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Where the Rubber Meets the Road... Literally
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 December 2006
From the Editor's Desk
E-mail Maryann Gorman

Where the Rubber Meets the Road... Literally

From its inception in 1971, ASTM International Committee F09 on Tires has been responding to U.S. federal mandates for tire safety standards development. In fact, Committee F09’s formation was a response to the 1966 congressional act that created the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. NHTSA was charged with oversight of federal motor vehicle safety standards and uniform tire quality grading standards; in the late 1960s, one of its employees convened a group of tire industry and safety stakeholders to discuss subjects such as wear, traction, wheel and endurance testing. This ad hoc group determined that ASTM would be the right forum in which to develop voluntary consensus standards for tires, and Committee F09 was born, reaching out eventually to stakeholders from all reaches of the tire industry.

So when, in 2000, the U.S. Congress passed the Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation, or TREAD, Act, Committee F09 was a natural resource to answer the act’s requirement for the updating of tire safety performance standards. Since 2002, F09 has conducted a symposium to determine what new and revised standards are needed to meet TREAD Act requirements, formed seven standards developing task groups, and undertaken research to validate the standards it will create — a very impressive record for a committee of just 105 members. You can read about F09’s commitment to improving tire research and safety, and the work of three of its TREAD Act-based task groups, in the feature section beginning on page 44.

Along with the thorough treatment of the tire committee’s work, it so happens that the month of December will see Committee D24 on Carbon Black celebrate its 50th anniversary (carbon black is a material, produced by the incomplete combustion of petroleum, used in the manufacture of tires). Jeffery Melsom’s article on the history of Committee D24 takes us back to the early 20th century, well before the formation of the committee, to the discovery that an ink pigment could also reinforce rubber, and forward to D24’s modern standards development and its internationally-based Laboratory Proficiency Rating System program.

There’s much more in this issue too — another excellent committee history, this one from the 75-year-old Committee C12 on Mortars and Grouts for Unit Masonry, and coverage of the October meeting of the ASTM International board of directors in Beijing, China, and the many events surrounding the meeting. You may need some extra time this month to check out what’s going on in ASTM International, so you might want to get started. And have a safe and happy holiday season, too.

Maryann Gorman
Editor in Chief

Correction:

In the November issue of SN, EPA Method 311 was misidentified in the article by Max T. Wills and Dane R. Jones due to an editorial error. The paragraph on page 33 should have read in part:

An example of a melamine-cure automotive primer that was analyzed for HAP content by static headspace and also in a recent National Paint and Coatings Association-sponsored round robin for EPA Method 311, Analysis of Hazardous Air Pollutant Compounds in Paints and Coatings by Direct Injection into a Gas Chromatograph, is given in Table 2.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

 
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