Caltrans Case Study

Case Study

Caltrans Takes Reliable Metals Analysis on the Road

It’s estimated that 37% of all road bridges in the U.S. need major repairs — or outright replacement. The state of California alone has more than 25,000 bridges.

So Jason Gramlick should remain a busy man for the foreseeable future. He works for the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) in San Francisco’s Bay Area. His title: Associate Steel Inspector for Vallejo Quality Assurance & Source Inspection, Materials Engineering and Testing Services.

One critical part of his job is positive material identification (PMI) — as vital for transportation infrastructure as for petrochemical, power, and chemical plants worldwide.

The elemental composition of steel defines its grade, which codifies multiple other characteristics. In maintaining Caltran’s vast infrastructure for safe and efficient use, workers must check myriad inservice structures — some 100 years old — for factors including rust, cracks, hardness, and tensile strength; establish steel grades; then decide on repair or retrofit. Often they must determine whether old parts may be effectively welded to modern standards. And new construction must be inspected for conformance with specifications.

Learn more in this informative case study.

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