Although abuse-resistant gypsum panel products have been on the market for sometime, until recently, there was no standard way to evaluate or classify their various abuse-resistant properties. However, a new standard developed by ASTM International Committee C11 on Gypsum and Related Building Materials and Systems, now fills this need. The standard, C 1629, Classification for Abuse-Resistant Nondecorated Interior Gypsum Panel Products and Fiber-Reinforced Cement Panels, is under the jurisdiction of Subcommittee C11.01 on Specifications and Test Methods for Gypsum Products.
"Classification C 1629 provides methods for testing gypsum panel products and fiber-reinforced cement panels, and establishes a set of criteria, based on specific tests, by which specifiers can compare specific abuse resistant properties of products," says Robert Wessel, C11 member and assistant executive director, Gypsum Association, Washington, D.C. "This standard will enable manufacturers to quantify their products performance."
In addition to providing information on gypsum panels, the new standard is also designed to include fiber-reinforced cement panels. These products were incorporated into the standard at the request of ASTM Committee C17 on Fiber-Reinforced Cement Products.
Wessel also notes that the development of C 1629 included a new test method and modifications of several existing test methods because there were no satisfactory test methods for evaluating some necessary properties.
Manufacturers will be able to use ASTM C 1629 to evaluate and classify their products for abuse resistance. This will provide architects and other specifiers with a method to specify products for use in areas subject to abuse, such as schools, commercial mailrooms, hospital corridors and other locations where walls may be subject to impact from people, carts, gurneys and thrown objects.
For further technical information, contact Robert Wessel, Gypsum Association, Washington, D.C. (phone: 202/289-5440; rwessel@Gypsum.org). Committee C11 will meet May 15-18, at the May Committee Week in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. For membership or meeting details, contact Tom OToole, ASTM International (phone: 610/832-9739; firstname.lastname@example.org).