ASTM Semi-Annual Meetings
This past June, ASTM held its Semi-annual meetings for Committees C12-Mortars and Grouts for Unit Masonry and C15 - Manufactured Masonry Units in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. While many items were discussed and debated, highlighted below are the more important items.
There was a large push by the Brick Industry to change the requirements for Percent solid from its current 75% to a proposed 65%. There were many negatives on the ballot item for various reasons. The MCAA voted negative because while this change would save some money for the brick manufacturers, it would increase the overall cost of masonry due to the loss of mortar in larger brick openings. Even though the ballot failed, MCAA was still voted non-persuasive on the basis of the committee not believing this would incur additional cost. This item is far from being passed.
Very heated discussions were held concerning project vs. product specifications. In essence, ASTM International passed down a mandate that would require all Committees to clearly differentiate between a project and a product specification. This means that within all of the product specs, there can be no project specs, and vice-versa. In essence, all of the contractual items currently in ASTM product standards must be taken out (i.e. transfer of ownership, who pays for what items, who is responsible for what, etc.). This was met with fierce opposition from material manufacturers, but it's mandated, so it will happen eventually. This mandate can be both good and bad to contractors. While it may help us on some battles, it may very well hurt on others.
Other ballots and discussions of interest to contractors included lightweight units, workmanship standards, mortar as grout and self- consolidating grout. All of these topics will see more action over the next few ballot cycles.
ASTM's fall meetings for these committees will be held at the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta, GA from December 4-8, 2006. Committee C12 will be hosting its 75th Anniversary gala in addition to the committee meetings. For more information please contact MCAA's Director of Engineering, Rashod R. Johnson, P.E., at email@example.com.
About the Author
Rashod R. Johnson, P.E., is president of The Roderick Group in Chicago. He is the former Director of Engineering for the Mason Contractors Association of America and currently serves as a technical consultant to the association.