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C 90 - 05
Desiqnation:

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for
StandardSpecification
LoadbearingConcreteMasonryUnitsl
This stanrlardis issuedunderthe fixed rlesignationC 90; the numberimmediatelyfollowing the designationindicatesthe year of original
indicatesthe year of last reapproval.A superscript
adoptionor, in the caseof revision, the year of last revision.A numberin parentheses
epsilon (e) indicatesan editorial changesince the last revision or reapp'oval'
ThLsstandard has been approvedfor use b1tagencies o.f the l)epartment of Defense

1. Scope*
1.1 This specificationcovers hollow and solid (see5.3 and
-5.4) concrete masonry units made from hydraulic cement,
water, and mineral aggregateswith or without the inclusion of
other materials. There are three classes of concrete masonry
units: (1) normal weight, (2) medium'weight, and (3) lightweight. These units are suitable for both loadbearing and
":,rra:
'
nontadbearing applications.
1.2 Concretemasonry units covered by this specificationare
made from lightweight or nonnal weight aggregates,or both.
1.3 The text of this standardreferencesnotes and footnotes
which provide explanatory material' These notes and footnotes
(excluding those in tables and figures) shall not be considered
as requirements of the standard.
1.4 The values statedin inch-pound units are to be regarded
as the standard. The values given in parentheses are for
information only.
Nore l-When particularfeaturesaredesiredsuchas surfacetextures
propertiessuchas
or bond,finish,color,or penticular
for appearance
thermal
fireresistance,
strength,
highercompressive
weightclassification,
performance,
shouldbe specified
these1'eatures
performance
or acoustical
asto the
Localsuppliers
shouldbeconsulted
by thepurchaser.
separately
availabilityof unitshavingthe desiredfeatures.
2. Referenced Documents
2.1 ASTM Standards:z
C 33 Specification for Concrete Aggregates
C 140 Test Methods for Sampling and Testing Concrete
Masonry Units and Related Units
C 150 Specification for Portland Cement
C 331 Specification for Lightweight Aggregates for Concrete Masonry Units

I This specification is under the jurisdiction of ASTM Committee C15 on


Manuf'acturedMasonry Units and is the direct responsibility of Subcommittee
C15.03 on ConcreteMasonry Units and RelatedUnits.
Current edition approved Feb. l. 2005. Published April 2005. Originally
approvedin 1931. Last previousedition approvedin 2003 as C 90-03'
2 For referencedASTM standards,visit the ASTM rvebsite,w*'w.astm'org, or
contactASTM CustomerServiceat service@astmorg. For Ann'ualBook of ASTM
volume infonnation,refer to the standard'sDocumentSummarypageon
Stantlarul.s
the ASTM website.

C 426 Test Method for Linear Drying Shrinkage of Concrete Masonry Units
C 595 Specification for Blended Hydraulic Cements
C 618 Specification for Coal Fly Ash and Raw or Calcined
Natural Pozzolan for Use as a Mineral Admixture in
Concrete
C 989 Specification for Ground Granulated Blast-Furnace
Slag for Use in Concrete and Mortars
C ll57 Performance Specification for Hydraulic Cement
C l2?g Terminology of Concrete Masonry Units and Related Units
C 1232 Terminology of Masonry
C 1314 Test Method for Compressive Strength of Masonry
Prisms
E 519 Test Method for Diagonal Tension (Shear) in Masonry Assemblages
E 72 Methods for Conducting Strength Tests of Panels fbr
Building Construction
3. Terminology
3.1 Terminology defined in Terminology C 1209 and Terminology C 1232 shall apply for this specification.
4. Materials
4.1 CementitiousMaterials-Materials shall confbrm to the
following applicable specifications:
4.7.1 Portland Cem.ent-SpecificationC 150.
4.I.2 Modified Ponland Cement-Portland cement conforming to Specification C 150, modified as follows:
(I) Limestone-If calcium carbonate is added to the
cement, the CaCO. content shall not be less than 85 Vc.
(2) Limitation on Insohtble Resi.due-l .5 Vo.
(3) Limitation on Air Content of Mortar-Yolume percent,
22Vo max.
(4) Limitation on Loss on lgnition--:7 Vo.
4.1.3 Blended Hydraulic Cements-Specification C 595.
4.1.4 Hydraulic Cement-Specification C 11-57.
4.1.5 Pozzolans-SpecificationC 618.
4.1.6 Blast Furnace Slag Cement-Specification C 989.
4.2 Aggregafes-Aggregates shall conform to the following
specifications, except that grading requirements shall not
necessarily apply:

*A Surnmary of Changessection appears at the end of this standard'


CopyrightO ASTNI International,100 Batr Harbor Drive, PO Box C700, West Conshohocken,PA 19428-2959,United Slates.

{$pceo-05
4.2.1 Normal Weight Aggregates-SpecificationC 33.
4.2.2 Li ghmeight Aggregales-Specifi cation C 331.
4.3 Other Constituents-Air-entraining agents, coloring
pigments, integral water repellents, finely ground silica, and
other constituentsshall be previously establishedas suitable for
use in concrete masonry units and shall conform to applicable
ASTM standardsor shall be shown by test or experiencenot to
be detrimental to the durability of the concrete masonry units
or any material customarily used in masonry construction.
5. Physical Requirements Physical Reqrrirements
5.1 At the time of delivery to the purchaser, units shall
conform to the physical requirementsprescribedin Table I and
Table 2.
thanthoselistedin Table2 may
strengths
NorE 2-Higher cornpressive
be specifiedwhererequiredby design.Consultwith local suppliersto
strength.
availabilityof unitsof highercompressive
determine

capability has been establishedwhen tested in accordancewith the


applicable provisions of Test Methods 872, C 1314, E 5i9, or other
applicable tests and the appropriate design criteria developed is in
accordancewith applicablebuilding codes.

5.4 Solid Units:


5.4.1 The net cross-sectionalarea of solid units in every
plane parallel to the bearing surfaceshall be not less than75 Vo
of the gross cross-sectionalarea measuredin the same plane.
5.5 End Flanges:
5.5.1 For units having end flanges, the thickness of each
flange shall not be less than the minimum face shell thickness.
Nore 5-Flangesbeveledat the endsfor mortarless
headjoint applicationsthat will be filled with groutareexemptfrom this requirement.
Flanges
whicharespeciallyshaped
for mortarless
headjoint applications
which have been shownby testingor field experienceto provide
performance
equivalent
areexemptfrom thisrequirement.
6. Permissible Variations in Dimensions

6.1 Standard Units-For standardunits, no overall dimension (width, height, and length) shall differ by more than +Vs
in. (3.2 mm) from the specifieddimensions.
Norr 3-The purchaseris the public body or authority,uSro.iutio-iil"'o'' 6.2 Partictilar Feqture Units-For perticular feature units,
partnership,
or individualenteringinto a contractor agreecorporation,
dimensions shall be in accordancewith the following:
masonryunits.Thetimeof
or both,concrete
or instaLll,
mentto purchase
6.2.1 For molded face units, no overall dimension (width,
delivery to the purchaseris FOB plant when the purchaseror the
height, and length) shall differ by more than :Va in. (3.2 mm)
purchaser's
the concretemasonryunits,or at the time
agenttransports
agent from the specified standarddimension. Dimensions of molded
or themanufacturer's
unloaded
at theworksiteif themanufacturer
masonryunits.
transports
theconcrete
featuresshall be within a%e in. (1.6 mm) of the specified
standarddimensions and shall be within + t/rc in. ( 1.6 mm) of
5.3 Hollovv Units:
the specified placement of the molded feature.
5.3.1 Face shell thickness(tt ) and web thickness(t-) shall
conform to the requirementsprescribed in Table 1.
NorB6-Molded featuresinclude.but arenot limitedto: r'ibs.scores,
andpatterns.
Noru 4-Web thickness(L) not conforming to the requirements hex-shapes,
provided
structural
equivalent
prescribed
I
may
be
approved,
in Tablc
6.2.2 For split-faced units, all non-split overall dimensions
shall differ by not more than +Ve in. (3.2 mm) from the
specified standard dimensions. On faces that are split, overall
TABLE1 MinimumThicknessof FaceShellsand Webs
dimension
will vary. Consult with local suppliers to determine
Web Thickness (t-)
achievable dimensional tolerances.
EquivalentWeb
6.2.3 For slump units, no overall height dimension shall
Thickness,min,
differ by more than -+/s in. (3.2 mm) from the specified
in./linearft8'c
(mm/linearm)
standarddimension. On faces that are slumped, overall dimen3/t
3/a
(19)
(19)
1% (136)
3 (76.2)and 4 (102)
sions will vary. Consult with local suppliers to determine
21/q(188)
1 (25)
1 (2s)D
6 (15 2 )
achievable dimensional tolerances.
p2)D
(188)
5.2 At the time of delivery to tlrq purchaser, the linear
shrinkage of units shall not exceed 0.065 7o.

*"uill,H"llff'"
n
ftii*j** w?:fimn,
8 {203)
10 (2s4)

12 (305) and greater

1V4

13la (35)D
11/+ (32)D'E

1V, (38)

1 (25)
11/a(29)

2%
21/e(209)

1Ve (29\

21/z(209)

11/t (32)D'E

AAverage of measurements on 3 units taken at the thinnest point when


measuredas describedin Test MethodsC 140. When this standardis used for split
face units, nol more than 10 % of a split face shell area shall be less than shown,
and the face shell thicknessin this area shall be not less than % in. (19.'l mm).
When the units are solid grouted the 10 o/. limit does not apply.
aAverage of measurements on 3 units taken at the thinnest point when
measured as described in Test Methods C 140. The minimum web thickness for
unitswith webs closerthan 1 in. (25.4 mm) apart shall be3/+in. (19.1 mm).
c Sum of the measuredthicknessesot all webs in the unit,multipliedby 12 and
divided by the length of the unit. Equivalentweb thickness does not apply to the
portionof the unit to be filled with grout.The lengthof that portionshall be deducted
from the overall length ol the unit for the calculation of the equivalent web
thickness.
D For solidgroutedmasonryconstruction,
minimumJaceshellthicknessshallbe
not less than % in. (.16mm).
EThis face shell thickness(t.) is applicablewhere allowabledesign load is
reduced in proportion to the reduction in thickness from basic tace shell thicknesses shown, except that allowabledesign loads on solid grouled units shall not
be reduced.

7. Finish and Appearance


7.1 All units shall be sound urd free of cracks or other
defects that interfere with the proper placement of the unit or
significantly impair the strengthor perrnanenceof the construction. Minor cracks, incidental to the usual method of manufacture or minor chipping resulting from customary methods of
handling in shipment and delivery, are not grounds for rejection.
1.2 Where units are to be used in exposedwall construction,
the face or faces that are to be exposed shall not show chips or
cracks, not otherwise permitted, or other imperfections when
viewed from a distance of not less than 20 ft (6.1 m) under
diffused lighting.
7.2.1 Fle percentof a shipmentcontainingchips,not larger
than 1 in. (25.4 mm) in any dimension, or cracks not wider than
0.02 in. (0.5 mm) and not longer than 25 Vo of the nominal
height of the unit, is permitted.

,fipceo-05
TABLE 2 Strength, Absorption, and Weight Classification Requirements
Maximum Water
MinimumNet Area
CompressiveStrength
-

, Less Than 105


(1680)

tbltt3
ofG
MediumWeight,105 to
Less than 125 (1680-2000)

or more

tS (Z+O)
tz (ZzZ)
ZO(SZO)
l..tnit
tzOO(tt.z)
tnOiviOLrat
A Average oven-drydensity,based on a set of three units, shall fall within ranges defined in the table to be classifiedas lightweight,medium weight, or normal weight.

7.3 The color and texture of units shall be specified by the


purchaser.The finished surfacesthat will be exposed in place
shall conform to an approved sample, consisting of not less
than four units, representing the range of texture and color
permitted.
7.4 A shipment shall not contain more than 5 7o of units,
including broken units, that do not meet the requirements of
6 .1 , 7 . 1, 7. 2, and7. 2 .1 .

from the shipment. A new sample shall be selected by the


purchaser from remaining units from the shipment with a
similar configuration and dimension and tested at the expense
of the manufacturer.If the second sample meets the specified
requirements, the remaining ponion of the shipment represented by the sample meets the specified requirements.If the
second sample fails to meet the specified requirements, the
remaining portion of the shipment representedby the sample
fails to meet the specified requirements.

8. Sampling and Testing


Nors 7-Unless otherwisespecified
in thepurchase
order,thecostof
8.1 The purchaser or authorized representative shall be
accordedproper facilities to inspect and sample the units at thE:+' testsis typicallyborneasfollows:(1) if theresultsof thetestsshowthat
thecost
theunitsdo notconformto therequirements
of thisspecification,
place of manufacture from the lots ready for delivery.
(2) if theresultsof thetestsshowtharthe
is
typically
borne
by
the
seller;
Test
Methods
with
in
units
accordance
and
test
8.2 Sample
requirements,
thecostis typicallyborne
unitsconformto thespecification
c r40.
the purchaser.
by
8.3 Total linear drying shrinkage shall be based on tests of
concretemasonry units made with the samematerials,concrete
10. Keywords
mix design, manufacturing process, and curing method, con10.1 absorption; concrete masonry units; equivalent web
ducted in accordancewith Test Method C 126 and not more
thickness;
face shell; flange; lightweight; linear shrinkage;
than 24 months prior to delivery.
loadbearing; medium weight; normal weight; webs
9. Compliance
9.1 If a sample fails to conform to the specified requirements, the manufacturer shall be permitted to remove units

APPENDTXES
(Nonmandatory

Information)

XI. WATER PENETRATION

X1.1 Exterior walls are often subjected to moisture penetration from one or more sources. For example, basement
walls may be exposed to water from saturated soil. Abovegrade exterior walls are usually exposed to wind-driven rain.
To prevent water penetration, proper detailing, construction,

RESISTANCE

flashing, and drainage should be provided. Proper water


penetration resistanttreatmentsshould be applied to the walls.
While it is not within the scopeof Specification C 90 to include
information on resistanceto water penetration, such information and guidelines are available from other organizations.

X2. CRACKCONTROL
X2.L Restrained or differential movement in building
elements and building materials can result in cracking. Some
common causesof movement are: loads created by wind, soil
pressure,seismic forces, or other external sources; settlement
of foundations; or volume changesin materials. For example,
volume changes in concrete masoffy units can be caused by
moisture gain and loss, thermal expansionand contraction, and
carbonation. To limit and control cracking due to these and

other causes,proper design, detailing, construction, and materials are necessary.Specification C 90 provides a maximum
limitation on the total linear drying shrinkage potential of the
units, but it is not within the scope of this specification to
address other design, detailing, construction, or material recommendations.This type of information and related guidelines
for crack control are available from other orsanizations.

ceo-os
,($fp
SUMMARY OF CHANGES
Committee C15 has identified the location of selectedchangesto this standardsince the last issue (C 90 - 03)
that may impact the use of this standard.
(1) Table ? was modified to define individual unit requirements
for water absorption.

(2) Footnote A in Table 2 was rewritten to define that weight


classifications shall be determined based on oven-dry density.

ASTM lnternational takes no position respecting the validity ot any patent ights asseied in connection with any item mentioned
in this standard. Users of this standard are expressly advised that determination of the validw of any sueh patent ights, and the risk
of infringement of such rights, are entirely their own responsibility.
This standard is subject to revision at any time by the responsible technical committee and must be reviewed every five years and
if not revised, either reapprcved or withdrawn- Your comments are invited either for revision of this standard or for additional standards
and shoutd be addressed to ASTM lnternational Headquarters. Your comments will receive careful consideration at a meeting of the
responsible technica! committee, which you may aftend. If Wu feel that your comments have not received a fair hearing you should
make your views known to the ASTM Committee on Standards, at the address shown below.
This standard is copyrighted by ASTM International, 100 Barr Harbor Drive, PO Box C700, West Conshohocken, PA 19428-2959,
tJnited States. lndividual reprinti (single or multiple copies) of this standard may be obtained by contacting ASTM at the above
address or at 610-832-9585 (phone), 610-832-9555 (fax), or seruice@astm.org (e-mail); or through the ASTM website
.
. ":'*-:'a'
(www.astm.org).