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ASTM Standard addresses nuclear gauge calibration.

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December 5, 2008 - According to Dan Pratt, senior nuclear project physicist of Troxler Electronic Laboratories Inc. and D18 member, there are 2 motivating factors guiding development of WK21484, Practice for Nuclear Gauge Calibration. First was to allow focus of ASTM D6938, Test Method for In-Place Density and Water Content of Soil and Soil-Aggregate by Nuclear Methods to remain on use of gauges, rather than calibration. Second factor was to expand on practice of nuclear gauge calibration.

Nuclear Gauge Calibration is Subject of Proposed ASTM International Standard

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ASTM International
100 Barr Harbor Dr., Box C700
West Conshohocken, PA, 19428-2959

Press release date: December 3, 2008

W. CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa., 3 December 2008-ASTM Committee D18 on Soil and Rock is developing a proposed new standard, WK21484, Practice for Nuclear Gauge Calibration. The proposed standard is under the jurisdiction of Subcommittee D18.08 on Special and Construction Control Tests.

Dan Pratt, senior nuclear project physicist, Troxler Electronic Laboratories Inc., and D18 member, says that two motivating factors are guiding the development of WK21484. The first was to allow the focus of ASTM D6938, Test Method for In-Place Density and Water Content of Soil and Soil-Aggregate by Nuclear Methods (Shallow Depth), to remain on the use of gauges, rather than their calibration. "We felt that the appendices on gauge calibration and calibration verification in ASTM D6938, while providing important information, were not really a comfortable fit in a standard that focuses on everyday use of gauges. Consequently, we felt that calibration information should be referenced in D6938, but not necessarily included in it."

The second factor, according to Pratt, was to expand on the practice of nuclear gauge calibration. "There currently exist several approaches, procedures and apparatuses for performing, verifying and checking nuclear gauge calibrations," says Pratt. "By creating a comprehensive standard that exclusively addresses the practice of gauge calibration, we felt that the objectives, differences and similarities, as well as possibilities and limitations of these different approaches could be adequately expressed."

Pratt also notes, "From a practical perspective, the gauge user should be able to read the proposed standard once it has been approved and decide which calibration or verification approach would be best for their device. Those who would be using the proposed standard to perform the calibration or verification, in turn, should be able to read the standard and design their calibration or verification procedure to meet the specific need of the gauge user." Pratt says that the task group working on WK21484 welcomes participation in the ongoing development process.

For technical Information, contact Dan Pratt, Troxler Electronic Laboratories Inc. (phone: 919-314-2707; Committee D18 meets Jan 25-28, 2009, during the January committee week in Atlanta, Ga. For ASTM meeting or membership information, contact Robert Morgan, ASTM International (phone: 610-832-9732;

Established in 1898, ASTM International is one of the largest international standards development and delivery systems in the world. ASTM International meets the World Trade Organization (WTO) principles for the development of international standards: coherence, consensus, development dimension, effectiveness, impartiality, openness, relevance and transparency. ASTM standards are accepted and used in research and development, product testing, quality systems and commercial transactions around the globe.
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