Almost 60 years after joint reinforcement products first appeared, manufacturers receive standards for weld strength and quality control. For the first time, the Masonry Standards Joint Committee will include requirements for masonry joint reinforcement products in its next code and specification for masonry structures, due out late 1998. The new provisions, prompted by a recent ASTM standard for the manufacture of joint reinforcement products, stipulate manufacturers' responsibility for ensuring weld strength. The MSJC adopted ASTM A 951-96 "Specification for Masonry Joint Reinforcement" and will reference it in the 1998 version of its ACI 530-98/ASCE 5-98/TMS 402-98 Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures (MSJC Code) and ACI 530.1-98/ASCE 6-98/TMS 602-98 Specification for Masonry Structures (MSJC Specification). The new standard expands the manufacturer's responsibility by requiring a minimum weld strength between cross wires and side wires, and by mandating rigid in-plant testing for quality control. The new ASTM standard and the MSJC Code and Specification recognize the need to develop the strength of longitudinal wires in the mortar bed joint (that is, to transfer stress from the masonry and mortar to the steel wire). This ensures that joint reinforcement products properly control cracks and provide the principal reinforcement for the masonry. Another new area for the 1998 MSJC Code and Specification concerns the use of epoxy coatings for corrosion protection. Since there are currently no ASTM standards for epoxy-coating of sheet-metal masonry accessories, the MSJC Specification simply requires a minimum thickness of 20 mils per surface (40 mils overall). The ASTM is expected to develop such a standard soon. A small but significant change was made to the requirements for minimum steel area for stack bond. The steel area coefficient was changed from 0.0003 to 0.00028.