Standardization News

Modular Block Retaining Wall Units

While machine-placed wet-cast precast concrete retaining wall units have been commercially available since the late 1990s, there has not been an ASTM standard available to cover these products. Now, ASTM International Committee C27 on Precast Concrete Products is working on such a standard. WK38192, Specification for Wet-Cast Precast Modular Block Retaining Wall Units, is being developed by Subcommittee C27.20 on Architectural and Structural Products.

"Like any product standard, the purpose of WK38192 is to identify the physical properties of the products that are important for their intended use and to describe the proper means and methods of testing and measurement of those properties," says Clint Hines, president, JC Hines and Associates LLC, and a C27 member. "This standard will set requirements for dimensional tolerances of individual block units and lifting device requirements for improved safety in handling and installation."

In addition, Hines notes that WK38192, once it has been approved, will eliminate the use of reconstituted ready-mixed concrete in the production of block units, establish guidelines for freeze-thaw durability concerns and standardize minimum requirements for production quality assurance/quality control testing and reporting.

The units to be covered by WK38192 are used in the construction of gravity retaining wall and mechanically stabilized earth retaining wall applications. They can be used for a broad range of retaining wall applications from residential homes to large scale commercial site development projects, as well as public agency transportation and waterways. The proposed standard will be used by manufacturers and distributors of the block units, testing laboratories, consulting firms, government agencies and commercial construction companies.

All interested parties are invited to join in the standards developing activities of Committee C27.

CONTACT Technical Information: Clint Hines, JC Hines and Associates LLC • Anderson, Ohio • Phone: 513-843-6570 | ASTM Staff: Joseph Hugo • Phone: 610-832-9740 | Upcoming Meeting: Dec. 10 • December Committee Week • Jacksonville, Fla.

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