FTM 137: Preparing a fastener sample

Preparing a sample of fasteners to be sent to a testing lab.

This edition of the Fastener Training Minute with Carmen Vertullo was originally published February 15, 2019, as “Specimen Preparation during episode 137 of Fully Threaded Radio.

Today’s has to do with specimen preparation, for those of you who need to send Fasteners out to test labs to be tested. Here at AIM Testing Labs we receive specimens everyday and I’m not talking about urine samples. I’m talking about fasteners. These specimens must be properly prepared in order for us to be able to do a good job on conducting the tests and generating timely results for the client.

As you get ready to send your Fasteners out to the test lab you need to make sure of a few things to give you the best chance of achieving the expected outcome in a quick and timely manner. The first thing is selecting your sample size. Now you want to be sure that you have enough fasteners to do the job that the lab will need but not too many, because every fastener must be accounted for at the lab. So choose your fastener sample size according to the specification or standard that is applicable. And if you have any trouble with that the lab should be able to help you out. Secondly when you write your purchase order to the fastener test lab, be concise, but precise about what you need. If there’s a specification or standard involved, make sure that you list that and make sure that you list the type of test and the number of each test that you need.

Once again, if you have any confusion about that, your fastener test lab should be able to help you out. And then as you prepare the sample, as you get it ready to ship, make sure you put it in a good padded envelope if it’s a small fastener, or a box if it’s large fasteners or if it’s a specimen of raw material or something like that that. Make sure it’s well protected.

Sometimes we receive fasteners at the lab here that are already broken, in other words they have of a fracture surface, and examining that fracture surface is part of the work that will be doing. When you have a specimen like that, it’s critical that you do not re-join or do anything to those fracture surfaces that will compromise their integrity. So don’t put them together, don’t rub them together, don’t touch them, don’t clean and don’t look at them. Don’t smell or sniff them or do anything at all to them. Put those types fasteners into separate bags and put those bags in the container so they can’t touch each other on their way to the lab. And then finally, please let the lab know what you expect in terms of a turnaround time. Most Labs have a standard turnaround time depending on the test, from a few days to several days. Many Labs have an overnight service or next day service and AIM Testing Lab has that type of service, but we need to know what you need. So if you need a quick result, preferably by email or a phone call, make sure that we know what to expect so we can be prepared to turn your test around in a hurry.

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