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TO WALTON-MARCH COMPANY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 8. WITH RESPECT TO THE SPECIFICATIONS MADE A PART OF THE INVITATIONS WHICH WERE THE SUBJECT OF YOUR PROTEST. THE RECORD DISCLOSES THAT SUCH REQUIREMENTS WERE DRAFTED BY AIR FORCE PERSONNEL UNDER THE ALASKAN AIR COMMAND. THE OBVIOUS NECESSITY TO HAVE AVAILABLE SOME ICE REMOVING MATERIALS FOR USE BY THE SEVERAL AIR BASES IN THE ALASKA AREA. THE EXAMINATION DISCLOSED THAT THE KNOWN CHEMICALS AND COMMERCIAL "BRAND-NAME" FORMULATIONS ARE INJURIOUS TO AIRCRAFT ALLOYS AND ARE DESTRUCTIVE TO CONCRETE RUNWAYS IN VARYING DEGREES AND. THAT THE COMPOUNDS WITH ADDED "INHIBITORS" ARE OF QUESTIONABLE VALUE AND MORE EXPENSIVE THAN THE BASIC CHEMICALS.

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B-141958, SEP. 29, 1961

TO WALTON-MARCH COMPANY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 8, 1961, AND TO PRIOR CORRESPONDENCE, PARTICULARLY YOUR LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 16, 1961, PROTESTING AGAINST THE USE OF CERTAIN SPECIFICATIONS BY ELMENDORF AND HILL AIR FORCE BASES, AND AGAINST THE PRIOR PURCHASES MADE THEREUNDER BY THE ALASKA AIR COMMAND COVERING THE PROCUREMENT OF ICE REMOVAL MATERIALS.

WITH RESPECT TO THE SPECIFICATIONS MADE A PART OF THE INVITATIONS WHICH WERE THE SUBJECT OF YOUR PROTEST, THE RECORD DISCLOSES THAT SUCH REQUIREMENTS WERE DRAFTED BY AIR FORCE PERSONNEL UNDER THE ALASKAN AIR COMMAND. HISTORICALLY, THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE HAS NOT HERETOFORE ATTEMPTED TO DEVELOP UNIFORM SPECIFICATIONS APPLICABLE TO ICE-MELTING SUPPLIES FOR USE BY ITS VARIOUS COMMANDS BASED UPON A COMPREHENSIVE STUDY OF THE PROBLEMS CREATED BY ACCUMULATED ICE AND SNOW ON AIRFIELD PAVEMENTS. THROUGH THE USE OF OTHER DE-ICING MATERIALS IN PRIOR YEARS, THE ALASKAN AIR COMMAND FELT SUFFICIENT KNOWLEDGE HAD BEEN GAINED TO FORMULATE DEFINITE PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS AS TO THOSE MATERIALS, WITH PRESCRIBED LIMITATIONS CONCERNING THEIR CORROSIVE EFFECT ON VARIOUS METALS. THE OBVIOUS NECESSITY TO HAVE AVAILABLE SOME ICE REMOVING MATERIALS FOR USE BY THE SEVERAL AIR BASES IN THE ALASKA AREA, AND THE APPARENT SUCCESSFUL USE OF A PRODUCT FURNISHED PREVIOUSLY BY NATIONAL ASPHALT CORPORATION PROMPTED SUCH ACTION BY THE ALASKAN COMMAND.

AS A RESULT OF THE QUESTIONS RAISED BY YOU THE DEPARTMENT, TOGETHER WITH THE NATIONAL BUREAU OF STANDARDS, CONDUCTED TEST STUDIES OF VARIOUS COMPOUNDS AND SOLUTIONS, AND REAPPRAISED THE INVOLVED SPECIFICATIONS. THE EXAMINATION DISCLOSED THAT THE KNOWN CHEMICALS AND COMMERCIAL "BRAND-NAME" FORMULATIONS ARE INJURIOUS TO AIRCRAFT ALLOYS AND ARE DESTRUCTIVE TO CONCRETE RUNWAYS IN VARYING DEGREES AND, THAT THE COMPOUNDS WITH ADDED "INHIBITORS" ARE OF QUESTIONABLE VALUE AND MORE EXPENSIVE THAN THE BASIC CHEMICALS. AIR FORCE ENGINEERS HAVE THEREFORE CONCLUDED THAT THE BASIC CHLORIDE SALTS ARE LESS DAMAGING AND MORE ECONOMICAL THAN THE TRADE PRODUCTS. THE STUDY ALSO REVEALED THE SUBJECT SPECIFICATIONS TO BE UNREALISTIC SINCE THE NON-CORROSIVE REQUIREMENTS COULD NOT BE MET BY POTENTIAL BIDDERS FROM THE INDUSTRY.

IN CONSEQUENCE THEREOF THE CHIEF, BASE MAINTENANCE DIVISION, DIRECTORATE OF CIVIL ENGINEERING, ISSUED INSTRUCTIONS TO ALL AIR FORCE COMMANDS UNDER DATE OF AUGUST 4, 1961, TO REFRAIN FROM PURCHASING ANY COMMERCIAL "TRADE- NAME" DE-ICING COMPOUNDS UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE AND DIRECTED THAT ONLY BULK CALCIUM OR SODIUM CHLORIDE IS TO BE PROCURED.

WITH RESPECT TO THE PREVIOUS PURCHASES MADE BY THE ELMENDORF AND HILL AIR FORCE BASES, IT NOW APPEARS TO BE ESTABLISHED BY THE FOREGOING TESTS THAT THOSE SUPPLIES COULD NOT HAVE MET THE PRESCRIBED SPECIFICATIONS. HOWEVER, THE RECORD DOES SHOW THAT, BASED UPON AN INDEPENDENT EVALUATION, THE CONTRACTOR CONSIDERED ITS PRODUCT TO COMPLY SUBSTANTIALLY WITH THE CONTRACT REQUIREMENTS. ALSO, ELMENDORF PERSONNEL WERE OF THE OPINION THAT THE MATERIALS WERE SATISFACTORY SINCE NO SERIOUS CORROSION HAD BEEN REPORTED. IN VIEW OF ALL THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES NOW OF RECORD WE DO NOT FEEL THAT ANY FURTHER ACTION BY THIS OFFICE IS AUTHORIZED OR REQUIRED.

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