This should probably just go straight to Harold Sprague, Master of
Everything, but I thought I'd put it up here so that we could all get the
benefit of the answer, if there is one.
I am specifying some concrete crack and spall repair products. I'm having to
write the specs from scratch (that's what you get for being on your own),
and although I've got some pretty good guide specifications from a
well-known vendor I choose to have remain anonymous right now, it's really a
pretty big job.
I'm EXTREMELY PICKY about specs, maybe even more than I am drawings since it
is VERBAL rather than graphical information. For one thing, I find it a
challenge to adapt a manufacturer's guide specification because I typically
want to make it at least somewhat generic, as a favor to the contractor and
to the owner by extension.
Fortunately, the really GOOD manufacturers make available data sheets, etc.,
on the WWW that you can use to extract ASTM and other standard parametric
data, incorporating those by reference, and satisfy the intent.
I have one right now, though--and I have been through this before--where
some of the vital parameters are referenced in their guide specifications
and in their data sheets with respect to ASTM standards that are out of
date. And I don't mean that they haven't been updated in a long time; I mean
that they have been WITHDRAWN, and the ASTM website tells me that there is
no replacement for the spec.
I suppose I can just reference the spec anyway, confident that most of these
products have been around awhile and have been tested to the old obsolete
spec, but I don't want to run the risk of leaving someone out of the running
because they are a newer product or producer, and I don't want to have to
make decisions as to "or equal" during construction phase.
I'll give an example:
For an epoxy grout product, the stuff I want to use has "Solids Ratio"
calculated per ASTM D 1010. According to the search engine at
http://www.astm.org/, "D1010 Discontinued 1981 , Replaced By D2939." But
when I check the Summary for D2939, it doesn't look like anything
approaching what would determine the ratio of Solids in an epoxy adhesive or
Another standard, D1638, is listed as "D1638 Discontinued 1991 , Replaced By
No_Replacement". I can't even find anything as to what the title or purpose
of that standard would be (FWIW, it seems to have been used to determine
Does anyone have any suggestions? As I say, I didn't want this to turn into
a foray into the brave new world of specifying, but it looks like once a
product is developed, and they get the lab results back showing what the
results of the ASTM standard tests are, they slap it in their brochures and
never look back, EVEN if the product has been on the market for YEARS since
the testing was done.
William L. Polhemus, Jr., P.E.
Polhemus Engineering Company