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 September 2005 Tech News

Return of Natural Cement Prompts Reinstatement of Standard

After a 35-year-absence, the natural cement industry is being revived and, along with it, a long-withdrawn ASTM International standard.

Until it closed in 1970, the Century Cement Company in Rosendale, N.Y., was the last company to manufacture natural cement. Up to that point, Rosendale had been the center of the industry, the source of more than half of all natural cement produced in the U.S. from 1817 to 1970. In the wake of Century’s shutdown, the ASTM International standard C 10, Specification for Natural Cement, fell into disuse and was discontinued in 1979.

However, natural cement is making a comeback, thanks to historical restoration. Thousands of natural cement structures were built in the 19th century and many of them (the most famous being the Brooklyn Bridge) are still in use today. The increasing need for restoration work on these structures has led to a return to natural cement production, as original materials are often preferred in historical restoration work when those materials are both available and have performed well.

Michael Edison, president, Edison Coatings, Inc., says that the use of original materials represents the most compatible approach to repairing historical structures. This is why the reinstatement of Specification C 10 is important. “The reinstatement of C 10 provides owners and specifiers a means of assuring that today’s natural cement meets or exceeds the performance requirements of the original materials,” says Edison. Edison Coatings is producing natural cement, utilizing natural cement rock from Rosendale.

All interested parties are invited to participate in ongoing reinstatement and revisions efforts to Specification C 10.

Technical Information:
Michael Edison, Edison Coatings, Inc., Plainville, Conn.
Phone: 860/747-2220

ASTM staff: James Olshefsky
Phone: 610/832-9714

Upcoming Meeting: Nov. 8-10, November Committee Week, Dallas, Texas

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