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Standard Brings Uniformity to Mulch Moisture-Holding Test

January/February 2008
Update

Committee D18 on Soil and Rock

Standard Brings Uniformity to Mulch Moisture-Holding Test

Mulch

A new ASTM International standard, D 7367, Test Method for Determining Water Holding Capacity of Fiber Mulches for Hydraulic Planting, will provide a means of evaluating water holding capacity in fiber mulches. The standard has been developed by Subcommittee D18.25 on Erosion and Sediment Control Technology, part of ASTM International Committee D18 on Soil and Rock.

According to Becky Gauthier, D18.25 member, a standard procedure for measuring moisture-holding characteristics in mulches was cited in an article written by Burgess L. Kay and published in a 1978 issue of Agronomy Progress Report. However, there has still been much variation in how testing is done.

“The test cited in the article was found by mulch manufacturers to vary from state district lab to lab and over time it was watered down to give inaccurate results,” says Gauthier. “Several other test methods have been created by other labs, bringing different results with great variances.” Gauthier states that D 7367 will bring uniformity to how water-holding capacity is tested and reported.

State department of transportation laboratories will be able to use D 7367 to check the quality of products being used on projects, while product manufacturers will use the new standard for basic quality control while checking mulch characteristics.

Each meeting of Task Group D18.25.01 on Mulches attracts an average of 30 attendees: manufacturers, test laboratory representatives, end users and others interested in erosion control. “We can always use input and a fresh mind,” says Gauthier, chair of the task group. “Product distributors and end users would be particularly helpful to balance the group.”

CONTACT

Technical Information: Becky Gauthier, Fiber Marketing International, Inc., Lakebay, Wash.

Phone: 253/884-0747

ASTM Staff: Robert Morgan

Phone: 610/832-9732