ASTM tests can be annoyingly subjective, so users of D3241 need a tube and a tube supplier they can rely on. That’s why we supply a tube that reveals the full, rich, colors of fuel-related deposits which form on the surface. The determination of these deposit colors is still the most critical aspect of a fuel determination or rating. In completing this critical task, users don’t want an ordinary tube. Nor do they favor an obsolete tube. Users want the highest quality available, and that is what we offer.
Precisely to ensure equivalent quality, ASTM International presents tube specifications and requires that tube users employ only tubes meeting specifications and which users determine to be equivalent. The specifications define, in technical terms, the “fitness for service” of inert aluminum tubes. Then, these are incorporated into a Table in D3241 entitled “Critical Operating Characteristics of JFTOT Instruments.” (Everybody recognizes that tubes aren’t a part of anybody’s JFTOT Instrument.That is inappropriate and even pretentious, in addition to being very confusing). What is clear is that that the Table includes tube features that are essential and critical. Anything not included within the Table is seemingly unimportant.
A few members of ASTM Subcommittee J even enhance and promote confusion through inappropriate efforts to establish a particular vendor as, uniquely, “the” O.E.M. (Original Equipment Manufacturer). This convolution dates back in time to an outdated era of a former monopoly supplier. Current efforts to perpetuate that arrangement are part of a possibly illegal attempt to flaunt Antitrust law. The clear intent is an unreasonable restraint of trade (and a clear violation of ASTM Antitrust policy). It also contradicts a written Method Table 2 caveat clearly stating that a reference to Alcor, Inc. “is not an endorsement or certification by ASTM International.” An ASTM publication Facts for Members goes further, clarifying that ASTM International, as a voluntary consensus organization, cannot and doesn't endorse, certify, or authenticate equipment or suppliers. Facts for Members adds, “Likewise, there should be a clear process for later incorporation of additional equipment into a test method after its initial issue once such equipment becomes available and is shown to be equivalent.” Make no mistake about the essential fact: We are the exclusive O.E.M. for our own unique, very equivalent, product.
A clear, neutral, position is ASTM policy regarding equipment suppliers, where everyone benefits equally; test users and equipment providers as well as ASTM. Through this principled ASTM neutrality, every “voluntary consensus” user of D3241 currently must establish tube equivalence to their own satisfaction. In this, users are free to employ one available testing protocol through a Table footnote.
Standard Heater Tube, Inc. has completed and submitted equivalence results multiple times to ASTM Subcommittee J on Aviation Fuel. To view one example of a comprehensive Equivalency Study, please click here. Users are certainly free to consider this data. Aside from tube specifications and tube testing programs, knowledge is available that tube materials for various suppliers are derived from the exact same source. Once the mill supplies raw material, there’s no way for suppliers to alter essential tube properties. In this way, tube equivalence is actually a built-in feature of current tube supplies.
ASTM further, by policy, provides for product listing information to be incorporated into ASTM methods once new equipment has been "made available and shown to be equivalent." Unfortunately, ASTM hasn't provided a meaningful or technical definition for equivalence. In the face of the resulting confusion and the noted unfair resistance to free trade, we have adopted and produced the required “showing of equivalence” in a format that is simple, straightforward, and employs scientific logic. It follows common sense principles, too. To view this valid “showing of equivalence,” please click here.
Suppliers of quality heater tubes for D3241 employ varying technology to fix the final finish onto their heater tubes. Our methods are patent-protected and published. Others employ unpatented, unpublished, unrecognized processes. We conducted a Study of these various finishing methods and their effects, and presented the results to ASTM during a recent meeting of Subcommittee J. To view these results, please click here. Results, as expected for an inert product, showed equivalence among the various equipment suppliers regardless of the tube finishing method used.
Finally, Standard Heater Tubes are used in refinery and independent labs throughout the world; testing billions of gallons of jet fuel powering thousands of planes flying millions of miles around our planet. This fact is evidence that users have great confidence in the established equivalence of our product.