Supervisor: Ron Wright - (208) 334-8453           The Chemistry Laboratory is AASHTO accredited for cement analysis and participates in the nationwide AMRL testing program for paints. The Laboratory conducts Quality Assurance analysis on materials used in the construction and maintenance of Idaho highways. These chemical or physical analyses are conducted on materials such as cement, fly ash, bridge coatings, traffic line paint and glass beads, curing compounds, thermoplastics, fencing, wood products, steel, and chemical deicers. The laboratory conducts over 250 different kinds of tests, and utilizes automated instrumentation such as XRAY Fluorescence, Atomic Absorption or Emission, Rotating Carbon Arc, and Infra-Red Spectroscopy. The laboratory conducts research and develops specifications for bridge coatings, chemical deicers, pavement markings, and wood preservatives.
The Chemistry Laboratory also serves as the department’s technical experts for chemical evaluations, forensic investigations, and research pool fund studies. The laboratory supports the Pacific Northwest Snowfighters for Snow and Ice Control Chemical Products. The Pacific Northwest Snowfighters (PNS) Association strives to serve the traveling public by evaluating and establishing specifications for products used in winter maintenance that emphasize safety, environmental preservation, infrastructure protection, cost-effectiveness and performance. The laboratory is responsible for the chemical deicer specifications, product testing and evaluating, and acceptance of products to the Approved Products List. Manage the Departments Preventative Maintenance Engine Oil Analysis Program. The laboratory analyzes used oil samples from ITD’s rolling stock based on mileage or hours on the equipment. The samples are analyzed for viscosity, flash point, metal concentrations and contaminants such as fuel, water, soot and glycol. The data from each sample is entered into a computer program that maintains a historical profile of the equipment and laboratory data. A trend analysis of this equipment profile can then be evaluated and determine if the equipment needs to have preventative maintenance conducted on it prior to equipment failure in the field. By scheduling repairs prior to breakdown both time and money are presented as a savings to the department.