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January/February 2010
EnRoute

Does Your Test Method Need a Precision and Bias Statement?

The ILS Staff Can Help

A precision and bias statement in an ASTM International test method describes, in quantified fashion, what you can expect when you run the procedure outlined in the standard. By reviewing the precision and bias statement, manufacturers, customers and others who use or cite the procedure gain perspective about the tested material or product. Each precision and bias statement distills a great deal of laboratory testing as well as related information collection, analysis and reporting regarding the procedure.

The ASTM International Interlaboratory Study Program, with its staff’s experience, statistical expertise, and laboratory and material supplier databases, gives committees the opportunity to request support for any or all of the steps in producing precision and bias statements or the temporary statement addressing repeatability, which can be used for five years.

Suppose that your subcommittee or task group is currently developing a test method and it’s time to perform the interlaboratory testing. Does the task seem daunting in some way? Not a problem, with the assistance available from ASTM’s ILS Program.

Or do you need to…

…ship samples?

Call ILS. ILS can help, including planning a route that takes into account critical factors such as the effect of humidity on lumber samples, if required for the study.

…locate a misplaced shipment?

Call ILS. For one program, ILS tracked down samples that got waylaid at the border between Canada and the United States, and then sent them on their way again.

…have data analyzed?

Call ILS. The ILS staff will work with you to organize and analyze your data.

…complete a research report?

Call ILS. ILS will work with you to complete a draft research report for your study, which it does for every registered program.

“We can assist in designing a program that will meet the needs of your committee,” says Phillip Godorov, director of the ASTM ILS Program. Or, he adds, “The ILS team can help smooth out bumps along the way.”

You will find that the ILS Program can help:

  • Design an interlaboratory study,
  • Identify potential samples,
  • Solicit volunteer laboratories,
  • Find available suppliers,
  • Contract with distributors,
  • Review laboratory instructions,
  • Collect and analyze data,
  • Produce a draft precision statement,
  • Compile information for and generate the research report, and
  • Give recognition to participating laboratories.

A recent example involves the physical testing of quicklime. From the outset, ILS staffers worked with Committee C07 on Lime to help design ILS #238 on ASTM C110, Test Methods for Physical Testing of Quicklime, Hydrated Lime and Limestone. ILS helped distribute materials, hold virtual meetings with participating labs, collect and analyze data, complete a research report (RR: C07-1006), produce a draft precision and bias statement and monitor ballot returns to provide any additional needed information.

Like C07, more than half of ASTM technical committees have tapped into the ILS Program expertise; that amounts to more than 250 active programs, with another 117 completed.

The only prerequisite to get started with the ILS Program is that the new or existing test method must be a registered work item. Then, you can register a new ILS in the “My Tools” section of your “MyASTM” page after you log in at the ASTM Web site, or log in from the ILS main page by clicking here.

To learn more about ASTM’s ILS Program, check the FAQ page, where you can link to a sample research report. The ILS main page also links to precision and bias information and a research report template.

To contact ASTM ILS Program staff, please call or e-mail Phillip Godorov (phone: 610-832-9715).