detergent molecules dissolve, that is they do not ionize or carry a charge. Generally made form alkalis and acids of equal strength, has a pH value of 7.


NYLON WEB PADS The pads are circular and come in many different sizes to fit most floor maintenance machines. They are generally manufactured in three grades – coarse for wax stripping, medium for scrubbing and fine for buffing.


OLEO-RESINOUS A blend of oil with a resin. The oleo-resinous type is one of the oldest established seals and consists of an oil processed with a resin and combined with solvent and driers. It dries by the action of oxygen in the atmosphere causing the oil and resin to harden – accelerated by the use of driers.


ONE-POT (ONE-PACK OR ONE-CAN) Refers to material packed in a single container and in a ready-for-use condition.


OPACITY Non-transparency. Generally refers to the hiding power of pigmented seal, paint or polish.


PATHOGEN Any disease producing micro-organism.


PENETRATING SEAL A seal which will penetrate into the surface on which it is applied. Oleo-resinous seals are penetrating seals, in contrast to some plastic seals which are surface seals and do not penetrate to any great extent.


PEST A destructive animal.


PESTICIDE A substance used to kill pests.


pH A method of expressing acidity and alkalinity in numerical terms. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14. 7 is neutral and is the pH of pure distilled water. Materials with a pH below 7 are acidic, the acidity increasing as the pH decreases, materials with a pH above 7 are alkaline, alkalinity increasing as the pH increases. For example, vinegar, a weak acid, has a pH of approximately 3, hydrochloric acid, a strong acid has a pH of between 0 and 1. Ammonia a weak alkali, has a pH of approximately 10 to 11, whereas caustic soda, a strong alkali, has a pH of approximately 14. Acids, in general, are harmful to flooring surfaces. Alkalis will not harm floors when used correctly, but floors treated with strong alkalis must always be well rinsed to ensure that all traces are removed.


PHENOL COEFFICIENT A method of estimating the disinfecting properties of a chemical by comparing it with that of phenol (carbolic acid); useful only with phenolic disinfectants.


PHENOLIC RESIN A synthetic resin manufactured basically from phenol. Widely used in many surface coating materials, for example oleo-resinous seals.


PIGMENT A solid colouring matter which forms a paint when mixed with a suitable liquid. Pigment not only gives the paint its colour, but also opacity or hiding power.


PLASTIC A material which will soften when heated. Plastic materials can either be thermoplastic or thermosetting. Thermo plastic materials can be heated and cooled repeatedly without detrimental effect. Thermosetting materials undergo chemical change when heated and cannot be reheated without causing damage.


PLASTIC SEALS (A) ONE-POT The description ‘one-pot plastic seal’ is commonly given to those seals which do not contain a drying oil and dry by either evaporation of solvent or by a chemical reaction which is activated by evaporation of solvent.


(B) TWO-POT The description ‘two-pot plastic seal’ is commonly given to those seals which require the blending together of two components prior to use.


POLYMER A very large, complex molecule formed by the reaction together of a great number of small molecules of the same type. Examples are polystyrene and polyacrylate, materials often used in water-based waxes.


POLYSTYRENE RESIN A compound formed by the polymerisation of a resin, styrene. In emulsion waxes polystyrene imparts excellent gloss, hardness and levelling.


POLYURETHANE A polymer formed as the result of a chemical reaction between two types of chemical compounds, namely an isocyanate and a form of polyester. Among many other


TECHNICAL TERMS 10 | TOMORROW’S CLEANING YEARBOOK 2011/2012 | The future of our cleaning industry


applications, polyurethanes are used in floor seals and paints. For these purposes they are normally supplied in three different forms.


(A) TWO-POT The base component is the polyester, and the accelerator or hardener, the isocyanate. The isocyanate is extremely sensitive to water and moisture vapour in the atmosphere and must be protected from them during storage. Once the base and accelerator are mixed, a chemical reaction is started which only stops when the material has solidified.


(B) ONE-POT OIL-MODIFIED In these materials the urethane has already been produced and is further combined with an oil or varnish. They are often referred to as ‘urethane oils’. Drying takes place by oxidation of the oil or varnish component.


(C) ONE-POT MOISTURE-CURED These materials consist of urethane, already produced, but with an excess of isocyanate present. Once applied the excess isocyanate attracts water vapour from the atmosphere and hardens the material. The rate of drying will, therefore, depend largely on the humidity, but in this climate there is sufficient moisture in the atmosphere to effect a complete hardening of the film.


POT-LIFE This term refers to two-pot materials and is the period during which the material is usable once the base and accelerator components have been blended together. After this period, the material will have thickened to such an extent that it cannot be easily applied.


PRIMING COAT A priming coat is the first coat applied on previously untreated surfaces. It provides a foundation on which the durability of the finished system largely depends. For example, on wood surfaces the primer is required to be absorbed into the surface in order to obtain a ‘key’ for subsequent coats. On cement, plaster and concrete the primer is formulated so that it will resist chemical attack by the alkaline ingredients of the surface on which it is applied.


PVC (POLYVINYL CHLORIDE) FLOOR COVERINGS For many years the main floor coverings in this category were flexible PVC and PVC (vinyl) asbestos floor tiles. Tiles containing asbestos may be adversely affected by many solvents, eg white spirit. Today many different materials are used in the manufacture of both products, with varying degrees of chemical and wear resistance properties.


RAFTING Rafting is a phenomenon that can occur with sealed new wood block floors, if they have not been properly prepared. It is the movement of a large number of blocks simultaneously, causing a crack to appear in the floor. This can be caused if the blocks are subjected to large changes in moisture content, causing them to shrink excessively, whilst at the same time they are tightly bonded together by means of the seal. Instead of swelling and shrinking individually into existing gaps, the blocks move as a mass causing a large crack to appear.


Technical Terms reproduced with kind permission of J.E. Edwards, FBICSc.


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