The widespread acceptance and use of voluntary consensus standards in the American construction industry is an enviable accomplishment. Voluntary standardization is an effective means of reducing the cost of construction. Without widely accepted standardized requirements, confusion is created in the specifying, ordering, production, testing, delivery and use of materials. The resulting unnecessary misunderstandings and disputes cause job delays which may increase the cost of the construction even more than the cost of the contested material.

However, to maximize the benefits of standardization, it is essential that up-to-date materials standards be referenced in the contract documents. Current standards assure that the latest technology is being incorporated into a project and the availability of materials is more certain. The person preparing the project specifications should know what the current standards are and be knowledgeable about their provisions. The purpose of this brief article is to provide information on the specifications for reinforcing bars which are published by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).


Epoxy coated rebars are considered by many engineers to be one of the most effective and practical corrosion-protection systems from the standpoint of cost. Epoxy-coated bars were first used in bridge decks as early as 1973. Since then end uses of coated bars have continually expanded. More states and government agencies are specifying coated bars in bridge decks and in other transportation structures. Coated bars are now being used in parking garages, marine structures, water and wastewater treatment plants and other hydraulic structures.