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Home: PCA Cement & Concrete Thesaurus

How can the PCA Thesaurus Help?

The PCA Thesaurus can be helpful in several ways:

  • to provide a consistent terminology for cataloging or indexing PCA publications
  • to assist users in retrieving PCA publications more efficiently
  • to assist users in retrieving relevant PCA publications that may be related, broader or narrower in scope to the original topic
  • to aid those entering the industry to gain a better understanding of cement and concrete processes and uses

Where Can I Use the PCA Thesaurus Terms?

The following resources use the PCA Thesaurus terminology:

You can search these resources with or without using the PCA Thesaurus but if you are not getting the results you'd like (or you want a more thorough search), consider looking up your search terms in the Thesaurus.

When Should I Use the PCA Thesaurus?

Consider looking up your topic in the PCA Thesaurus in these situations:

  • When you are not finding information relevant to your topic,
  • To find more information relevant to your topic,
  • To focus your search and weed out irrelevant information if you are finding too much on your topic

About the PCA Cement & Concrete Thesaurus

The PCA Cement & Concrete Thesaurus is a hierarchical list of accepted terminology for all aspects of cement and concrete. It has been used to provide better discovery for PCA Publications since it was compiled by PCA staff members in the 1960s and further revised in 1982. 

The PCA Thesaurus displays relevant terminology and also provides relationships to other terms (broader, narrower, or related) and cross references (use/used for) from synonyms to officially designated terms.

Using the Thesaurus

  1. Download the PCA Thesaurus PDF file and use the PDF search feature (Ctrl+F keys) to search for a term.
  2. Note if your term shows a "Use" term, which indicates that another term is used in place of the one you searched. 
  3. Write down the "Use" term and any related, broader or narrower terms that you might also want to search.
  4. Use these terms in the "PCA Keyword" search box of the Advanced Search in the Online Catalog or in the "Keyword" search option in any of the PCA Publications repositories (Concrete Research Library, Cement Research Library or PCA Archival Literature).



Broader terms: Surface defects

Related terms: Weathering, Leaching, Staining…

Lightweight aggregates

Narrower terms: Polystyrene beads, Perlite, Vermiculite…

Exposed Aggregate Concrete

Used for: Aggregate transfer method

Broader terms: Architectural concrete

Related terms: Concrete finishing, Concrete finishes, Decorative aggregates

Flowable Fill

Use: Controlled Low-Strength Materials (CLSM)


Use: Silica fume

The PCA Concrete and Cement Thesaurus will always be a work in progress as new materials and technologies continue to be introduced.

We welcome any suggestions for changes! Please send them to PCA Library.


Contact: (626) 691-2458