Thursday, January 20, 2022
new concrete
January 12, 2022

New Concrete, New Standards

It can be easy to take concrete for granted. This versatile building material is so familiar, such an ubiquitous presence in the built environment, that we sometimes stop paying attention.

Of course, industry professionals who are looking for ways to improve the economics and performance of concrete, and to reduce its environmental impacts, are paying attention. They are developing new concrete materials and mixtures, applying cutting-edge nanotechnology to improve the material’s compressive strength and ductility, and finding new ways to incorporate recycled materials into the final product.

This work is pointing the way to a greener future for concrete, but getting there will require wider acceptance by the construction industry. One of the keys to this acceptance is establishing material specifications, test methods, and other new standards that give end users the confidence to choose alternatives to traditional approaches. This is where ASTM International comes in.

The committee on cement (C01) was formed over 100 years ago, in 1909, and covers portland and blended cements. The concrete and concrete aggregates committee (C09) dates from 1914 and handles supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs). The two groups meet at the same committee weeks twice a year, and many members are active in both.

Standards published by these groups have paralleled new developments in concrete technology over the decades. Now, in an era where continuous improvement in data collection, computing power, and global communication are helping to accelerate the development of new concrete products and technologies, the ability to establish related standards is more important than ever.

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