NBTC A National Standard
• The Uniform CPA Examination protects the public interest by helping to ensure that only QUALIFIED individuals become licensed as U.S. Certified Public Accountants.
• An electrician becomes licensed only after taking an exam to DEMONSTRATE knowledge of the National Electrical Code and local electrical and building codes.
• By passing two intensive COMPETENCY exams and earning a license from their state’s licensure board, an engineer can add P.E. to their title.
Nearly every job that generates goods and services that are vital to the public has an accompanying certification. A standard certification. These exams help increase confidence in the product and decrease the cost associated with poor performance.
• Asphalt binder technicians produce data crucial to the acceptance of materials and the ability to catch bad data before it is reported has a direct impact on deadlines and bottom lines. There is little incentive for these technicians to pursue certification…we ask you to help us change that.
• Certified Technicians generate reproduceable test results according to the test standard. They are the professionals you want performing your material tests.
The asphalt binder portion of the North East Transportation Training and Certification Program was expanded nationwide in 2008 in the form of the National Binder Technician Certification (NBTC), creating a standard, national program. The NBTC program is fully endorsed by AMRL. The number of certified binder technicians is growing. Now the Asphalt Institute is asking for your help on the state level. The potential benefits of technicians certified under a STANDARD program can only be realized as more and more states buy into the concept that qualified = certified.
There are 42 states with NBTC-certified technicians. This is a great start, but you can help us finish the job by pushing that number to fifty. Our ultimate goal is to see at least one certified technician in every binder lab that produces acceptance-testing data. You can help us achieve that goal by promoting the program in your state.
- Mike Beavin
Brought to you by the letter "Q"
As in Q-tip! No, this is not a lesson in hygiene, or an episode of Sesame Street, this unsung hero of the lab has many different uses and there are many labs out there that for one reason or another are not using them.
The cotton swab’s most common use at the Asphalt Institute is in trimming the DSR. While many labs use bulky paper towels to clean up the excess binder after a trim, the swab method has proven to be faster, cleaner and more effective.
The Q-tip is also very helpful in cleaning up the DSR after completion of the test. The small surface areas of the DSR plates, along with the nooks and crannies of the design, can make it tough to get it thoroughly clean. Be sure to get the wood handled swabs which will give you more dexterity.
We also use the Q-tips to help with beam molds for the BBR. After applying the plastic strips to the mold pieces using the plastic strips and petroleum jelly, you can flip the swab upside down to slide along the side pieces of the assembled mold. This will keep the plastic strips adhered to the molds better. And last but not least, you can clean your ears on the clock!
View this quick video illustrating the above tips.
- Madison Pohl, Asphalt Institute Asphalt Materials Technician
Tami Steindorf, Tesoro Alaska Refinery
, Lab Tech 1
Tami has worked in the laboratory at Tesoro for eight years. Since asphalt production and road construction in Alaska is limited to the summer months, her job also includes testing of other refinery products including jet fuel, gasoline and diesel fuel.
"Taking the NBTC course gave me the background to understand why we run the tests that we do, and how to perform them properly per ASTM and AASHTO methods," says Tami.
"Since the class, I have been able to contact Mike Beavin and use him as a resource to clarify procedures and details about test methods. The MS-25 and MS-26 books have served as great reference materials. We have implemented many of the things that I learned in the course, and are always trying to make the best product possible for our customers," she added.