# Glossary of civil engineering

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This glossary of civil engineering terms pertains specifically to civil engineering and its sub-disciplines. Please see glossary of engineering for a broad overview of the major concepts of engineering.

## Z

• Zero Defects – (or ZD), was a management-led program to eliminate defects in industrial production that enjoyed brief popularity in American industry from 1964[75] to the early 1970s. Quality expert Philip Crosby later incorporated it into his "Absolutes of Quality Management" and it enjoyed a renaissance in the American automobile industry—as a performance goal more than as a program—in the 1990s. Although applicable to any type of enterprise, it has been primarily adopted within supply chains wherever large volumes of components are being purchased (common items such as nuts and bolts are good examples).
• Zeroth law of thermodynamics – states that if two thermodynamic systems are each in thermal equilibrium with a third one, then they are in thermal equilibrium with each other. Accordingly, thermal equilibrium between systems is a transitive relation. Two systems are said to be in the relation of thermal equilibrium if they are linked by a wall permeable only to heat and they do not change over time.[76] As a convenience of language, systems are sometimes also said to be in a relation of thermal equilibrium if they are not linked so as to be able to transfer heat to each other, but would still not do so (even) if they were connected by a wall permeable only to heat.

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