Resistance Testing of Natural Stone
ASTM International’s dimension stone committee (C18) is developing a proposed standard that will be used to test the resistance of natural stone to long-term freeze-thaw cycles.
ASTM International member Frank Strickland notes that the de facto standard for testing freeze-thaw resistance for natural stone has been ASTM standard C666, which describes a pass-fail test for concrete. However, the proposed standard (WK81245) will be more useful in getting data specifically from natural stone.
“The proposed standard is designed to meet the unique needs of the natural stone industry,” says Strickland. “It will introduce a new grading system that will be used instead of the pass-fail option. The proposed standard will allow stone to be used to its widest potential.”
According to Strickland natural stone, which includes granite, sandstone, marble, limestone, and others, is widely variable in composition. This variability means that resistance to freezing and thawing varies. The test described in the proposed standard will quantify weaknesses relating to flaking, cracking, discoloration, length changes, and other potential freeze-thaw effects.
Natural stone quarries will be able to use the proposed standard to grade and market their products. Architects and engineers will also benefit from the grading system since it will allow them to specify to a quantified value. Contactors and end customers will be able to make informed decisions based on the real data produced by the proposed standard’s test.
“The proposed standard will encourage the use of natural materials for construction, replacing manufactured materials, which normally use more resources,” says Strickland, geologist, director, TEi-Testing Services, LLC, Stone & Tile Laboratory.
ASTM welcomes participation in the development of its standards. JOIN ASTM.
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