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New Specification References All Gypsum-Board Products

Gypsum board is used in the construction of most buildings in North America. Over 30 billion square feet of gypsum board is produced each year.

ASTM C 1396/C 1396M, Standard Specification for Gypsum Board, was developed to replace several existing standards, simplifying the reference time for architects and manufacturers when citing numerous types of gypsum board in blueprints.

As opposed to referencing product-specific standards, C 1396 covers:

• Gypsum wallboard;

• Predecorated gypsum board;

• Gypsum backing board and coreboard;

• Water-resistant gypsum backing board;

• Exterior gypsum soffit board;

• Gypsum sheathing board;

• Gypsum base for veneer plaster;

• Gypsum lath; and

• Gypsum ceiling board.

When a gypsum product is referenced in building specifications, sometimes the wrong ASTM standard is cited, creating problems for everyone involved, according to Robert Wessel, assistant executive director, Gypsum Association, Washington, D.C. “If C 1396 is referenced, we know they have all the boards covered,” he said.

Using C 1396 also leaves less room for error when adjustments are made. “With numerous standards for types of board, it can create havoc when changes are made to eight or nine different specs being used,” he explained. “This way, one change does everything. We’re striving for as much consistency as possible.”

The new specification was developed by a task group representing all U.S. gypsum-board manufacturers and nearly every Canadian manufacturer. Chaired by Wessel, the group is part of Subcommittee C11.01 on Specifications and Test Methods for Gypsum Products, within Committee C11 on Gypsum and Related Building Materials and Systems.

For further technical information, contact Robert Wessel, Assistant Executive Director, Gypsum Association, 810 First St. NE/STE 510, Washington, D.C. 20002 (202/289-5440; fax: 202/ 289-3707). Committee C11 meets Nov. 12-16 in Orlando, Fla. For meeting or membership information, contact Staff Manager Bode Hennegan, ASTM (610/832-9740). //

Copyright 2000, ASTM