We learn how, and why changes are made to the AASHTO re:source Proficiency Sample Program. Plus get a sneak peek at some potential changes coming soon.
AASHTO re:source Q&A Podcast Transcript
Season 4, Episode 17: From the Cutting Room Floor - Potential Changes to the Proficiency Sample Program
Recorded: August 8, 2023
Released: September 19, 2023
Hosts: Brian Jonson, AASHTO Accreditation Program Director; Kim Swanson, Communications Manager, AASHTO re:source
Guests: John Malusky, Proficiency Sample Program Director; Ryan LaQuay, Laboratory and Testing Manager, AASHTO re:source
Note: Please reference AASHTO re:source and AASHTO Accreditation Program policies and procedures online for official guidance on this, and other topics.
Transcription is auto-generated.
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00:00:02 ANNOUNCER: Welcome to AASHTO resource Q & A. We're taking time to discuss construction materials testing and inspection with people in the know. From exploring testing problems and solutions to laboratory best practices and quality management, we're covering topics important to you.
00:00:20 KIM: Hi, welcome to AASHTO resource Q & A I'm Kim Swanson and we have another from the cutting room floor episode from a recent proficiency sample Program Insights episode. And we're talking about the hot mix gyratory samples and we started a discussion that didn't quite make it into the episode but thought we would share here in this clip, you're going to hear myself, Brian Johnson, John Malusky and Ryan LaQuay.
00:00:56 BRIAN: And let's go back to John for a minute with this sample, do you anticipate any changes in the future for the hot mix gyratory samples?
00:01:05 JOHN: At this moment, we're not 100% sure if we're going to make any changes. We are doing some investigative work on a performance mixture design sample. We're possibly going to try to do some launching here in 2024. We need to see how things work, but once again, only laboratories who are accredited for T324 will be required to participate, and this comes at the recommendation of AASHTO resources Oversight Group, which basically directs us the state dot. They're telling us what to do. So, we're looking to add this program due to their recommendations and the requirements we're going to see how things work out. But if that program develops well, we get good participation. The data looks reasonable. We are going to consider to move in more of the direction of the balanced mix design approach and adding some of those performance. Tests into the samples and sample schemes and new programs, so we'll see how things shake out in the next couple of years. But if it's all good, hopefully we have some performance mix tests involved.
00:02:06 BRIAN: What do you think about that, Ryan?
00:02:07 RYAN: I mean it's uh, you know, the new hot topic right now seems to be every other discussion in the industry is about this. Uh, so. Hopefully we can get out, not necessarily ahead of the curve, but at least along with the curve rather playing catch up. We'll, uh, do our research and our due diligence here and over this next year and see what we can come up with.
00:02:24 BRIAN: I think the industry is kind of trying to figure out which way they're going to go with some of those tests, right? If you look at the list of potential tests for balanced mix design, it seems like there's quite a few options out there that people are sorting out, and I received a question yesterday from somebody about equipment availability for performing certain ones so. I don't know that we're there for all of them. We're definitely ready for the most common ones, which are the rut testing, although there's, in my opinion, too many options out there right now which could lead to variable result and conclusions being drawn. So I don't think from a determination of success perspective That is going to be great, but maybe it'll show us that there are multiple ways to get to the same conclusion. I don't know at this point. Right
00:03:13 RYAN: Also that if we develop this and we start seeing all these different methodologies or equipment or interpretations, we're then going to have that data that we can present to the industry and then? Maybe that'll? Help make some more sweeping decisions or sweeping agreement to where I guess on. The same page?
00:03:30 BRIAN: And I know it's difficult when we, you know, sometimes people wonder why, why don't we? Just offer this test or that test John. Do you want to explain why we can't just offer any test in our proficiency?
00:03:41 JOHN: It can be. Extremely challenging for us to 1 acquire material and to prepare the samples the way that we need to prepare them. You know this discussion about going into some of these balanced mixed design tests, yeah, as all of you are aware who listening and participate in the territory around you receive raw material, you receive aggregate and a can of asphalt. We don't have the. Capability here to prepare mix in advance. Now I'm sure some of you know while you do that for ignition and solvent samples like, yeah, we do. But those are. Such smaller batches and it takes almost 45 days working days to prepare the samples for those specimens and we have to, you know, manage space and time with CL since we share the same building. So a lot of this branching out into these new samples where we would send a pre mix. It's really not viable from a production standpoint on our end.
00:04:36 JOHN: So when we look at this Hamburg wheel track program performance mix program, we will probably end up using plant mix. Actually, I'm going to say probably so we will end up using plant mix. It's just too much for us to try to manage in our building. So that's why it's going to take us a little. Bit of time to develop. We need to figure out. The best possible way to do this Ryan, I have met with industry experts, probably almost a half a dozen Times Now. You know hour 2 hour calls to try to discuss some of this information and figure out the most viable approach.
00:05:08 BRIAN: And I know we also have issues with number of participants, right? I mean if you only have 5 laboratories that are running it, you don't have a reasonable statistical analysis anyway, even though you will read research papers where conclusions will be drawn on that many samples, which is troublesome. You really do need more data to figure out if you've actually got something there, right? Yeah, absolutely. The low hanging fruit for us would be the Hamburg wheel trap. We have around 150, AASHTO Accredited labs So that's going to be the first one that we pick off. Then I think if I remember Ryan, you can Fact Check me on this. I believe it is in direct tensile strength.
00:05:48 RYAN: Yep, that's our #2.
00:05:49 JOHN: And that's, I believe somewhere around 60 laboratories that are accredited.
00:05:53 RYAN: Run out there.
00:05:53 JOHN: So yeah, yeah. So those would be the first two that we decide we're going to move in that direction. They're going to be the first two that.
00:05:59 KIM: We handle tackle, what's your threshold for number of participants before you even start thinking about adding proficiency, sample requirements?
00:06:09 JOHN: The breakdown point for our data analysis is 17 participants, so. Anywhere under 17, the uncertainty of our average and standard deviation get too large to navigate around. Our ISO 1704 three requirement. So once we break below that threshold, we will suppress the line items immediately just because of the uncertainty values.
00:06:34 RYAN: So that's a good call back to our last discussion about the VM samples. So we had this three there. We came underneath our threshold and had to suppress those.
00:06:42 KIM: So in that instance, when we were talking about the beam samples, you decided that you will most likely remove that line item because there's not enough participation in it. How do people let you know? Or do you just go based off of the accreditation? The Labs accredited for the sample of like to know when there will potentially be enough people to make the sample worth statistically worth your while.
00:07:05 JOHN: I'm going to let Ryan talk a little bit here. He can kind of explain the approach because we've been looking at a winter highway maintenance program as well. So brine and salt solutions for maintenance in winter and he's kind of going through the process there. So he can tackle that.
00:07:21 RYAN: So it depends on how the sample starts. If something we're trying to do or if the industry is trying to which. Case if it's the industry. They're approaching us. Say, hey, here's what we want, and she mean dot, federal highways, private companies, the whole spectrum there, like, OK, great. Like is this just you? Do you have other people on board and like, well, we have this organization, all of us want this as well. So then we reach out to that organization. Here's what we're thinking is this line up with what you guys want? And then more probably. Out of this organization who always actually wants to participate, and then we get starting names and emails, contact information and basically put down a list of you're more or less signed up unofficially for when this starts off so. We do that then we start to reach out to our other context. So you know we're looking into the different states. We're looking at the Ashton Committee on maintenance, reached out to the international organizations as well, and just put all the files out there and see what we get, collect them back and you know, at that point the numbers looking good. We're good. To go, so I think.
00:08:19 BRIAN: That does it for the. The oratory discussion we got, we learned some things today. We learned that John has a favorite proficiency sample program. We learned about statistical analysis a little bit, and we learned about where the future of our. They're hot. Mixed samples are going, so that's hopefully good information for our listeners. And if you have any other questions, feel free to reach out to us anytime. And I guess if you have proficiency sample question, PSP@AASHTOresource.org.
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00:08:50 ANNOUNCER: Thanks for listening to AASHTO re: source Q & A. If you'd like to be a guest or just submit a question, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Brian at 240-436-4820. For other news and related content, check out AASHTO re:source's social media accounts or go to aashtoresource.org.