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Engineering Dictionary

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An alphabetical listing of General terms and items.

Saku   Dico Tools
A small palisaded fortification which was used by the Yamamoto Court of Japan, in their attempts to pacify the Ezo, the saku were used in conjunction with the more substantial Ki or stockade in the subjugation of the territory gained. The saku were easily erected and served as bases for further incursions into the Ezo's territory, dating from the 7th to the 9th century.

Saliant, Salient   Dico Tools
The forward projecting point of a bastion or other projecting work.

Salient Angle   Dico Tools
The angle facing away from the centre of the place.

Salient Work   Dico Tools
A work incorporating salient angles. See bastion trace, redoubt, sconce.

Sally Port   Dico Tools
A small, heavily fortified gateway or gate, from the inner works to the outer works of a fortification

Salt Bridge   Dico Tools
The salt bridge of a reference electrode is that part of the electrode which contains the filling solution to establish the electrolytic connection between reference internal cell and the test solution. Auxiliary Salt Bridge

Salt Effect (fx)   Dico Tools
The effect on the activity coefficient due to salts in the solution.

SAMA   Dico Tools
Scientific Apparatus Makers Association. An association that has issued standards covering platinum, nickel, and copper resistance elements (RTDs).

Sannomaru   Dico Tools
The tertiary defensive courtyard of a Japanese castle, depending on the design, the sannomaru either, surrounded the ninomaru or was sited adjacent to it. 

Sap   Dico Tools
(1) A siege trench. (2) To construct trenches which were used by besiegers to approach a fortification while under cover. (3) To undermine; to destabilize or open a breach in a wall, rampart or tower of a fortification by undermining their foundations.

Saxon Shore Fort   Dico Tools
A part of the Roman coastal defence system consisting of a chain of Roman auxiliary forts sited on strategic points such as harbours and river mouths, built on both sides of the English channel to guard the coastlines, providing both safe anchorages for the defending fleet and acting as a deterrent to raiders. Another theory for their existence is that Carausius, a Roman naval officer rebelled against the Emperor, and he raised the forts to protect his territory.

Scarp   Dico Tools
The side of the ditch next to the parapet; also known as the escarp.

Scarped Round Bastion   Dico Tools
A sloping rounded bastion provided with embrasures, dating from the 15th century.

Scarped Wall   Dico Tools
A wall of a fortification dating from the 14th century, which was developed to offset the effect the artillery on normal walls. Walls were also thickened as well as heavily scarped, in the hope that the shot would be deflected off the oblique angle that the wall presented.

Scarping   Dico Tools
Scarping involves the increase on the angle of a slope by excavating a ditch and throwing the material downwards.

SCE   Dico Tools
Saturated calomel electrode.

Schildmauer   Dico Tools
The especially strong wall provided with galleries and arrow slits, built across the only line of approach of a castle built on a mountain or spur; normally associated with German speaking countries. See hohenburg. (G. shield wall).

Schloss   Dico Tools
A German word for castle.

Sconce   Dico Tools
(1) A small fort located some distance from the main fortification. Either rectangular or polygonal in shape and bastioned at each corner, so that the faces between were covered by fire from flanks, giving the maximum field of fire all round defence. See pentagonal sconce. (2) Small arches or projecting courses of stone formed across the angles of a tower. Also known as a squinch. (Du. shans, brushwood).

SCR   Dico Tools
Ssilicone controlled rectifier.

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Screen Wall   Dico Tools
A curtain wall or schildmauer.

Scroll   Dico Tools
To move all or part of the screen material up to down, left or right, to allow new information to appear.

Secondary Device   Dico Tools
A part of the flowmeter which receives a signal proportional to the flowrate, from the primary device, and displays, records and/or transmits the signal.

Secondary Standard   Dico Tools
PH buffer solutions which do not meet the requirements of primary standard solutions but provide coverage of the pH range not covered by primary standards. Used when the pH value of the primary standard is not close to the sample pH value.

Seebeck Coefficient   Dico Tools
The derivative (rate of change) of thermal EMF with respect to temperature normally expressed as millivolts per degree.

Seebeck Effect   Dico Tools
When a circuit is formed by a junction of two dissimilar metals and the junctions are held at different temperatures, a current will flow in the circuit caused by the difference in temperature between the two junctions.

Seebeck EMF   Dico Tools
The open circuit voltage caused by the difference in temperature between the hot and cold junctions of a circuit made from two dissimilar metals.

Self Heating   Dico Tools
Internal heating of a transducer as a result of power dissipation.

Semibastion   Dico Tools
A half bastion, or half of a bastion, obtained by dividing the bastion in two at the salient angle. See bastion, demibastion.

Sensing Element   Dico Tools
That part of the transducer which reacts directly in response to the input.

Sensitivity   Dico Tools
The minimum change in input signal to which an instrument can respond.

Sensitivity Shift   Dico Tools
A change in slope of the calibration curve due to a change in sensitivity.

Sequential Access   Dico Tools
An access mode in which records are retrieved in the same order in which they were written. Each successive access to the file refers to the next record in the file.

Serial Transmission   Dico Tools
Sending one bit at a time on a single transmission line. Compare with parallel transmission.

Set Point   Dico Tools
The temperature at which a controller is set to control a system.

Settling Time   Dico Tools
The time taken for the display to settle within one digit final value when a step is applied to the meter input.

Shear   Dico Tools
a force that causes parts of a material to slide past one another in opposite directions

Shear Modulus   Dico Tools
The ratio of the shear stress and the angular shear distortion.

Shear Stress   Dico Tools
Where normal stress is perpendicular to the designated plane, shear stress is parallel to the plane.

Shear-Walls   Dico Tools
solid concrete walls that resist shear forces; often used in buildings constructed in earthquake zones

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Shearing Strain   Dico Tools
A measure of angular distortion also directly measurable, but not as easily as axial strain.

Sheath Thermocouple   Dico Tools
A thermocouple made out of mineral-insulated thermocouple cable which has an outer metal sheath.

Shell Keep   Dico Tools
The motte and bailey castles of the Normans served their purpose well in the subjugation of England but wood does burns and rots, and stone last much longer. So the use of stone in their constructions was gradually introduced, starting with chapel, or the gate which was a chief source of concern. By the beginning of the 12th century, wooden palisades surrounding the top of the motte had started to be replaced by a stone wall, thus making what is known as a shell keep. The surrounding wall was provided with a sentry walk around its perimeter, and the domestic buildings normally housed in the donjon were attached to the inside of this wall, leaving space for a courtyard in the centre. See keep, motte, ring wall.

Shiro   Dico Tools
A Japanese castle or fortification. 

Shot Deflecting Battlement   Dico Tools
A battlement were the merlons have a sloping apex which inclines inwards, designed to deflect cannon balls. See curved merlon, merlon.

Shoulder Of The Bastion   Dico Tools
The angled part of a bastion between its face and its flank; the shoulder was sometimes supported by the orillion.

Shurrafa   Dico Tools
Arabic crenallations. See crenal.

SI   Dico Tools
System Internationale. The name given to the standard metric system of units.

Siege   Dico Tools
A military operation carried out by an armed force whose purpose it was to gain entry and control of a position or fortification. (L. sedes, seat).

Siege Castle   Dico Tools
A castle erected by a besieging force close to an invested fortress, to cover a gate or postern. The siege castle was used to prevent the defenders

Siege Train   Dico Tools
A wagon train carrying the siege equipment, provisions and other supplies for conducting a siege operation.

Siege Works   Dico Tools
The works erected by besiegers for either offence or defence. See facines, field work, gabion, line of circumvallation, malvoisin, parallel, and sap.

Signal   Dico Tools
An electrical transmittance (either input or output) that conveys information.

Signal Conditioner   Dico Tools
A circuit module which offsets, attenuates, amplifies, linearizes and/or filters the signal for input to the A/D converter. The typical output signal conditioner is +2 V dc.

Signal Conditioning   Dico Tools
To process the form or mode of a signal so as to make it intelligible to, or compatible with, a given device, including such manipulation as pulse shaping, pulse clipping, compensating, digitizing, and linearizing.

Silt   Dico Tools
sediment particles ranging from 0.004 to 0.06 mm (0.00016 to 0.0024 inch) in diameter

Single Precision   Dico Tools
The degree of numeric accuracy that requires the use of one computer word. In single precision, seven digits are stored, and up to seven digits are printed. Contrast with double precision.

Single-ended Input   Dico Tools
A signal-input circuit where SIG LO (or sometimes SIG HI) is tied to METER GND. Ground loops are normally not a problem in AC-powered meters, since METER GND is transformer-isolated from AC GND.

Single-Plane (Static) Balancing Machine   Dico Tools
A single plane balancing machine is a gravitational or centrifugal balancing machine that provides information for accomplishing single plane balancing.

Slight   Dico Tools
To damage a fortification or part of, so as to make it indefensible.

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Slope (Electrode Sensitivity, Span)   Dico Tools
See Nernst factor.

Small Keep   Dico Tools
A small adjoining tower incorporating a staircase leading to the first floor entrance of a 10th or 11th century Norman castle. The staircase was entirely unprotected, so defenders could easily deny their use to any attackers who might try to gain entrance to the keep. See forebuilding, forework.

Smallest Bending Radius   Dico Tools
The smallest radius that a strain gage can withstand in one direction, without special treatment, without suffering visible damage.

Soft-Ground Tunnels   Dico Tools
A passage constructed through loose, unstable, or wet ground, requiring supports to keep the walls from collapsing

Software   Dico Tools
Generally, programs loaded into a computer from external mass storage but also extended to include operating systems and documentation.

Solvation   Dico Tools
Ions in solution are normally combined with at least one molecule of solvent. This phenomenon is termed solvation.

Source Code   Dico Tools
A non-executable program written in a high-level language. A compiler or assembler must translate the source code into object code (machine language) that the computer can understand and process.

Span   Dico Tools
The difference between the upper and lower limits of a range expressed in the same units as the range.

Span Adjustment   Dico Tools
The ability to adjust the gain of a process or strain meter so that a specified display span in engineering units corresponds to a specified signal span. For instance, a display span of 200 F may correspond to the 16 mA span of a 4-20 mA transmitter signal.

Spare   Dico Tools
A connector point reserved for options, specials, or other configurations. The point is identified by an (E#) for location on the electrical schematic.

Specific Gravity   Dico Tools
The ratio of mass of any material to the mass of the same volume of pure water at 4 C.

Specific Heat   Dico Tools
The ratio of thermal energy required to raise the temperature of a body 1 to the thermal energy required to raise an equal mass of water 1.

Spectral Filter   Dico Tools
A filter which allows only a specific band width of the electromagnetic spectrum to pass, i.e., 4 to 8 micron infrared radiation.

Spectrum   Dico Tools
The resolving of overall vibration into amplitude components as a function of frequency.

Spectrum Analysis   Dico Tools
Utilizing frequency components of a vibration signal to determine the source and cause of vibration.

Specula   Dico Tools
Roman square watch towers guarding the German Limes (defensive frontier), with walls 12 or 15 feet thick.

Spillway   Dico Tools
An overflow channel that allows dam operators to release lake water when it gets high enough to threaten the safety of a dam

Spina   Dico Tools
The central partition of a double gate of a Roman fort.

Spire   Dico Tools
An architectural or decorative feature of a skyscraper; the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat includes spires but not antennae when calculating the official height of a skyscraper

Splayed Base, Splayed Talus   Dico Tools
A wall or tower were in some cases supplied with splayed talus or base and this was for a number of reasons, such as; to deflect projectiles dropped by defenders from the walls above to attack besiegers below, and to counter sapping and the effects of artillery. See plinth, spur, talus.

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Splayed Embrasure   Dico Tools
An embrasure which was splayed to enable a cannon to be traversed in a greater arc than with a conventional embrasure, giving the cannon a wider field of fire and the ability to train the fire on a moving target. Used in forts, especially those used for coastal defence.

Spot Size   Dico Tools
The diameter of the circle formed by the cross section of the field of view of an optical instrument at a given distance.

Spur   Dico Tools
(1) An angular projection of masonry applied to the base of a tower. The spur design had the double advantage of fending off projectiles from siege engines, and of increasing the difficulty of sapping. Such protruding spurs or prows became quite common on keeps and towers of the late 12th century. See batter, plinth, talus. (2) A wall joining a rampart to an inner wall. (3) A tower or blockhouse used to form a salient angle in the outworks.

Spur Buttress   Dico Tools
A sloping support for a wall or tower. See spur (1).

Spurious Error   Dico Tools
Random or erratic malfunction.

Spy Hole   Dico Tools
See oilet.

Square Flanking Tower   Dico Tools
(1) A tower situated at the corner of either a rectangular or square keep, flanking the keeps walls. See flanking tower. (2) A square tower used to flank a curtain wall. See flanking tower.

Square Keep   Dico Tools
A keep which was built on a square plan, possessing advantages over the wooden donjon design which proceeded it, such as; they could not be fired, they could be built to a greater height, and because of their height they did not need the same concentration of defenders as was needed for the defence of the lower earth and timber walls. Their disadvantages were that their square corners could easily be attacked with a bore or by undermining, and the square shape also limited the field of fire. The development of the polygonal and round keeps offset most of these faults. See keep, polygonal keep.

Squinch   Dico Tools
See sconce (2).

SSR   Dico Tools
Solid state relay (see relay, solid state).

Stability   Dico Tools
The quality of an instrument or sensor to maintain a consistent output when a constant input is applied.

Stable   Dico Tools
(adj.) ability to resist collapse and deformation; stability (n.) characteristic of a structure that is able to carry a realistic load without collapsing or deforming significantly

Staggered Arrow Loops   Dico Tools
Arrow loops which were constructed in a staggered pattern to avoid excess strain on any part if a wall or creation of any weak areas. See quinaincial disposed arrow slits.

Stagnation Pressure   Dico Tools
The sum of the static and dynamic pressure.

Staircase Turret   Dico Tools
A turret at the angle of a tower or keep which contained a staircase used to gain the parapet and was provided arrow slits which were used for flanking the defences.

Stanchion   Dico Tools
A vertical iron bar securing a window light.

Standard Electrode Potential (E0)   Dico Tools
The standard potential E0 of an electrode is the reversible emf between the normal hydrogen electrode and the electrode with all components at unit activity.

Standardization   Dico Tools
A process of equalizing electrode potentials in one standardizing solution (buffer) so that potentials developed in unknown solutions can be converted to pH values.

Star Fort   Dico Tools
A field work constructed in the shape of a star, by using four or more salients and no curtains.

Static Calibration   Dico Tools
A calibration recording pressure versus output at fixed points at room temperature.

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Static Error Band   Dico Tools
The error band applicable at room temperature.

Static Pressure   Dico Tools
Pressure of a fluid whether in motion or at rest. It can be sensed in a small hole drilled perpendicular to and flush with the flow boundaries so as not to disturb the fluid in any way.

Static Unbalance   Dico Tools
Static unbalance is that condition of unbalance for which the central principal axis is displayed only parallel to the shaft axis

Steady Flow   Dico Tools
A flow rate in the measuring section of a flow line that does not vary significantly with time.

Steady State Vibration   Dico Tools
That condition of vibration induced by an unchanging continuing periodic force.

Steel   Dico Tools
an alloy of iron and carbon that is hard, strong, and malleable

Stepped Merlon   Dico Tools
A merlon which rose to its apex in two or more steps. A variation was where the top of the steps was sloped towards the exterior of the parapet. See Irish battlements, Venetian battlements.

Stiff   Dico Tools
(adj.) ability to resist deformation; stiffness (n.) the measure of a structure's capacity to resist deformation

Stiffness   Dico Tools
The ratio of the force required to create a certain deflection or movement of a part expressed as (Force/deflection) lbs/in or grams/cm.

Stockade   Dico Tools
(1) To fortify with a breastwork. (2) A defensive enclosure made of upright stakes.

Stop Bit   Dico Tools
A signal following a character or block that prepares the receiving device to receive the next character or block.

Storm Poles   Dico Tools
Wooden pointed stakes which were projected horizontally from the top of the interior slope of the ramparts of a field work. Used to impede the enemy scaling the ramparts. See pentagonal sconce.

Stormproof Work   Dico Tools
A defended position were an approaching enemy force is destroyed as soon as they are within range, thus inassailible.

Story   Dico Tools
Floor of a skyscraper

Strain   Dico Tools
The ratio of the change in length to the initial unstressed reference length.

Strain Gage   Dico Tools
A measuring element for converting force, pressure, tension, etc., into an electrical signal.

Strigae   Dico Tools
The various rectangular spaces marked out for the erection of the tents of a Roman encampment.

String   Dico Tools
A sequence of characters.

Strong   Dico Tools
(adj.) ability to carry a realistic load; strength (n.) the measure of a structure's ability to carry a realistic load

Stronghold   Dico Tools
A fortress, or a fortified or defensible place.

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Strouhal Number   Dico Tools
A nondimensional parameter important in vortex meter design defined as

Structural Engineer   Dico Tools
An engineer who investigates the behavior and design of all kinds of structures, including dams, domes, tunnels, bridges, and skyscrapers, to make sure they are safe and sound for human use

Successive Porticullis   Dico Tools
Two or more successive porticullises defending the entry of a gatehouse or barbican; each was raised by separate machinery, placed on different floors without communication between them so that if a traitor could get one open he was not able to open the others. The enemy could also be trapped between the porticullises if the gate was forced. See porticullis.

Sumi Yagura   Dico Tools
A wall tower situated at the corners of the stone walls of a Japanese castle, which was used to defend the castle walls. The height of the sumi yagura ranged from one to three stories, some actually took on the exterior of a tenshu. See yagura.

Super Cooling   Dico Tools
The cooling of a liquid below its freezing temperature without the formation of the solid phase.

Super Heating   Dico Tools
1. The heating of a liquid above its boiling temperature without the formation of the gaseous phase. 2. The heating of the gaseous phase considerably above the boiling-point temperature to improve the thermodynamic efficiency of a system.

Superconductivity   Dico Tools
Superconductivity is an electrical resistance of exactly zero which occurs in certain materials below a characteristic temperature. It was discovered by Heike Kamerlingh Onnes in 1911. Like ferromagnetism and atomic spectral lines, superconductivity is a quantum mechanicalphenomenon. It is also characterized by a phenomenon called the Meissner effect, the ejection of any sufficiently weak magnetic field from the interior of the superconductor as it transitions into the superconducting state. The occurrence of the Meissner effect indicates that superconductivity cannot be understood simply as the idealization of "perfect conductivity" in classical physics. The electrical resistivity of a metallic conductor decreases gradually as the temperature is lowered. However, in ordinary conductors such as copper and silver, this decrease is limited by impurities and other defects. Even near absolute zero, a real sample of copper shows some resistance. Despite these imperfections, in a superconductor the resistance drops abruptly to zero when the material is cooled below its critical temperature. An electric current flowing in a loop of superconducting wire can persist indefinitely with no power source. In 1986, it was discovered that some cuprate-perovskite ceramic materials have critical temperatures above 90 kelvin (−183.15 °C). These high-temperature superconductors renewed interest in the topic because of the prospects for improvement and potential room-temperature superconductivity. From a practical perspective, even 90 kelvins is relatively easy to reach with the readily available liquid nitrogen (boiling point 77 kelvins), resulting in more experiments and applications.

Superior Slope   Dico Tools
The surface of the parapet near the crest.

Surge Current   Dico Tools
A current of short duration that occurs when power is first applied to capacitive loads or temperature dependent resistive loads such as tungsten or molybdenum heaters-usually lasting no more than several cycles.

Suspension Bridge   Dico Tools
a bridge in which the roadway deck is suspended from cables that pass over two towers; the cables are anchored in housings at either end of the bridge

Suspension Effect   Dico Tools
The source of error due to varied reference liquid junction potential depending upon whether the electrodes are immersed in the supernatant fluid or deeper in the sediment. Normally encountered with solutions containing resins or charged colloids.

Swivel Pins   Dico Tools
The hinges used in certain types of drawbridges.

Syntax   Dico Tools
The rules governing the structure of a language.

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