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ASTM Standard covers use of preblended dry mortar.

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February 9, 2010 - ASTM C1714/C1714M, Specification for Preblended Dry Mortar Mix for Unit Masonry, is under jurisdiction of Subcommittee C12.03 on Specifications for Mortars. Standard's components address traceability of mortar mix ingredients, ingredient blending consistency, testing frequency, allowance of additives based on performance, and dryness of ingredients. It also provides guidance on use of admixtures specific to preblended dry mortar and not included in ASTM C270 or ASTM C1384.

Use of Preblended Dry Mortar Covered in New ASTM International Standard

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ASTM International
100 Barr Harbor Dr., Box C700
West Conshohocken, PA, 19428-2959

Press release date: February 2, 2010

W. CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. - The majority of mortar used in construction today is preblended dry mortar, designed to meet the requirements of ASTM C270, Specification for Mortar for Unit Masonry. However, certain aspects of using preblended dry mortar are not covered by ASTM C270. Now, a new standard developed by ASTM International Committee C12 on Mortars and Grouts for Unit Masonry addresses specific issues related to preblended dry mortar.

The standard, ASTM C1714/C1714M, Specification for Preblended Dry Mortar Mix for Unit Masonry, is under the jurisdiction of Subcommittee C12.03 on Specifications for Mortars.

According to Jeffrey Thompson, quality control manager, dry mix plant, Mutual-Target LLC, and a member of Committee C12, preblended dry mortar offers the ability to directly compare the test results from mortar mix sampled at the manufacturing facility to mortar mix sampled at the job site.

"The preblended mortar mix is delivered to the jobsite dry and therefore can be sampled dry and taken back to the lab to be tested alongside mortar sampled from the plant, using the exact same laboratory test methods," says Thompson. "On the other hand, with mortars batched at the job site, where the sand already contains moisture, the mortar mix is wet as soon as the sand is added, which starts the mortar setting process and therefore requires different test methods."

There are five main components to ASTM C1714: traceability of mortar mix ingredients; ingredient blending consistency; testing frequency; allowance of additives based on performance; and dryness of all included ingredients.

In addition, ASTM C1714 provides guidance on the use of admixtures that is specific to preblended dry mortar and not included in ASTM C270 or ASTM C1384, Specification for Admixtures for Masonry Mortars.

"ASTM C1714 provides a solid foundation for specifying preblended mortar and serves the needs of the industry well," says Thompson, who also notes that all interested parties are invited to participate in ongoing revisions to the standard and in other standards developing activities of Committee C12.

To purchase ASTM standards, visit and search by the standard designation number, or contact ASTM Customer Relations (phone: 610-832-9585; ASTM International welcomes and encourages participation in the development of its standards. For more information on becoming an ASTM member, visit

ASTM International is one of the largest international standards development and delivery systems in the world. ASTM International meets the World Trade Organization (WTO) principles for the development of international standards: coherence, consensus, development dimension, effectiveness, impartiality, openness, relevance and transparency. ASTM standards are accepted and used in research and development, product testing, quality systems and commercial transactions.

ASTM Committee C12 Next Meeting: June 8-10, June committee week, St. Louis, Mo.

Technical Contact: Jeffrey Thompson, Mutual-Target LLC, Tumwater, Wash., Phone: 360-705-6508;
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