ASTM International and the Federación Iberoamericana del Hormigón Premezclado (FIHP) co-hosted a delegation of six standards experts from four Latin American countries during a week-long Intensive Training Program 2-6 December, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia U.S.A. The participants were primarily associated with concrete and cement trade associations located in Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Panama. During this intensive training program, the delegation focused on concrete standards developed by ASTM Committee C09 on Concrete and Concrete Aggregates and other related cement tests developed by ASTM Committee C01 on Cement. Funding for the program was provided primarily by the attendee’s organizations. ASTM organized the logistics and arranged for the educational content.
The training took place in conjunction with the ASTM International December 2012 Committee Week meetings. Upon arrival, ASTM Staff organized an orientation session and meeting with several key officers of the technical committees of interest. This was followed by attendance at the ASTM Committee C09 Sponsored Workshop on Thermal Methods for Prediction of Properties of Cementitious Systems.
The delegation continued their training program by attending the Committee Week meetings of Committees C09 and C01. Attendance at meetings allowed the group to witness the ASTM consensus process in action and afforded the opportunity for discussion of proposals for revisions to existing standards and new work items being developed. During the committee meetings, ASTM committee officers and members were generous with their time in engaging the delegation in their discussions. The delegates also met with other ASTM International members in attendance from outside the U.S.
Special sessions were arranged with ASTM staff to discuss ASTM’s new Environmental Product Declaration Program, as well as programs offered through ASTM’s Cement and Concrete Reference Laboratory (CCRL). ASTM staff also provided training on ASTM Online Tools. In addition, U.S. based trade associations National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA) and Portland Cement Association (PCA) spent time with the group offering insight into their offerings and the benefits of participation in ASTM International activities.
One afternoon of the program was dedicated to site visits and included stops at Heidelberg Cement Technology Center in Doraville, GA and Micromeritics Corp. in Norcross, GA. The site visits allowed the participants to see, not only ASTM International standards being used in practice, but also the opportunity to see how new laboratory apparatus is manufactured. In the future, these new ASTM members from Latin America intend on implementing some of the new technology learned during the program, as well as promoting the adoption of ASTM International standards in their home countries.