AASHTO re:source Q & A Podcast

The transition from ASTM D422 to D6913 and D7928

December 29, 2020 Kendra Adams from Blue Rock Labs Season 1 Episode 24
The transition from ASTM D422 to D6913 and D7928
AASHTO re:source Q & A Podcast
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AASHTO re:source Q & A Podcast
The transition from ASTM D422 to D6913 and D7928
Dec 29, 2020 Season 1 Episode 24
Kendra Adams from Blue Rock Labs

Kendra Adams from Blue Rock Labs and our own Pete Holter join Brian to talk about ASTM standards development regarding particle size analysis testing for soils with a focus on transitioning from D422 to D6913 and D7928.

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Kendra Adams from Blue Rock Labs and our own Pete Holter join Brian to talk about ASTM standards development regarding particle size analysis testing for soils with a focus on transitioning from D422 to D6913 and D7928.

Related Information:

AASHTO re:source Q&A Podcast Transcript

Season 1, Episode 24: The transition from ASTM D422 to D6913 and D7928

Released: December 29, 2020 

Host: Brian Jonson, AASHTO Accreditation Program Manager, AASHTO re:source 

Guests: Kendra Adams, President, Blue Rock Labs; Pete Holter, Senior Quality Analyst, 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. 

[Theme music fades in.] 

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. Now here’s our host, Brian Johnson.

00:00:21 BRIAN: Today on the podcast we are going to talk about Hydrometer testing with two guests. Our first guest is Kendra Adams, president of Blue Rock Labs in Littleton, Co how are you doing today, Kendra?

00:00:35 KENDRA: I'm great, Brian. Thank you.

00:00:37 BRIAN: And our 2nd guest is our very own Pete Holter, Senior Quality Analyst with the AASHTO Accreditation Program. Pete, how's it going today?

00:00:47 PETE: Hey boss, I'm doing good.

00:00:51 BRIAN: All right, so back to Kendra. You are president of Blue Rock Labs. Do you want to tell us about Blue Rock Labs?

00:00:57 KENDRA: Yeah, a little bit about Blue Rock Labs. So, we're located here in the Denver Metro area and we do geotechnical testing of soils, just laboratory testing. So, we don't go out on any job sites or anything that like that. But you know we do have the standard index testing out of our limits. So, water contents, things like that. And then we also do some more. Advanced testing, triaxial ALS and incrementals. Things like that. If you want to consider those advanced, but. I usually do because they cost more money and equipment, so we do all kinds of different testing, but mostly just do technical stuff and just laboratory stuff.

00:01:33 BRIAN: Right. And you don't only get into the testing of soil, geotechnical, you're also pretty heavily involved in ASTM standards development. Is that correct?

00:01:45 KENDRA: Yes, I do. I do a lot with the main committee D18 on soil and Roc. Pretty, pretty heavily invested in that group spend a lot of my free time working on standards, reviewing standards, things like that.

00:01:58 BRIAN: Yeah, and. And the reason why I picked Kendra for this episode is because she was heavily involved with the development of both ASTM D6913 and D7928. And those standards are the replacements for. Classic Standard D422, which was the graduation and hydrometer with frankly very little content written in the graduation component. And mostly the content was on the Hydrometer, but there was a lot of room for improvement, so D18 spent some time working on some advancements in the standard and ended up splitting it up. But I would really love Kendra to give us some background on what the thought process was in data teen and. And how you were able and your team there in D18 was able to transition from D422 to D6913 and D7928?

00:03:01 KENDRA: So, subcommittee D 1803 is the one. That is responsible has jurisdiction for all of the three standards you just mentioned. And so D 422 have been on the books for years and years and years. And I agree some of the content was lacking or was confusing. And I think we've all experienced that in various. Degrees, but at some point I think it was in, I'm going. To say the. Late 90s. That the subcommittee decided that there were so many issues with the 422 and not all of them bad, but. Just things we needed to fix. That we would separate the standard into basically three and two of them are done and the third one is coming. But what we did was basically said we need to separate the sieve in a hydrometer testing to to better define each one. And so that's what we did and most of us know that D 6913 is very long compared to. 422 and so that was a, you know, a little bit of a hurdle there. It's like why? Is this so long?

00:04:00 KENDRA: But let me tell you a. Little bit about some of the thinking of of why. The Siv Sid portion of D422 was. Was maybe not as. Awesome as it could be. What it basically came down to is that there's two different philosophies for obtaining the test session in preparation. There's the drive prep, and then there's the most prep and I got some information background information from someone much older and wiser than me that. Basically, said Corp engineers back in World War Two did a lot of. Stuff with moist soils. And then the Bureau of Reclamation was doing a lot of things in more arid regions, and they wanted to stay away from water issues with soils. And so there's two philosophies based on that basis versus the. Dry and moist. And so. Based on those two different philosophies. And what we've learned is that we know that the moist preparation is better for all the soils that we don't want segregation and fine soils like or. I'm sorry we don't want the segregation of the fines in sandy soils and we don't want the dry preparation for clay soils because that can actually change the structure of the clays, so we know things.

00:05:09 KENDRA: About the tropical soils and hydrated. Line grains, soils. You know that they can't properly be rehydrated super. Well, so part of what was wrong with 422, there really wasn't any control over or much information about this particular case. And so that was causing some issues that people were working with, those types of soils or we could get incorrect results or.

00:05:27 BRIAN: Right.

00:05:31 KENDRA: Your lab would have. Something different than my lab.

00:05:33 BRIAN: OK, so right out of the gate, 422 is in trouble because it required you to to perform dry. That according to D 421 is that is that what you're?

00:05:43 KENDRA: Saying essentially, essentially, yeah, everything was dry cut.

00:05:47 BRIAN: So, you haven't even gotten to the test yet, and you're already in a situation where you're not getting an optimal test result.

00:05:53 KENDRA: Potentially yes, it just. All that you know depends on what. You have but, but yeah, that's pretty much the gist. Of that story.

00:06:00 BRIAN: OK. And then once it gets into testing, well I guess you don't really have to get into why 422 was so limited, but and. And I think it's OK. We can mention I think that you may be talking about Richard Ladd, is that?

00:06:13 KENDRA: And he's my historian for all things particle size analysis.

00:06:17 BRIAN: Yeah, he's. He's a wealth of information. He was there from the development. A lot of these standards and. We may end up having him on one of these episodes too, but I'm not sure we have enough time to cover all of the information that Richard has to convey. Just spending one day talking to him, you learn so much.

00:06:37 KENDRA: Yeah, he's been instrumental in my professional career and personally he's a good friend of mine, so kudos to. Richard great person.

00:06:46 BRIAN: Yeah, that's great. So, let's talk about the development of 6913. Since we're starting off with graduation, is the prep covered in that standard or is it, does it refer you to another state?

00:06:58 KENDRA: Correct. It is in D6913, so they wanted Subcommittee 1 to get rid of D421, which was the drag prep method. So basically they started working on one at a time, putting the preparation process into each of the standards, and Steve and Hydrangea with the last two. So yes, in. The substandard, now 6913. It does a really good job of explaining the different preparation methods so that you'll get a good representative sample so that you'll get a good test.

00:07:27 BRIAN: And people are often overwhelmed. By 6913 you mentioned this because of the length of the standard. Is there anything that you can tell people who are potentially either users or potential users of this standard that might kind of help them maybe put them at ease or give them a quick understanding of? How to go through that standard without getting overwhelmed?

00:07:50 KENDRA: Sure. I think the 1st. The easiest thing that I could say is is just to. There's lots. Of flow charts in there and there's. Just tons of information. And trust me, when I was reviewing it, I had a hard time with it as well. So, my advice is just go 1 sample type at a time, so start off with saying OK, I have a regular. Most of us have samples that are usually in minus #4 sieve. That's usually single set setting and then only concentrate on those sections of D6913 to talk about that. And get a pretty good feel for OK see exactly. How this works? Anytime you go up above, usually about the 3/8 and you get into the inch, the three-quarter inch material about much larger samples. And so you're either doing composite sitting and I. Think that's where a lot of. People really get overwhelmed. Because there's so much and there's so many acronyms and there's so many subscripts that it feels like I just give up our brains. Just shut off.  What I can say is. That if you. Do one kind of sample at a time and. Sometimes I.

00:08:53 KENDRA: I've even just had people. I just dump the sample on the floor. And say, OK, let's. Run through this. If you do the singles. Composites sitting first and then you just keep adding the layers until you're convinced that how easy it actually is. Because not really difficult, it's just wordy. So that's kind of my recommendation is just to take one soil size at a time and just and keep adding until you feel more comfortable reading the standard room. Oh, this is what that means by. This part of the composite. Setting if that's helpful.

00:09:23 BRIAN: How long did it take to that? That's extremely helpful. And how long did it take to get to get used to or comfortable with the standard where you wouldn't feel nervous when you're running a sample and trying to adhere to it?

00:09:37 KENDRA: You know, I think for me, and I can't speak for everyone because everybody processes things differently, but most of us are visual. A lot of us are visual learners and so just running through. It I think a couple of times on a dummy sample. I think there's too much pressure when it's a production sample for a client. I think everybody wants to do a really good job for their clients and so trying to learn on a production sample adds pressure that we just don't need. And so yeah, I create practice samples and you know, run it through a couple times and. You know, figure out where I make the mistake and. OK. I'm not going to do that again and. I think sometimes. It's that's the best way to learn is. By failing and it sticks it sticks. With you a little bit more. No, don't. Do that again. That was that was. Bad, but I think.

00:10:25 BRIAN: Mm-hmm. Yeah. Have you? OK, I'm sorry.

00:10:27 KENDRA: Go ahead. No, go ahead, Brian.

00:10:29 BRIAN: I was just going to say, have you ever had to train anybody on how? To run that test.

00:10:34 KENDRA: Sort of. I employ my a lot of high school kids and so usually when it comes to composite sitting, I just do those myself just because of the complexity. Of keeping track of it all. But I've had to explain it a couple times and I and I wouldn't say that I am the Super best person to explain that test. I'm better at showing it and then I've had a lot of help from Richard and Junior within Buffalo, NY going over it and you just kind of walk through it so. So, the answer your question, yeah, I've trained a little bit, but probably not like a 2 inch or three-inch. And I think I'm, I think I'm pretty rusty on that myself. OK. I don't see that as much where I am, but I do typically see one inch minus material here.

00:11:18 BRIAN: So, my follow-up question was going to be about some tips for for trainers teaching new people or inexperienced people, how to get comfortable with that standard. It sounds like you've already kind of answered that with your visual learning approach.

00:11:34 KENDRA: Yeah. I really think. But I kind of think I'm. A teacher at. But I know that sometimes I talk too fast. And so, when training. It just depends on the person that you're training the age. That they are and what they're used to. So, I do try to sometimes talk a little bit slower or I. I go step. By step and ask a lot of questions like does I? I say does this. Make sense to you a lot. And I give them an opportunity to stop and go. No, I don't. I don't understand that or I don't understand why I needed that mask, but I don't. Need this mask. And just give them an opportunity to ask the questions and. Then if I'm feeling. Really adventurous. Sometimes I'll go. OK. I want you to do the calculations and then usually their minds are blown.

00:12:22 BRIAN: yeah. I understand that that's a great technique and I think it's a lot of people could benefit from hearing what you just said because people do get overwhelmed and and there's nothing worse than just handing somebody 6913 and saying, OK, I want you to figure this out. Go ahead and test those samples over there. I don't think that's going to be very successful.

00:12:46 KENDRA: No, I agree. And I think that we had a conversation with some other deadline folks a long time ago about why do we have lab managers? And we basically have lab managers to look at these standards and then teach our staff. And so yeah, I don't expect any, but I don't ever hand a standard to somebody so. Here go do this. It's just setting them up for failure and I don't want that for them I. Want them to feel successful? So, you know, I'll. Spend the time to go over a standard with somebody and then you. Know they can read it. But yeah, D. 6913 If you hand that to. Somebody, I think they're going. To walk out your door and say look.

00:13:23 BRIAN: Yeah, no doubt about it. So, we I think I originally I've gotten way off track as I often do with these conversations. But I got you on here to talk about D 79 two.

00:13:35 PETE: You have to.

00:13:36 BRIAN: The 8, the Hydrometer portion of this, but it they all do go together. Those these there are two standards and eventually the third which I definitely want to talk about later on. But can you talk about the transition from 422 to 7928?

00:13:52 KENDRA: Sure. So now that we've split the D422 up a little bit, D 7928 is specifically focusing on the fines, the sign, the, the clay size and silt sized particles this. Standard is primarily. To be used for samples or specimens. They don't have course material in. And so initially there was some concern of, oh, this this isn't good, that we split this, this doesn't. What am I going to get two different grain sizes if I have some? Plus #10. Very valid question and we'll talk about that combo standard later. But in this particular one there was a need for just identifying and just evaluating very fine grained. And so that was the kind of reasoning behind the Hydrometer and splitting it so that when I don't know if this happened anyone else, but I would get a sample and they'd say I. Need a a graduation? And they went D420 too. Well, did you want? To sit and the hydrant, or do you just want to sit? Do you just want the hydrometer?

00:14:52 KENDRA: Because we could. You could do those things and so. Breaking it up this way. You know, helps us in the lab if someone comes in and says I need a SIV. OK, you want D 6913, yes. OK. You want hydrometer? You want D 79 two. The new standard? Really. Just focuses on just the hydrometer portion of it.

00:15:09 BRIAN: Yeah, that's that's a great point that you just made because we see this in on the proficiency sample results all the time where somebody will just submit the graduation portion and they in their minds, they probably think that they ran D 422, but they only ran part of it.

00:15:27 KENDRA: Right. And that's part of the specification too is when the specifying agencies say I want D422, but then they they bring you in a clean sand. Well, I'm not going to. I'm not, obviously I'm not running a hydrometer. There's not enough fine sized material in there to do anything with. So yeah, so it makes it difficult. So, splitting it up kind of actually. Helps for the lab assignment side of things.

00:15:49 BRIAN: Yeah. Now for 7928, what were the important elements of that standard that you and and the DA team team wanted to capture?

00:16:00 KENDRA: So, some of the things that we really. Wanted to make sure. That we included here that kind of cleaned up some of the stuff from. D422. In D422 specifically to the Hydrometer. It talked about accounting for the meniscus, but it didn't really give much information about any of it. It also in D422, we didn't really have any control over the dimensions of the cylinder and it used average values of the for the Hydrometer. And so we noticed that there was variation between cylinders and we noticed that there was variation between hydrometers. Particularly for the. Hydrometers here in the last several years, where the manufacturing process has. We've been told it's harder to get the same kind of silica to make the glass and we always joked that there was one guy that made all the hydrometers for everybody and then he retired and that's that's why things are harder when. So, when I get a new hydrometer, I've actually sent some back because they don't meet the speck. Of 7928. Which comes basically out of the 100.

00:17:02 KENDRA: And so in D79. 28 we made. A statement about not testing clean sands. You just can't put enough in there to to get. Any value out of that? The other thing that we wanted to make sure is that we were controlling the the addition of the dispersant Indy 422. You could make a solution. It only lasted about a week. Before it hydrolyzed. And now we just don't do that. So, it's a little bit easier. It saves a little bit of of effort and some money too that you're only using the dispersant that you need and not having to throw it away. If you maybe didn't run a test, you know after. The other thing we wanted to capture was. The use of. The the agitator, the one that you pull up and down instead of. Hand tipping?  So back in the day, as Richard reminded me, hand tipping was really hard for people that had small palms, and so they would be a lot of leakage. You know, when they're trying to tip it and, you know, and now they're using rubber stoppers. Which helps, but you could still have weak potential if you didn't get that rubber stopper in the way.

00:18:01 KENDRA: So, we wanted to capture that. You could still be hand tipping, but they also have now this new little agitator guy that just goes up and. Down and it's it's so much easier. I always joke I'll never go back to hand tipping. But one of the most important features of the Hydrometer standard is the temperature, density correction equations and the method. In D422 is just. A slope basically. Said take two points. And have a slope and then that's. That's it. What I found. Out from Richard was that that slope could be off by 200 to 300%. And so we're getting. We're putting in bad information, the hydrometers. Really aren't that bad. So, fixing that temperature density equation and and then just getting a better equation for our diameter so that we're not using tables for calculations. Those are some really important things we wanted to get in there and D 422 that table for Kay. Actually has some mistakes in it. That we never did correct because we decided to, it was going to be withdrawn and it's just historical now. So those are some. Of the main things that we wanted to, you know, make sure that we captured in, in the. Hydrometer testing.

00:19:08 PETE: OK.

00:19:10 BRIAN: That's good. Now I'm going to bring Pete in on this because we've now had a couple of years of laboratory. Assessments and we've seen how people are taking the standard and applying it in their laboratories and understand how to measure the hydrometer and the graduated cylinders peak. Can you tell us how people are doing with this?

00:19:31 PETE: Yeah, we started assessing for this test beginning of 2000. And we've had over 400 non conformities so far for the labs. We have more than 100 accredited labs now at this point.

00:19:48 BRIAN: Wait, wait, wait. Hold on. Pete, you're saying 400 different? Non conformities exist.

00:19:53 PETE: Not, not formalities.

00:19:55 BRIAN: Those are different. They have non conformities that have been written.

00:20:00 PETE: Ohh it's cumulative. So, for the past 3 1/2 plus years we've written more than 400 non conformities for.

00:20:07 BRIAN: Oh, OK. All right, that's good. Is I I was going to say, I can't imagine. I know that standard is not as short as 422, but I don't even know if there's 400 separate criteria that there could be non conformities written about. So, I'm glad to hear that was cumulative.

00:20:23 KENDRA: Yeah. No, no, we don't.

00:20:25 PETE: Have any labs getting hundreds of? Majorities for this test. We we do see labs getting five or six months. Normies and so that's not uncommon. What we see most frequently is that labs are getting the non conformity that says they didn't have the data sheets and test reports that conform to D7928 and 19 times those types. Of non conformities mentioned that the lab instead of that presented data sheets and reports and conformance with the 422. We also frequently see the nonconformity that labs didn't have check records for either the Hydrometer or the cylinder, and so these three non conformities not having the report and calculations for the test method not having the check records for the cylinder and not having the check records. For the Hydrometer, these all point to well, these new labs that are seeking accreditation for D7928 are for the most part simply processing data in accordance with D422. So, the and this kind of ties in with our proficiency sample program results because currently what you see if you look at the standard deviations is there's not much difference between the standard deviations for the D422 results. And the standard deviations for the D7928 results no real appreciable difference in the accuracy of the test methods, and so based on the non conformities we've seen during our assessments, we can. Kind of assume that in some cases or in many cases the labs are simply running D 422 and reporting the results that are processed in accordance with D422 in both places on their proficiency sample reports.

00:22:38 PETE: So hopefully assuredly as we continue to add accredited labs and work through the non conformities from the assessment reports to get them to actually be. Performing D7928 will have increased confidence that the results being reported under D422 and D7928 are derived from testing performed in accordance with the respective methods, and hopefully what we'll also see. Is that these 7928 is in fact more accurate than D422.

00:23:17 BRIAN: Yeah, that's a really good point about the proficiency, sample data, period and and I think that's an important thing for any specifiers who might be listening to this to understand, just because you're not seeing a difference in our proficiency sample. Results between the old Hydrometer and the new Hydrometer. You should not conclude yet that they are about the same anyway because these are proficiency samples that are performed without anybody watching them. We know that there's confusion about the existence of the new standard and assimilation to that. New way of running the test. So, what you may actually be seeing is people submitting 422 data. In their 7928 test results, maybe they're just varying the amount of measurements that they're recording or the data that they're reporting, but it's possible that they're still doing the hand agitation that Kendra was talking about.

00:24:18 BRIAN: And it's possible that they're just not doing the prep the way that they're supposed to as well. Now, Pete, on the measurement of the Hydrometer and the cylinder issue, we we run into issues in the accreditation program and the assessment program with ASHTONE where we see records and those records are supposed to be indicative of measurements that people are taking. But there's a. That in training and understanding of how to take those measurements sometimes and that leads to some sometimes questionable results on those records, how are the laboratories handling? Just taking the measurements in general, are you seeing reliable results there or are you having to provide some guidance to people on how to do those or take those measurements?

00:25:08 PETE: Yeah, I think you know from. What I've seen there hasn't been a question about the data that they show. What I mean there there are things missing and then it's like, well, you don't have this measurement or that measurement that the? Annex call for calls. For and and then they just have. To add it. There are some measurements being specified by D7928 that I think could be changed to make things more accurate. So, for example, when you're determining the HR one and HR two values which get end up getting used in the. Effective debt calculation. I think most labs are going to be using caliper readable to 100th of 1,000,000. And you know. We don't need that much accuracy, but I think the standard currently calls for measuring those lengths to the nearest 1 millimeter, I think. Is that right Kendra? You know what?

00:26:10 KENDRA: I'm like looking. Let me look, Pete. I'll get back with. You in a second.

00:26:14 PETE: OK. And so I think you know this is an example. Of hey you. Know Labs are already taking this these measurements or have the ability to take these measurements to a resolution, and that's 100 times greater than what the standard is requiring. And so maybe just go ahead and specify that. As an example of a way to increase the accuracy of this test over the the old test, now in terms of OK, well you know is this data good data? Are these length measurements accurate? And I think this is another opportunity for D7928 for continued development.  And that's in how to accurately mark the hydrometer at the center of buoyancy. The standard doesn't give you a detailed, you know. Here's how you. Can get a mark on that accurately, and I think it would be great to to see some more you know step by step instructions on how to get an accurate marking of that length because well, if you don't get the mark in the right spot then it doesn't really matter.

00:27:21 PETE: Accurately you you measure it. So, I think that would be really great too. So, it's currently those length measurements are to the to the nearest 1 millimeter, so.

00:27:36 BRIAN: OK, sounds good. Now Pete, working with the labs like you have been, are there any other sources of confusion or suggestions for improvement that you've heard from the users of the standard?

00:27:51 PETE: Well, I know one source of confusion and and it looks like a proposed update is gonna help address this is the temperature density calibration that gets done when you're doing these five determinations and getting that average value. You plug into the offset that's used in your daily testing. You know there that so. Again, this goes back to well, and they're just doing D 422. They're not doing D7928 that comes in here again and they're just kind of the they're determining their composite correction by doing the line graph that Kendra was talking about earlier. You know, two points at two different temperatures and draw the line. So, getting that section of the method clarified, it's currently getting clarified. For example, the standard. Deviation needing to be within a certain amount.

00:28:52 PETE: You know the the current text leaves you with kind of with the question or the standard deviation of what because the the text mentions readings and so you have labs thinking it's referring to the standard deviation of the Hydrometer readings, which would then force you to go through this process. Essentially the same temperature, and so that's kind of what I've seen that happen. And then it's well, no, it's the standard deviation of the five calculated results from the equation. So, you need to vary your hydrometer readings at different temperatures.

00:29:30 BRIAN: Kendra as as somebody who's been working on this, have you been hearing anything from the users of the standard? Has ASTM been getting any notifications from users or questions from users that have been directed to you?

00:29:45 KENDRA: Most of the question no other than I get Pete's questions. So, we're we're working on, we're working on stuff, but those are always welcome and good. No, most of the the main question that we get asked often. Is why is it forged 422 coming back. And what do I do if I need a? Full graduation on a I need to. Do the the sieve and. The high drama, or what do I do? Those are the the big questions I get. It was good to hear what Pete just said about things that he's seeing and hearing and. You know, we try to do. Our best to. Update standards. When we hear about things that are confusing. So, when when I was working on the Hydrometer standard, one of the big things I do when I'm doing any standard development is I try really hard to approach it from a novice. Point of view. So that I make sure I write down the step by step so that someone may not be confused. So, in what? Listen to what Pete said about the temperature density offset values.

00:30:48 KENDRA: I was looking at the standard and I'm like, oh, I see where the confusion is coming from because of. A board choice and so. You know, hopefully by putting in all those examples at the end of the standard which made it longer, hopefully by doing the examples that someone can take the words, look at the examples and and OK, that's what they mean, so. That was the. Hope of putting all those examples in there so that it kind of eliminated some questions I know as a user of some of the other standards. I I read it, I'm not quite sure I understand, but then. I see an. Example calculation and then it's a light bulb. Oh, I get what they're saying. So, I always find that useful. So, if there's any ASTM standard writers out there. I would take that into. Consideration when you're when you're put some examples in. to help the user.

00:31:35 BRIAN: Yeah, that's a good suggestion. And as a fellow standards developer in ASTM and Ashtone, you know we, we we all realize that the the job is never done. There's always room for improvement. There's always someone that's going to read a line that seems abundantly clear to everybody in the room at the time. About what it means and somebody gets some other meaning out of it and and then when that is revealed, then everybody says, oh, why didn't we think of that? Why didn't we recognize? And it happens. Every happens in every committee happens in so many standards. The most obvious things that you think because you know what it means can be confusing to others. So, we, we, I I think I can say this on behalf of a lot of standards developers or most of us that we understand that and we accept it. And we are all working on it all the time. So, so the question that you get all the time about 4:20, this, this desire to go back to 422, where do you think it stems from? Why are people so eager to go back to using that standard that has so many holes in it? And it is pretty incomplete.

00:32:47 KENDRA: I I think it's twofold. I think. I think in general it it does appear simpler. It's only a few pages and I think that you know we mentioned that D6913 feels overwhelming. So, I think there's a little bit of. Of that, but I. Also think people don't like change in general. I have a good friend tell me people only change when it's more painful to not change. And so I I think you know the type of people that are working with soils. We've generally, you know, all kind of have the same ways of thinking about things and so. The way we've always done it is, is OK. So, I think there's just a little. Bit of hesitation to want to you. Know jump in. And go ahead and do something new now and. Why do I have to do something new? Now, I mean it's it's just and I say this with quotes. It's just a simple test or it's just a hydrometer test. I I think that's really all it is, and two specifying agencies are a little slow to adapt, so they're still specifying before 22. So, I think we might be going to talk about that a little bit later, but.

00:33:51 KENDRA: You know, until that's written out of the specs. You know, we still have to be prepared to perform those tests, but in general I think I think folks were comfortable with D422. I feel like they understood it well. And and they got. Used to it and so I think that's kind of where the hesitation. Comes from. I want to. Go back to it. I think everyone look recognizes it has, you know, like you said, every standard is never a. 100% perfect the way we. On it. But I think people are just more comfortable with it and you know some of us have been in this in, in our careers a long time, like, oh, where these new kids coming up with now kind of mentality.

00:34:25 PETE: Right.

00:34:27 KENDRA: So yeah, I think that's it.

00:34:29 BRIAN: Now, Pete, you had your hand up.

00:34:31 PETE: Ohh yeah, I I just wanted to go back. Yeah, I said in the temperature density section. I thought I remembered that it said readings, but it was actually measurements. So, measurements was the word choice that was thrown. And some off and and and me too. But going to what? Kendra Kendra just said about figures and including examples and that's exactly what helped me figure out what I was supposed to be doing because I plugged her data from the final example in D7928 into a spreadsheet I've been working on. And then that's when I realized ohh it's the five standard deviations. Of the A of the value for A or B, whatever it happened to. Be and so examples are definitely. Go a long way.

00:35:18 BRIAN: Yeah, that's great to hear. And now back to the conversation about people still using D422 when when these standards when 6913 and 7928 came out in 422, fell off the books, we were inundated with calls and in emails about, you know, what do I do now 422? In 421 or no longer being published, how do I or I? Well, I think it was 421 as well-being removed, but the the big question was on 422. How do I run this project requires me to run 422. What do I do? And we'd say, well, even though it's off the books, it just means it's not being managed anymore. If the standard, if the standard is being required for you to perform it, you would be expected to perform it. But you can always talk to your specifying agency or whoever is letting that contract to find out if they would prefer. You to use the new version of the standard or if they want 422 specifically and we had been asked about why are you almost like we have.

00:36:23 BRIAN: Enable the industry to stick with 422 by still accrediting for it. I can understand that perspective as well. But from where we sit, we know that a lot of specifiers actually do want 422. Specifically, it's not just an accident, and they didn't just mean. Whatever the standard is, they wanted 422. They're comfortable with that standard. So, we still have hundreds of laboratories accredited for it throughout the United States, so we do still continue to maintain that accreditation. Plus I will add this. There's an Asda version, T88 and that standard is alive and kicking still and it it has %And unless the state has issued their own standard, or maybe they're not using that and they've shifted over on their own to four or to D6913 and D7928. Now, Kendra, you were talking about a third standard that's in the works. Can you tell us about that?

00:37:26 KENDRA: I'd love to. So yes, what we're. Hoping to do and and we've been. : It's been validated a couple times and it's still. Being kicked around. As we wanted to provide users with what we're calling a simplified combination standard and the reason that it's simplified is that we're looking at basically believe we started out with one inch minus material and we might have. And dropped it down. To three quarter inch, but what it does and what the purpose of the standard is is to provide a way or a method for labs to run a full graduation on. I'm going to stick with one inch minus, so I think that's what it was. I haven't looked. At it here a little bit but. One inch minus, because that only requires 25,000 grams of material. That's more workable, and the thinking is, is that most labs in general, usually that's the the size that they see or less. And so that standard is going to provide a way for you.

00:38:27 KENDRA: To do all. Of your processing, all of your sample. Separating all the six sizes and perform this is and the Hydrometer using 6913 and D7928. So basically the idea is is that we want to tell the people, the users, how do we combine mathematically all of the data to get a full graduation. Some of the pushback has been what we want. Is to include the two inch and the three. Inch minus and. The reason that it doesn't include that is because when you start talking. About 3 inch minus. Material you need 75 kilograms of sample. Just. To start with. And most of us on a daily basis don't get samples in like that. Now some of those do. This is not to say that folks in arid regions or in in not in these areas you know. We get, we see a lot of. Of different things. Even glacial till has these wide variety. So, we've got a little bit of pushback on why don't you have a standard for everything and and the thinking behind that is is that D 6913.

00:39:31 KENDRA: Really does a really. Good job of telling you how to get from a super large sample down to something small. And so we don't want to reinvent the wheel by writing another standard that basically takes all of 6913 and all of the D7928 and basically do a redux at D 422. We don't want to do that, and so the combo standard, and hopefully soon we'll be back out to ballot addresses. But most of us see on a on a daily basis. Again, not all of us, but most of us and then the hope is that we're able to once we. With that simplified combination standard out there, that will go back into D 6913 and add some language for those of us that are that do have to do full graduation on three and two inch minus material.

00:40:18 BRIAN: OK, that sounds good. So, so the way that standard is organized is it kind of just take you through the takes you through a practical? Use of the OR processing of of a sample and then do you jump in that standard 26913 where appropriate, and then jump to 7928 where appropriate. So, do you need all three of the standards together to be able to run that new standard?

00:40:46 KENDRA: You need to have a yes. Yes, short answer is yes. You'll need to be familiar with these 6913. As far as the sitting, like how to what city staff to use when you know masses that you need. To keep track of and and then when. It it's basically the idea behind it is to tell you, here's how to process it. Here's how you get good representative specimens from your representative sample. And so, yeah, so when it gets down to the portion where it has, you take your specimen for your hydro. Manager. It tells you how to get to that and then it says OK, now you have your specimen. Now follow D7928 for the procedure of how to do the hydrometer portion of the test.

00:41:26 BRIAN: OK. Well, that's good because that then you avoid any sort of confusion, right? Or well, you avoid redundancy and you avoid potential similar standards kind of splitting apart and getting different requirements or having conflicts in the language. So that sounds like a smart way to. Handle it. Any idea of when has that been valid at subcommittee yet, or is that expected? When is that expected to come out and at least on? The subcommittee ballot.

00:41:58 KENDRA: Sure, it's been balloted twice at subcommittee over the last few years. I am. And taking all of the negative votes and comments that I got the last round of Subcommittee balloting and working on it, and my hope is to get it back out to ballot very. Soon this this quarter coming up. Because we. We really identify that we need it, we need it badly. There's just a lot of conflicting ideas about. What it should be? And what it should cover? Should it 3 inch, 2 inch, one inch and I and I understand all of that 100%. So, it's trying to work within those bounds to to get everybody to something you can agree on.

00:42:23 PETE: Right.

00:42:34 BRIAN: So, are you do you are at this point, are you thinking you might just have a some sort of statement in there that addresses the concerns of the the people with the larger size aggregate in their soil sample?

00:42:46 KENDRA: Yes, that's one of the edits I'm working on is to make. It more clear in the. Scope section if you're familiar with ASTM. How they're written? So, yeah, So, the I think. The biggest confusion came from the scope not being super clear about the larger size particles, and so that's one of the edits I'm making to explain just a little bit better. You know what the purpose of this particular? Standard is and how and what's going to? Happen with larger material.

00:43:12 BRIAN: Yeah, that that sounds great and that that standard development process, especially with these long and complicated standards can be grueling and you've got people you know, and you've got people from all over the world giving their perspective and they've all got native soils that they deal with and they may have different ideas about the best way or just more experience on how to deal with a variety of materials. That that is so. Welcome to the people editing it. But it's also very difficult to meet everyone's needs. And because ASTM is a consensus process, we really do have to get to the point where all the negatives are either resolved through further edits or found to be non persuasive. So, that is a monumental task I'm sure. For you. So, thank you for all your efforts involved in trying to make soil testing better.

00:44:01 KENDRA: Thank you. Yeah, it's definitely a challenge. And and I agree 100%, it's always good to have other perspectives and get more information. I'm always, you know, welcome and open to that. Sometimes I scratch my head and go what? But it just stretches my thinking. And it and. Helps me to see things from someone else's perspective as well. And you know, as Pete said. Maybe it was a word. And I'm like Oh yeah. He's right. If I just change this, we'll make it more clear. So, that's the great thing about. Consensus balloting. You get a lot of people looking at it and and and I know that you know this and anyone else that's. Ever had to put forth? A proposal and get edits, whether it's even writing a a report and being reviewed by your boss, you know you get some writing on that. Yeah, it's a tough job. But you know, in the end, we're just trying to get something that everyone can agree on and can use. That hopefully makes the process better and or easier for a user.

00:44:59 BRIAN: Yeah, that sounds good. And how can people who may be listening to this and they want to get their input into the standards, how can they get involved?

00:45:08 KENDRA: So, one of the ways is you can join ASTM as a participating member. The cost is $75 for the year and you also with that you get a free volume, you can choose whatever. Volume you want. So, if if. This one D 7928 is in volume 409, but if you want 408 or you want one of the Co 9 standard. Folks, you can get that, but then you become a voting member and when we send things out to ballot, you get basically a first look at it to to see what's proposed. And you can then vote to add whatever comments you think or you're like. Oh, I think she's just crazy. You know this whole section is wrong. That's your opportunity to write in and say. What you think it should? Say and make your voice heard. So, that's one good way of doing it. You can always reach out directly to STM. There's an ask ASTM button on their website and you can ask questions like why you can't do 422 come back and then it gets.

00:46:07 KENDRA: Forward and we'll answer it, but we'll. Bring the things. That we can't do or we don't. Usually do is if you ask ASTM and say I I'd like to take a look at this. Can you send it to me? The answer is going to be no. We can't send it to you because it's a working document and it's. Only for ASTM members to take a look at. So, again, I'd recommend signing up for to join ASTM, but. That's a good ways to get your voice heard.

00:46:37 BRIAN: Yeah, that sounds. And and while we're on the subject matter before the we started recording today, Kendra and I were talking about how we're we're discussing an ASTM standard. We're volunteers when it comes to the ASTM standard development process. But ASTM is a is a company and we don't work for them. So, while we're talking about the ASTM standards development process and our thoughts about wording in it, we speak about that as Members and it doesn't represent. Any of the thoughts or opinions of ASTM International, so we'll just get that out there. So, everybody understands that disclaimer in the in the subcommittee in the committee meetings, we also have similar disclaimers. To that, and we also talked about no recording of the proceedings and everything is retained in the Minutes. But on here we are recording and it is not an official. It is not an official meeting, we're just we're talking about the standard.

00:47:35 BRIAN: So, Kendra, I appreciate your time today. I've kept you longer than I intended to, but I've really enjoyed the conversation. So, thank you for your time and for being on and sharing your ideas with.

00:47:46 KENDRA: Oh, thank you so much for having me. I enjoy talking about this. Kind of stuff. And and I I'm glad that Pete was on too, so that I could get some more insight into things that, you know, we can change in that standard. So, I love it. Thank you so much for having me.

00:48:00 BRIAN: All right. Thanks and thank you to Pete Holter. Pete, thanks for sitting in with us. I know this isn't your first choice of things to do this afternoon, but we appreciate your insights.

00:48:14 PETE: Well, thanks. Thanks Brian. And and that's not because I don't like the subject matter, But I'm just a shy guy. Just so everyone knows. But it was also nice to hear Kendra's voice. We've emailed quite a few times in the past on the 7928, so it was nice to finally meet her in this way.

00:48:33 BRIAN: That sounds good. So, we're bringing people together and spreading information about standards. So, that's that's what this podcast is all about. We're trying to make connections with people. If anybody wants to get in touch with Kendra Adams. Kendra how can they get in touch with you?

00:48:51 KENDRA: For ASTMrelated questions. You can e-mail me and and don't laugh at my e-mail. I clearly wasn't thinking about it in one way. I'm a geologist and geological engineer. But my e-mail is it's KSArocksu@yahoo.com for. ASTM, So it's KS as in Sam. A as in Alice. ROCKS as in sam. The letter U @yahoo.com.

00:49:19 BRIAN: All right. I love it. And I think you have thought about it because. It's a great it's a great. E-mail address for a geologist. So, thanks again for being on and I look forward to seeing how the standards.

00:49:34 KENDRA: Me too. Thank you so much.

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