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Portland Cement Specification Undergoes Major Revision

January/February 2008

Committee C01 on Cement

Portland Cement Specification
Undergoes Major Revision


A recently approved revision to ASTM International standard C 150, Specification for Portland Cement, includes three significant technical changes to the document. The changes are part of a joint effort between ASTM and the American Association of State and Highway and Transportation Officials to harmonize C 150 with AASHTO’s standard, M 85 Specification for portland cement. C 150 is under the jurisdiction of Subcommittee C01.10 on Hydraulic Cements for General Concrete Construction, part of ASTM International Committee C01 on Cement.

C 150 is used by manufacturers and purchasers of cement and concrete producers, specifiers and users. According to John Melander, Portland Cement Association and Committee C01 member, the following three major changes have been made to C 150:

  • Type II cement now needs to meet the heat index equation, C3S + 4.75C3A ≤ 100. Optional requirements for the sum of C3S + C3A are removed. A mandatory requirement for ASTM
    C 186, Test Method for Heat of Hydration of Hydraulic Cement, information testing for Type II cement at least once every six months has been added.
  • A maximum average Blaine fineness value of 420 m2/kg and a maximum individual value of 430 m2/kg will be included for Type II and Type IV cements. C 150 exempts Type II cements from the maximum Blaine and Wagner fineness requirement if the heat index equation yields a value of 90 or less.
  • Section 5 of the standard has been renamed “Ingredients” and the section has been reorganized and revised.

Work on the revision began when a joint ASTM International/AASHTO harmonization task group was formed in November 2003 to develop consistent requirements that best meet user, producer and general interest needs. The task group’s work is ongoing. “We established the joint AASHTO-ASTM harmonization task group specifically to enhance interactions among representatives of state departments of transportation and other user, general interest and producer representatives who are active in Committee C01,” says Melander.

“I believe the cross-section represented on the joint harmonization task group is a key to our success to date,” says James Pierce, Committee C01 member and co-chair of the task group. “The differences in the ASTM International and AASHTO specifications have been long-standing, and this effort has accomplished what previous efforts did not.”

Committee C01 welcomes participation in all of its standards developing activities.


Technical Information: John Melander, Portland Cement Association, Skokie, Ill.

Phone: 847/972-9054

ASTM Staff: W. Scott Orthey

Phone: 610/832-9730