Definition of spall in US English:

spall

verb

[with object]
  • 1Break (ore, rock, stone, or concrete) into smaller pieces, especially in preparation for sorting.

    1. 1.1no object (of ore, rock, or stone) break off in fragments.
      ‘cracks below the surface cause slabs of material to spall off’
      • ‘The elongation of the well bore is the result of compressive shear failure on intersecting conjugate planes, which causes pieces of the borehole wall to spall off.’
      • ‘You are also to check on incidence of spalling or cracking concrete on the external faces of the buildings and similarly report with recommendations and estimate of cost.’
      • ‘When the stone peels or flakes along the bedding planes, spalling or exfoliation takes place.’
      • ‘Though ornamented with beautiful huge rock-gripping bristlecones, the cliffs tend to spall off in big chunks and the ore body rock where the mine adits go clearly tends to cave in unless aggressively shored up.’
      • ‘For a uniform ‘flame finish,’ granite is first polished normally, then spalled with a large oxyacetylene burner.’
      • ‘Frost fracture, therefore, predominantly affects cortical surfaces, where high porosity allows for absorption of more moisture, producing microcracks, spalling, and frost-potlidding when frozen.’
      • ‘The four supports below the main block also bore carving, now spalled beyond precise recognition.’
      • ‘Concrete spalls when exposed to elevated temperatures.’
      • ‘It took a little more than one hour of exposure to ISO 834-at a corresponding ambient temperature of about 1,740°F - for the longitudinal cracks and corner spalling to develop in laboratory test columns.’
      • ‘After cooling the staircase and considerable spalling of the plaster work ceased, crews continued upstairs to finally extinguish the first floor.’
      • ‘A previous owner had applied a sealant to these walls, trapping water inside that had rusted the rebar and caused the blocks to crack and spall.’
      • ‘Preventing water absorption stops the surface chipping and flaking, or spalling, which eventually ruins so much concrete.’
      • ‘Altar Q's stone legs are today badly spalled, for they also protected the monument's main block from the same destructive process of groundwater transpiration that left them wrecks.’
      • ‘Water that freezes in a roof tile can cause the material to spall or crack.’
      break up, break, break into pieces, crack apart, crack open, shatter, splinter, fracture, burst apart, explode, blow apart, implode
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noun

  • A splinter or chip, especially of rock.

    • ‘A spall liner and mine protection carpet are installed to minimise the secondary effects of armour penetration and mines.’
    • ‘Any cracks, chips, holes, dips or spalls should be repaired in order to achieve a flat surface.’
    • ‘He struggled up a steep grade, slipping on the loose spall.’
    • ‘For protection against mines the vehicle is fitted with a floor spall liner and 18 mm armour plate in the floor.’
    • ‘A slick finish won't get dusty, but be careful not to get air-entrained concrete where air can get entrapped below the troweled surface, leading to spalls.’
    piece, bit, particle, speck
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Origin

Late Middle English (as a noun): of unknown origin. The verb dates from the mid 18th century.

Pronunciation

spall

/spɔl//spôl/