Engineering Dictionary

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An alphabetical listing of General terms and items.

Tabica, Tabby   Dico Tools
The concrete used in fortifications. (Arabic)

Taif   Dico Tools
A 6th century Arabian fortification consisting of a large walled enclosure. (Arabic)

Tailings Dam   Dico Tools
A dam, usually made of earth and rock, used to contain mining waste

Talcaya   Dico Tools
See atalaya. (Arabic)

Talus   Dico Tools
The sloping or scarped face at the base of a fortifications wall. The talus reduced the effectiveness of scaling ladders in the following fashion; if the ladders were placed on the ground they would either be to short or inclined as such an oblique angle the structural strength was severely reduced. The talus was also used by defenders to deflect stones thrown from above at the enemy below, the stones on hitting the talus splintered and ricocheted with a shrapnel effect. See batter, plinth, spur.

Tamon Yagura   Dico Tools
A continuous covered gallery or wall tower which ran along the top of the stone walls between the corner towers of a Japanese castle, which provided protection to the castle's defenders. See yagura. (J. many listener tower).

Tape   Dico Tools
A recording media for data or computer programs. Tape can be in permanent form, such as perforated paper tape, or erasable, such as magnetic tape. Generally, tape is used as a mass storage medium, in magnetic form, and has a much higher storage capacity than disk storage, but it takes much longer to write or recover data from tape than from a disk.

Teikakukei   Dico Tools
A Japanese castle design dating from around 1600 A.D., consisting of two defensive compounds; the inner or honmaru was set to one side of the encircling secondary compound or ninomaru. This positioning of the honmaru was to remove it from the most likely line of assault, thus gaining extra protection. See honmaru, ninomaru.

Teiritsushiki Tenshu   Dico Tools
A Japanese tenshu which consisted of the principal tower attached directly to a secondary tower, also known as a fukugshiki tenshu. See tenshu.

Telecommunication   Dico Tools
Synonym for data communication. The transmission of information from one point to another.

TEMPCO   Dico Tools
Abbreviation for "temperature coefficient"

Temperature Error   Dico Tools
The maximum change in output, at any measurand value within the specified range, when the transducer temperature is changed from room temperature to specified temperature extremes.

Temperature Range, Compensated   Dico Tools
The range of ambient temperatures within which all tolerances specified for Thermal Zero Shift and Thermal Sensitivity Shift are applicable (temperature error).

Temperature Range, Operable   Dico Tools
The range of ambient temperatures, given by their extremes, within which the transducer may be operated. Exceeding compensated range may require recalibration.

Tenaille   Dico Tools
A small low work situated in the ditch between bastions, used to provide extra covering fire for the curtain wall, there were three types

Tenaille Trace   Dico Tools
A trace formed of redans joining at right angles to form a serrated front. See redan (2).

Tenaillon   Dico Tools
A work raised on either side of a ravelin, used to add strength and cover to the shoulder of the bastion.

Tensegrity   Dico Tools
An array of tension cables and compression rods that supports a structure; invented by Buckminster Fuller student Kenneth Snellson

Tenshu   Dico Tools
The main tower of a Japanese castle, constructed mainly of timber on a base consisting of ishigaki or earth revetted with dry stone walling, serving a number of purposes such as; ceremonial, residential and military. The early tenshu were simple residential buildings with belvedres perched on their roof tops, later they developed into the larger multi-leveled towers.

Tension   Dico Tools
a stretching force that pulls on a material

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Tension Ring   Dico Tools
A support ring that resists the outward force pushing against the lower sides of a dome

Tepposama   Dico Tools
A musket port set into the plastered wall or tower of a Japanese castle. In section a port was funnel shaped, the larger part on the inside gave a greater field of fire to the defenders, while the narrower aperture on the exterior provided protection to the defenders from incoming fire. The tepposama came in a number of shapes; rectangular, triangular and circular. The ports of the plastered walls onthe ishigaki were left open while those of a wall tower were often provided with shutters, since they were put to other uses other than defence (eg. storehouses or residences).

Terminal   Dico Tools
An input/output device used to enter data into a computer and record the output.

Terrace   Dico Tools
Any type of earthworks which were built up above the normal ground level. See artillery terrace.

Terreplain   Dico Tools
(1) The open country surrounding a field work. (2) The rear talus of a rampart. (3) The gun position on the top of a rampart located behind a parapet.

Thermal Coefficient Of Resistance   Dico Tools
The change in resistance of a semiconductor per unit change in temperature over a specific range of temperature.

Thermal Conductivity   Dico Tools
The property of a material to conduct heat in the form of thermal energy.

Thermal Expansion   Dico Tools
An increase in size due to an increase in temperature expressed in units of an increase in length or increase in size per degree, i.e. inches/inch/degree C.

Thermal Gradient   Dico Tools
The distribution of a differential temperature through a body or across a surface.

Thermal Sensitivity Shift   Dico Tools
The sensitivity shift due to changes of the ambient temperature from room temperature to the specified limits of the compensated temperature range.

Thermal Zero Shift   Dico Tools
An error due to changes in ambient temperature in which the zero pressure output shifts. Thus, the entire calibration curve moves in a parallel displacement.

Thermistor   Dico Tools
A temperature-sensing element composed of sintered semiconductor material which exhibits a large change in resistance proportional to a small change in temperature. Thermistors usually have negative temperature coefficients.

Thermocouple   Dico Tools
The junction of two dissimilar metals which has a voltage output proportional to the difference in temperature between the hot junction and the lead wires (cold junction) (refer to Seebeck emf).

Thermopile   Dico Tools
An arrangement of thermocouples in series such that alternate junctions are at the measuring temperature and the reference temperature. This arrangement amplifies the thermoelectric voltage. Thermopiles are usually used as infrared detectors in radiation pyrometry.

Thermowell   Dico Tools
A closed-end tube designed to protect temperature sensors from harsh environments, high pressure, and flows. They can be installed into a system by pipe thread or welded flange and are usually made of corrosion-resistant metal or ceramic material depending upon the application.

Thomson Effect   Dico Tools
When current flows through a conductor within a thermal gradient, a reversible absorption or evolution of heat will occur in the conductor at the gradient boundaries.

Three-quarter Round Tower   Dico Tools
A cylindrical flanking tower projecting only three quarters of the way from the body of a castle. The rear of the flanking tower was either circular or straight. 

Tituli   Dico Tools
Additional ditches dug forward of a Roman fort gateway.

Titulum   Dico Tools
A short length of ditch and rampart set in front of a gate and parallel to the ramparts of a Roman fort.

Torre De Homenaje   Dico Tools
A Spanish keep provided with a single entrance on the second floor for reasons of security. The parapet was provided with pointed merlons. (Sp. tower of homage).

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Torri Saracinesche   Dico Tools
Italian towers built in coastal areas to protect from the attack of the Saracens.

Torsion   Dico Tools
An action that twists a material

Tourelle   Dico Tools
A turret projecting from a tower, acting as either a watch tower if provided with machicolations for vertical defence, or just for decoration. See turret.

Touret   Dico Tools
See turret.

Tower   Dico Tools
The vertical structure in a suspension bridge or cable-stayed bridge from which cables are hung; also used loosely as a synonym for the term skyscraper

Tower House   Dico Tools
(1) The residential defensible tower of the 14th to the 16th century. See z-plan tower house. (2) A fortification which was developed in the Scottish/English border region, which consisted of a simple, strong rectangular tower. They were no intended to meet the threat of a major siege but were more suited to the border warfare which was waged in the region. See pele.

Tower Houses   Dico Tools
Clay tower - a cheap but effective type of Scottish square tower made with clay walls supported by an internal framework of interwoven wattles. L-plan - a tower house built on a L shaped plan.

Tower Keep   Dico Tools
A term which has been used to refer to a number of different types of keeps from different periods. See polygonal keep, square keep, transitional keep.

Town (fortified)   Dico Tools
See burg, burgus, burh.

Trace   Dico Tools
The ground plan of a fortification. See bastion trace, tenaille trace.

Transducer   Dico Tools
A device (or medium) that converts energy from one form to another. The term is generally applied to devices that take physical phenomenon (pressure, temperature, humidity, flow, etc.) and convert it to an electrical signal.

Transducer Vibration   Dico Tools
Generally, any device which converts movement, either shock or steady state vibration, into an electrical signal proportional to the movement; a sensor.

Transient Vibration   Dico Tools
A temporary vibration or movement of a mechanical system.

Transitional Flow   Dico Tools
Flow between laminar and turbulent flow, usually between a pipe Reynolds number of 2000 and 4000.

Transitional Keep   Dico Tools
The polygonal or round keep of the 12th century, which was designed to overcome the problems associated with square and rectangular keep. The purpose of the circular and polygonal forms employed was to avoid giving an enemy any cover around the base of the keep, known as dead ground, from where the enemy could launch attacks as well as undermine or batter the walls. The rounded and polygonal edges also offer a greater resistance to battering. See polygonal keep.

Transmitter (Two-Wire)   Dico Tools
1. A device which is used to transmit data from a sensor via a two-wire current loop. The loop has an external power supply and the transmitter acts as a variable resistor with respect to its input signal. 2. A device which translates the low level output of a sensor or transducer to a higher level signal suitable for transmission to a site where it can be further processed.

Traverse   Dico Tools
(1) A mound or earth situated at intervals along a work such as a covered way, the traveres were aligned at right angles to the work and prevented it from being swept by flanking fire should part of the work be taken by the enemy, or observed from higher ground by the enemy. (2) A work similar to a caponier, consisting of a gun looped passage way which traversed a dry ditch of a fortification, and was used to sweep the ditch of the enemy as they tried to cross the ditch. See caponier. (3) A parapet crossing the covert-way, situated opposite the salient angle of the works and near to the places of arms, used to prevent enfilade fire.(4) Traverses were also built in a caponier, and were known as tambours.

Tread   Dico Tools
The part of a banquette where a soldier stood to fire over the parapet. See banquette.

Trench   Dico Tools
A ditch dug in the ground; the earth from the trench was thrown up to form a parapet, used as defensive or offensive position. See sap.

Triac   Dico Tools
A solid state switching device used to switch alternating current wave forms.

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Triboelectric Noise   Dico Tools
The generation of electrical charges caused by layers of cable insulation. This is especially troublesome in high impedance accelerometers.

Triple Point   Dico Tools
The temperature and pressure at which solid, liquid, and gas phases of a given substance are all present simultaneously in varying amounts.

Triple Point (Water)   Dico Tools
The thermodynamic state where all three phases, solid, liquid, and gas may all be present in equilibrium. The triple point of water is .01 C.

Trous-de-loup   Dico Tools
An infantry obstacle in front of the glacis of a fortification, consisting of a hole in the ground measuring about two metres deep and in diameter, with a sharpened wooden stake at the bottom.

True RMS   Dico Tools
The true root-mean-square value of an AC or AC-plus-DC signal, often used to determine power of a signal. For a perfect sine wave, the RMS value is 1.11072 times the rectified average value, which is utilized for low-cost metering. For significantly non-sinusoidal signals, a true RMS converter is required.

Truss   Dico Tools
a rigid frame composed of short, straight pieces joined to form a series of triangles or other stable shapes

Tsuchido   Dico Tools
The plastered window shutters which were used to cover the loop holes of a Japanese castle, which provided protection to the defenders within from incoming fire, the plastering reduced the risk of fire.

Tsuzuki Yagura   Dico Tools
A wall tower of a Japanese castle which was usually only a single story in height, which functioned as a connecting tower or gallery running along the top of the ishigaki, from which the defenders protected the walls. See yagura.

TTL   Dico Tools
Transistor-to-transistor logic. A form of solid state logic which uses only transistors to form the logic gates.

TTL Unit Load   Dico Tools
A load with TTL voltage levels, which will draw 40 A for a logic 1 and -1.6 mA for a logic 0.

TTL-Compatible   Dico Tools
For digital input circuits, a logic 1 is obtained for inputs of 2.0 to 5.5 V which can source 40 A, and a logic 0 is obtained for inputs of 0 to 0.8 V which can sink 1.6 mA. For digital output signals, a logic 1 is represented by 2.4 to 5.5 V with a current source capability of at least 400 A; and a logic 0 is represented by 0 to 0.6 V with a current sink capability of at least 16 mA.

Tuned Mass Damper   Dico Tools
A mechanical counterweight designed to reduce the effects of motion, such as the swaying of a skyscraper in the wind or in an earthquake

Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM)   Dico Tools
A mechanical device that tunnels through the ground

Tunnel Shield   Dico Tools
A cylinder pushed ahead of tunneling equipment to provide advance support for the tunnel roof; used when tunneling in soft or unstable ground

Turbulent Flow   Dico Tools
When forces due to inertia are more significant than forces due to viscosity. This typically occurs with a Reynolds number in excess of 4000.

Turret, Turette, Touret   Dico Tools
A small tower or bartizan, which was often placed at the angles of a castle, to increase the flanking ability, some only serving as corner buttresses. (L. turris, tower).

Turreted   Dico Tools
Provided with turrets.

Typical   Dico Tools
Error is within plus or minus one standard deviation (1%) of the nominal specified value, as computed from the total population.

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