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Test Method for Hydraulic Cement-Based Mortars and Plasters Available as a Separate

ASTM C 1506, Standard Test Method for Water Retention of Hydraulic Cement-Based Mortars and Plasters is now available as a stand alone test method from ASTM International. It has been approved by ASTM Committee C01 on Cement.

Used to test masonry and stucco work, Test Method C 1506 was taken from ASTM C 91, Standard Specification for Masonry Cement, and slightly modified. “This is a good thing to do; rather than having the test method embedded in the standard. It’s easier to find,” said committee member Leslie J. Struble, Ph.D., associate professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The main modification is that the procedure previously called for a suction method using a water aspirator and a mercury manometer and has been revised to use a vacuum gauge, which is safer than mercury. “It doesn’t change what or how you measure; it’s just safer,” Struble said.

“The mercury manometer method remains an alternate until all the labs can convert to the vacuum gauge,” said Peter Hawkins, the chief author of C 1506 and a committee member with 49 years in cement. “But the vacuum gauge is the preferred method,” he added. “The apparatus has been slightly modified to prevent water from being sucked into the vacuum gauge or the manometer.”

Hawkins related that ASTM C 1328, Standard Specification for Plastic (Stucco) Cement, and C 1329, Standard Specification for Mortar Cement, both reference C 91 for water retention, as well as having the method in C 91. “Now we’ve got a straight method, so C 91, 1328 and 1329 can simply reference C 1506 for water retention,” said Hawkins, a cement consultant who retired from the California Portland Cement Co. in July. “The introduction of this test has enabled C 91 to conform to ASTM’s form and style.”

For further technical information, contact Peter Hawkins, Fennville, Mich. (phone: 616/227-1641). Committee C01 meets June 26-28 in Salt Lake City. For meeting or membership details, contact Jim Olshefsky, ASTM technical committee manager (phone: 610/832-9714). //

Copyright 2002, ASTM