Aug 26, 2018
Does Domino’s Meet New QC/QA Standard?
BY Sandy Lender
Sometimes I use the television as background noise when editing late at night. Imagine my confusion when a brightly painted asphalt roller moved across the TV screen while an announcer talked about pizza. This caused me to pay closer attention during the next commercial break. Sure enough, one of the national pizza conglomerates is offering to patch potholes if the street upon which you drive between its establishment and your home causes you to mangle your food.
Ponder this with me.
I’m sure the corporate managers in Ann Arbor, Michigan, hire contractors local to the areas in question and purchase mix from producers in those same areas. Let’s face it: even something as simple as filling a pothole can come back to bite you. In today’s society, if a loose rock hits a windshield, someone’s getting sued for damages.
Beyond loose rocks, there’s an image to uphold. You can fill a pothole with substandard mix from some company that doesn’t know what it’s doing and suddenly all the contractors in the area get a bad name. This is one reason why our industry strives to follow guidelines and specs that improve quality overall. We want a consistently good product for the end user. We want safe and smooth roads all the time.
That’s the driving force behind this edition of the magazine. We’re looking in depth at quality control/quality assurance (QC/QA) because getting consistent results matters. Your Domino’s franchise owner gets the QC/QA concept when it comes to making a nice pizza for you (hopefully). Your professional asphalt mix designers, producers and laydown contractors get the QC/QA concept when it comes to formulating, producing and placing top quality pavement.
Back in May 2017, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) subcommittee D04.25 began a work item (WK58842), which was titled “New Test Method for Automated Extraction of Asphalt Binder from Asphalt Mixtures.” A work item, by ASTM’s definition, is “a proposed new standard or a revision to an existing standard that is under development by a committee.”
I’ll give you an oversimplification of the project in the interests of space. The subcommittee basically looked at the quantitative determination of asphalt in mixes using the automated extraction method by solvent, stipulating that asphalt binder could also be extracted using test methods outlined in D1856 and D5404. The subcommittee members pointed out: “This standard does not purport to address all the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.”
This disclaimer begs the question, what was the purpose then?
Efficiency, for one. Prior to committee D04’s Ballot Item D8159-2018, the extraction methods required a lot of the worker’s time and could result in exposure to chemicals if the tech wasn’t careful. Now the testing arena has a new guiding document in newly published D8159-2018. If someone presents a new test methodology that speeds up results, that’s a step in the right direction. What industry needs to ascertain is whether or not that speed also gives repeatable, consistent results.
Speed of delivery coupled with consistent, repeatable quality is a hallmark of the asphalt industry. It’s intriguing to me that Domino’s Corporate felt the need to be a part of various cities’ maintenance budgets. I’m sure the marketing move will pay off for them if they hire quality-minded asphalt professionals to do the actual work.