March 2000

March SN Contents

Tech News

New Specifications for Non-Asbestos
Fiber-Cement Products

AVAILABLE MARCH 1 are specifications for products used worldwide. “C17 is pleased to announce the publication of four new standards on non-asbestos fiber-reinforced cement pipe,” says John Mulder, vice chairman of ASTM Committee C17 on Fiber-Reinforced Cement Products, and chairman of Subcommittee C17.91 on Editorial and Terminology. “As an industry transitions from asbestos fiber-containing products to non-asbestos for routine underdrain pipe, sewer pipe, etc., the subcommittee has taken the initiative to convert previously existing asbestos cement standards.”

  • C 1447, Standard Specification for Non-Asbestos Fiber-Cement Underdrain Pipe, is built from the existing C 508, Standard Specification for Asbestos-Cement Underdrain Pipe;

  • C 1448, Standard Specification for Non-Asbestos Fiber-Cement Conduit, is built from the existing C 875, Standard Specification for Asbestos-Cement Conduit;

  • C 1449, Standard Specification for Non-Asbestos Fiber-Cement Nonpressure Sewer Pipe, is built from the existing C 428, Standard Specification for Asbestos-Cement Nonpressure Sewer Pipe; and

  • C 1450, Standard Specification for Non-Asbestos Fiber-Cement Storm Drain Pipe, is built from the existing C 663, Standard Specification for Asbestos-Cement Storm Drain Pipe.

“They are used for the exact same thing,” says Mulder, a technical services manager with James Hardie Building Products, Fontana, Calif.: “Examples are pipes under freeways for the removal of drainage water. These two-to-three ft. diameter concrete pipes are steel reinforced and are usually about eight ft. long because they’re constrained by their weight. Many of these non-asbestos pipes can be 12-13 ft. long of the same diameter. So that allows fewer lengths of pipe to be installed for the same distances which means less labor, less equipment, etc.”

Non-asbestos fiber-cement products may utilize cellulose, polyvinyl-alcohol, coated glass fibers, polypropylene fibers, or other non-asbestos fibers to reinforce cement. “Worldwide, the industry knows ‘fiber-cement’ as a discreet fiber-reinforced cement product that is totally made of non-asbestos components,” he says.

The specifications were converted by members of Subcommittee C17.02 on Fiber-Reinforced Cement Products, representing manufacturing plants in Australia, Belgium, Central and South America, France, Hungary, New Zealand, the Philippines, Portugal, South Africa, the United States, and others. “We have had representation from foreign manufacturers’ interests within the main committee and its subcommittees for 40 years,” adds Mulder. Academians, consultants, users, architects, and specifiers also participated.

“This committee, that has been around for quite a while, has been progressively moving along in the development of new standards and the conversion of existing standards from asbestos-containing fibers to non-asbestos-containing fibers,” he concludes.

For further technical information, contact John Mulder, James Hardie Building Products, 10901 Elm Ave., Fontana, CA 92337 (909/356-6300). Committee C17 meets during ASTM Committee Week, June 20-21, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. For meeting or membership information, contact C17 Staff Manager Jim Olshefsky, ASTM (610/ 832-9714). //