Our ASTM Policy
Although ASTM constitutes, in reality, a political machine disguised as a technical organization, many of whose members constitute a cartel intent on unreasonable restraint of trade, we still make the effort to participate. We do this because neutrality is in our interest. (It's also in theirs, if they only knew).
Our potential contribution includes our patented process, our unique understanding of Tube Appearance and Optical Considerations, and even our independently developed technology applied to understanding new tube surfaces. Along with these, we’ve developed a rational policy regarding ASTM. Our ASTM policy is to remain neutral. With neutrality, there is no reason at all for us to be castigated or ostracized by ASTM. We're happily neutral.
With this essential policy of neutrality, we don’t promote ourselves either inside or outside of ASTM. Our product isn’t for everyone who needs it; we only sell to those who want it. (So far, that transparency has served everyone well). With an industry as small as that employed in testing and evaluation of jet fuel, we understand that users will always find us as they grow into readiness.
We reason that even pseudo-technical ASTM committee officers and other members can see that a more consistent, more uniform tube surface must produce a more consistent and more uniform measurement of surface deposit thickness and volume.
For those who are technically fastidious, here are a few additional key limitations of the existing ASTM thermal oxidation test which come to bear upon users who take seriously their own responsibility to make the required determination of equivalence:
1. Although strides have been made toward making the test result objective, the fundamental rating generated is still a fuel deposit color. (This is what makes the test fundamentally subjective; one which defies statistics).
2. There is no “reference fuel;” no standard material for evaluating heater tubes or other Method materials, equipment, or supplies, and
3. The array of D3241 test color results are non-continuous and limited; Color is not easily interpreted and easily escapes application of standard statistical treatment.
4. ASTM International claims it is a voluntary consensus organization. It thus has no jurisdiction, and is completely lacking investigative or enforcement capability over voluntary users of its various Methods. It is also totally unable to exert authority over free-market equipment suppliers (and yet, it still tries!).
5. ASTM D3241 doesn't have a statistical precision statement. Therefore, it isn't possible to calculate tube equivalence in a statistically meaningful way. (There is also nothing to be calculated, as equivalence is permanently, factually, irreversibly, unalterably, and completely fixed at the mill by the alloy selection and tempering schedule).
Unlike Standard Heater Tube, Inc., ASTM is completely secular and (based on direct observation over many years), is occasionally a profane organization. That isn’t intended as insulting. It’s simply illustrates that our company is founded on creativity and inventiveness. We observe that these spiritually-based elements are apparently not embraced and appear to have no relevance within ASTM International or other competing companies. It is their right to disdain, and even to abhor, our creative, inventive, educational approach. Some seem to dismiss us as "non-standard."
It may well be true that residual resistance to our product within ASTM is based on an objection to a new and novel technology being implemented; one which some folks simply fail to grasp. Change is not always easy for people, even when (as here) it is provided for their benefit. Some people resist new ideas. People may even oppose a new idea or a novel way of doing something on the basis that, somehow, it is wrongly perceived by a few holdouts as not being sufficiently "standard.”
We do notice there is essential, inherent, or built-in conflict between that apparent “pseudo standard” position within ASTM and the practice of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. While some within ASTM may oppose our new and improved technology, the Patent Office has already embraced it through the award of Letters Patent. We also point out that being “standard” doesn’t mean “unchanging in a forever kind of way.” For nearly twenty years, in every imaginable way, we have sought to work with and within ASTM while insisting on our government-authorized right to manufacture inert heater tubes for users of ASTM D3241. This ASTM conflict isn't for us to resolve. In this kind of battle, we remain happily neutral.
Neutrality is a struggle that should not, in our own estimation, be that difficult. ASTM has policies that favor both neutrality and meaningful change. Written ASTM Guidelines, for example, already provide that ASTM should “encourage the development of test methods based on generic equipment (Section 16, Regulations Governing ASTM Technical Committees, and Sections F3 and F4, Form and Style for ASTM Standards). Written Guidelines also mandate that providers of new equipment are to be listed within test methods once they have been (1) made available, and (2) shown to be equivalent. (And, see the demonstration of equivalence available HERE. And, we can no longer be considered "new").
There is also ASTM’s written Antitrust Statement and Antitrust Policy. This makes clear there is no official opposition due to false perceptions about our "new and novel" patented production methods. (With neutrality, we actually think there is no sensible conflict and no rational opposition). What exists is an apparent simple misunderstanding of what is “standard.” “Standard” in terms of empirical testing, simply is agreement among users that we will all perform the testing in about the same way. There is nothing in that common-sense agreement to provoke a senseless prohibiting, scapegoating, or castigating of vendors or particular suppliers. On that, we do seek and hope for widespread agreement, inside or out of ASTM.