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New Gardner Paint Test Manual Released

Friday, December 9, 2011

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After 16 years, ASTM has published a 15th edition of the venerable Gardner-Sward Handbook, encompassing the latest information on significant paint and coating test methods and technology.

Paint and Coating Testing Manual: 15th Edition of the Gardner-Sward Handbook

Heavily updated from its predecessor, the 1,000-page Paint and Coating Testing Manual: 15th Edition of the Gardner-Sward Handbook contains 79 chapters, written by experts, on new and updated technologies within the paint and coatings industry.

New, Updated Topics

The manual is a comprehensive guide to the paint and coatings topics, test methods, procedures and standards of ASTM and other national and international organizations.

New and updated topics include measurement of gonioapparent colorants, surfactants, powder coatings, osmotic activity in coatings, coalescing aids, and radiation-curable powder coatings.

“Having been in the coatings industry for over 30 years, I know how useful the Gardner-Sward Manual can be,” says Dwight Weldon, president of Weldon Laboratories, in Imperial, PA.

“For years, I have relied on the 14th edition of this fine book to answer many of my paint-testing questions, but a lot has changed in the industry since it was published in 1995. I know a lot of hard work has gone into preparing the new and updated 15th edition, and I am really looking forward to it.”

Testing Pioneer

The manual is named for renowned paint chemist and test pioneer Dr. Henry A. Gardner Sr., its longtime co-author (with editor G.G. Sward). Gardner was a longtime member of ASTM, founded in 1898, and a passionate believer in its work.

 Project Gutenberg

 Project Gutenberg

Dr. Henry A. Gardner Sr., for whom the coating test manual is named, wrote about structural steel paint tests in 1911. His original work, Paint Technology and Tests, is newly available as a free download.

Gardner served, at various times, as assistant director of the Institute of Industrial Research in Washington, DC; director of the Institute of Paint and Varnish Research; and head of the then-new Scientific Section of the Paint Manufacturers’ Association of the United States.

In 1911, Gardner wrote his seminal Paint Technology & Tests, which has just been released free online by Project Gutenberg.

The 257-page work includes a chapter on “Structural Steel Paint Tests” and cites the fledgling American Society for Testing and Materials extensively.

A Work’s Heritage

Gardner eventually established the Henry A. Gardner Laboratory to develop and design physical testing instruments for coating materials, as such instruments were not then generally available to the public. (The Laboratory was acquired by Pacific Scientific in 1980 and by the Altana AG Chemical Division of Byk-Chemie in 1990.).

In 1967, the Gardner Laboratory turned over sponsorship of the Gardner-Sward Manual to ASTM.

At that point, the manual became the sole charge of ASTM’s newly formed Subcommittee 19 on the Gardner-Sward Handbook under Committee D-01 on Paint, Varnish, Lacquer and Related Materials.

That subcommittee assumed responsibility for all future revisions, editing and publication of the time-honored work, the editors reported in a preface to the 583-page 13th edition in 1972.

Today, ASTM International has become one of the largest international standards development and delivery systems in the world. 

Ordering Information

Paint and Coating Testing Manual: 15th Edition of the Gardner-Sward Handbook is available in hard copy and as an e-book for $325.

For more information, visit, email ASTM Customer Relations or call (610) 832-9585.


Tagged categories: ASTM; Certifications and standards; Coating performance; Coatings education; Performance testing; Powder coatings

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