Introduction and History
Laboratory for Certification of Asphalt Technicians (LabCAT) Program is a partnership between the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), the Federal Highway Authority (FHWA), and the Colorado Asphalt Pavement Association (CAPA). A Technicial Committee and a Board of Directors consisting of CAPA, CDOT, FHWA, and Industry Representatives provide direction for the LabCAT program.
LabCAT Technical Committee: John Cheever, Aggregate Industries; Clayton Goodwin, City and County of Denver; Mike Stanford, CDOT Asphalt Pavement Program Manager (Co-Chairman), Mike Gallegos, CDOT Region 1; Johnny Lam, CDOT Staff Materials; Darrell Harding, FHWA (CFL); Dahir Engle, FHWA; Todd Genovese, Martin Marietta Materials; Tom Hastings, A.G. Wassenaar Inc; Jessica Ebel, CDOT Region 5; David Fife, United Companies of Mesa County; Eathan Weicher, Earth Engineering Consultants, Inc; Cindy Rutkoski, RMAEC; Tom Clayton, CAPA/RMAEC (Co-Chairman).
LabCAT Board of Directors: Brenda Shuler, Aggregate Industries WCR; Ed Wells, Connell Resources; Bill Schiebel, CDOT Staff Materials; Gary DeWitt, CDOT Region 4 RME; Randy Jensen, FHWA; Bill Caires, Cesare Inc; Jeremy Lucero, CDOT Region 3 RME; Cary Jones, Kumar and Associates; Tom Peterson, CAPA.
The Rocky Mountain Asphalt Education Center (RMAEC) adminsters the LabCAT Program. Additionally, the RMAEC provides education and training for technicians who are preparing for certification, and conducts various Asphalt Construction Seminars throughout the year. Please refer to the RMAEC page on the CAPA website for additional information.
In 1996 CDOT implemented Quality Control (QC) / Quality Assurance (QA) specifications and with it came the requirement of certified technicians. The use of certified technicians is required in the state of Colorado by the FHWA Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). Certification through the LabCAT Program is also required by some local agencies. These include, but are not limited to, The Metropolitian Government Pavement Engineers Council (MGPEC), City of Greeley, and the Pikes Peak Regional Transportation Authority (PPRTA). LabCAT is considered to be a National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET) equivalent for those testing asphalt and related materials at Denver International Airport. The LabCAT Program was developed to increase the proficiency of aspahlt technicians, improve the reliability of QC/QA Testing, increase the quality of asphalt paving materials purchased by owner-agencies, and respond to Federal-Aid Projects.
Technicians testing for certification must be proficient in each of the field and laboratory tests required for materials acceptance in conjunction with the CDOT QC/QA specifications. The field and laboratory testing is based on the current references to the CDOT Field Materials Manual (FMM), CDOT Laboratory Manual of Test Procedures (CP-L), and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Standard Specifications for Transportation Materials and Methods of Sampling where applicable.
Six levels of certifications have been established for Asphalt Technicians, as well as a certification for Asphalt Paving Materials Inspectors and High Speed Smoothness Equipment Operators.
Level A: Laydown
Level B: Asphalt Plant Materials Control
Level C: Mixture Volumetrics, Gyratory, Stability & Lottman
Level C minus Design: Volumetrics & Gyratory
Level E: Aggregates
Level S: Smoothness
Asphalt Paving Materials Inspector
Certification Program Formats
The standard format is for testing technicians who are certifying for the first time in the requested level, or for those technicians who are recertifying and would like the review. The standard format begins with a classroom presentation to describe each of the laboratory test procedures and their purpose. Testing technicians are then given a closed book written exam. Following the written exam, testing technicians are required to demonstrate proficiency in each laboratory procedure required by level. Proficiency demonstrations are conducted before a qualified volunteer proctor and are closed book.
The streamline re-certification format is reserved for testing technicians who have been previously certified in the requested level. The program begins with a brief classroom presentation to discuss any changes in the laboratory testing procedures. Testing technicians are given a closed book written exam. Following the written exam testing technicians are required to demonstrate proficiency in each laboratory procedure required by level. Proficiency demonstrations are conducted before a qualified volunteer proctor and are closed book. The pace of the streamline re-certification format is accelerated, and is designed for re-certifying technicians who do not require review.
Certification Level Details
Level A - Laydown
Technicians working at the laydown operation level who are responsible for sampling and conducting compaction tests on CDOT projects are required to have their Level A certification. Aggregate sampling proficiency must be demonstrated from various locations as well as compaction measurements using nuclear density gauge readings and correlation determinations from core samples.
Laydown Certification includes the following:
|Random Sampling||ASTM D-3665||CP-75|
Level B – Asphalt Plant Materials Control
Technicians responsible for materials process control at the asphalt plant for CDOT projects are required to have their Level B certification. Aggregate sampling proficiency must be demonstrated from various locations as well as splitting, sieve analysis, asphalt content, and specific gravity measurements of the loose mixture and core samples. The technician will complete the certification in conjunction with Level A – Laydown certification.
Asphalt Plant Materials Control Certification includes the following:
|Splitting Aggregate||T 248||CP-32|
|Sieve Analysis||T 11 / T 27||CP-31 A / 31 B|
|Asphalt Content by Nuclear Method||T 287||CP-85|
|Asphalt Content by Ignition Method||T 308||CP-L 5120|
|Bulk Specific Gravity of Cores||T 166||CP-44|
|Maximum Theoretical Specific Gravity||T 209||CP-51|
Level C – Asphalt Mixture Volumetrics, Gyratory, Stability & Lottman
Technicians responsible for determining mixture and volumetrics and strength characteristics for asphalt produced at the plant for CDOT projects are required to have their Level C certification. Aggregate sampling proficiency must be demonstrated from various locations as well as splitting, gyratory compaction, Hveem stability, Lottman and specific gravity measurements of the loose mixture, core samples, and laboratory compacted specimens. The technician will complete the certification in conjunction with Level A – Laydown certification and Level B – Asphalt Plant Materials Control certification.
Asphalt Mixture Volumetrics, Gyratory, Stability & Lottman Certification includes the following:
|Superpave Gyratory Compaction||TP 4||CP-L 5115|
|Hveem Stability||T 246||CP-L 5106|
|Resistance to Moisture Induced Damage||T 283||CP-L 5109|
|Air Voids||VMA and VFA||PP 19|
Level C minus Design – Asphalt Mixture Volumetrics, and Gyratory
Asphalt Mixture Volumetrics & Gyratory includes the following:
|Superpave Gyratory Compaction||TP 4||CP-L 5115|
Level E – Aggregate
Technicians responsible for determining the characteristics of the aggregate to be used in the asphalt mixture design for CDOT projects are required to have their Level E certification. Aggregate sampling must be demonstrated from various locations as well as sand equivalency, uncompacted void content of the fine aggregate, percent of fractured faces, and specific gravity measurements of the aggregates.
Aggregate Technician Certification includes the following:
|Sampling Aggregates||T 2||CP-30|
|Specific Gravity of Fine Aggregate||T 84|
|Specific Gravity of Coarse Aggregates||T 85|
|Sand Equivalency Test||T 176||CP-37|
|Uncompacted Void Content of Fine Aggregates||T 304|
|Percent of Fractured Faces||CP-45|
|Micro Deval||CP-L 4211|
Level S – Smoothness
Operators responsible for determining smoothness using High Speed Profiling equipment for CDOT projects are required to have their Level S certification.
Smoothness Certification includes the following:
Asphalt Paving Materials Inspector
Inspectors on CDOT projects are required to have Inspector certification and a current or expired Level A certification.
Inspector Certification includes the following:
Surface Preparation for Asphalt
Sampling of Asphalt Mixtures
High Speed Inertial Profiling
Questions? Please contact Diane (303) 741-6148 ext. 154
6880 S. Yosemite Ct. Suite 110 Centennial, CO 80112
Phone (303) 741-6148 ext. 154 Fax (303) 741-6146
Revised November 2016