It happens all the time. Somebody believes that the masonry mortar they are using on a project is not in compliance with the ASTM specification and sounds the alarm to all parties involved. Suddenly, the mason contractor, general contractor, mortar supplier, and their suppliers are scrambling to determine what happened. Sometimes the alarm is warranted, but most of the time it’s a misuse or misunderstanding of how to properly verify masonry mortar’s compliance to the specification.

To hopefully reduce these occurrences and provide clarity on the proper use of ASTM C 270, “Specification for Mortar for Unit Masonry,” and ASTM C 780, “Test Method for Preconstruction and Construction Evaluation of Mortars for Plain and Reinforced Unit Masonry,” ASTM has developed a new document. ASTM C 1586, “Guide for Quality Assurance of Mortars,” was approved by ASTM in 2004.