ASTM International's Proficiency Test Program is a statistical quality assurance (SQA) tool enabling labs to compare, improve, and maintain performance in conducting tests per ASTM Intl. methods E8/E8M (Tension Test), E18 (Hardness Test), E646 (n value), and E517 (r value) on steel sheet materials.
Conducted biannually, this program provides (for each test cycle) a set of machined test pieces and additional samples from two materials of differing thickness. Each set will consist of three pieces from each material prepared by the program and sufficient material for lab machining of four test pieces. Participants will prepare eight test pieces (one from each rough specimen) in accordance with method E8.
Upon completion of testing, laboratories will return tension and hardness data for samples prepared by the program and for samples prepared by the laboratory. Each laboratory will also return one untested lab-prepared specimen to ASTM Intl. for dimensional tolerance measurements (to verify if lab is preparing specimens in accordance with Method E8/E8M.)
Hardness impressions will be made on the grip ends of the test pieces. The Rockwell Hardness scale will be determined using an appropriate scale based on thickness and nominal hardness of material.
Test data and related information returned to ASTM Intl. will be used in generating statistical summary reports. Reports will contain:
Statistical evaluations will include participant's results from the program-prepared test pieces compared to those from the laboratory-prepared test pieces and with pooled results from all participants, with outlier data identified and segregated.
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You will receive compiled test results, available only to participating laboratories, providing:
Should you have an issue with your published results, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org with your lab number and account number.
Materials used in the program will be in sheet form. The two materials will be of different thickness, to incorporate a possible change of testing machine range. To aid in statistical analysis, the yield strengths and tensile strengths of the two steels will differ by at least 7 ksi. The specific test pieces and the samples sent to each participant will be randomly selected. Other materials may be included in the future depending upon material availability and interest from participants.
Samples, test instructions, and electronic data report sheets will be distributed during the last week preceding the testing month. Labs will have approximately 8 weeks to return test data to ASTM Intl., and final summary reports will be electronically distributed to participants approximately 35 business days following deadline date for receipt of test data.
Hardness Test (Program to suggest scales to be used)Labs unable to follow a specific ASTM Intl. method will be required to identify those areas where deviations occur.
Standard Test Method for Tensile Strain-Hardening exponents (n-values) of metallic sheet materials.
Standard Test Method for plastic strain ration (r-value) for sheet material.
IMPORTANT for International participants: You have the following options for receipt of samples:
Participation will be on an annual fee basis and will be open to all paying laboratories. Registration fees must be paid in advance to participate in the program. Testing must be performed within the participating laboratory's facilities.
Committee E28 on Mechanical Properties, consisting of over 400 members and developers of over 53 ASTM Intl. standards, provides the technical direction for the program.
Test information generated through the program will be utilized by Committee E28 to determine if modifications to ASTM Intl. documents or new methods are warranted. Data submitted to Committee E28 will be coded to maintain lab confidentiality.