ASTM Issues New Standard for Fly Ash Brick

Words: Dan Kamys

ASTM Issues New Standard for Fly Ash Brick

ASTM International has published ASTM C1790-14, Standard Specification for Fly Ash Facing Brick. ASTM standards are a crucial tool for architects, engineers, specifiers, installers, and project owners, providing assurance that products meet established, consensus-based criteria for performance and quality.

CalStar Products, which manufactures a range of brick and masonry products using up to 37% fly ash, is the first manufacturer to offer products that meet the new standard.

Development of C1790 involved an exacting, consensus-based process within ASTM’s established hierarchy of committees, subcommittees, and task groups. More than 300 members of ASTM Committee C15 Manufactured Masonry Units were invited to comment on the standard. Final passage required approval (or abstention) from approximately 200 voting members on the committee, representing masonry, equipment, and material manufacturers, trade associations, mason contractors, general users, and other industry stakeholders.

The resulting specification covers fly ash brick intended for use in masonry, in both structural and facing applications.

“The development of an ASTM standard requires several years of work and an immense commitment from key players within a building product category; as such, the creation of C1790 further affirms the importance and relevance of the fly ash brick category,” says CalStar CEO Joel Rood. “CalStar’s leadership in developing the category and driving the standard creation has both fostered acceptance for this growing technology and opened the door for future applications that combine performance with resource conservation through use of fly ash.”

The standard also provides additional corroboration of performance for CalStar’s bricks. “As the pioneer in fly ash brick technology, CalStar has subjected its masonry products to significant and extensive testing, often above and beyond industry counterparts,” says Julie Rapoport, Ph.D., P.E., LEED AP, CalStar’s vice president of engineering. “With the creation of ASTM C1790, product specifiers and end users have additional validation of the product category, in a format that is fully understood and accepted by all parties within a project team.”

CalStar uses fly ash, a byproduct of coal-burning power plants, as an alternative to clay for its bricks, thereby eliminating firing from the production process. As a result, manufacture of the bricks requires 81% less energy while emitting 84% less CO2.

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