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INCORPORATED: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 24. THE EXAMINATION BY THE DEPARTMENT AND BY THE NATIONAL BUREAU OF STANDARDS ESTABLISHED THAT 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. 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.

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B-141958, SEP. 29, 1961

TO OCTAGON PROCESS, INCORPORATED:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 24, 1961, AND TO YOUR ATTORNEY'S LETTER DATED APRIL 5, 1961, WITH ENCLOSURE, PROTESTING AGAINST THE CANCELLATION OF INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. 42-600-61-143, AND ISSUANCE OF INVITATION NO. 42-600-61-163, IN SUBSTITUTION THEREOF BY HILL AIR FORCE BASE.

THE RECORD DISCLOSES THAT THE ORIGINAL INVITATION COVERING THE CONTEMPLATED PROCUREMENT OF A QUANTITY OF ICE CONTROL MATERIALS INCLUDED CERTAIN SPECIFICATIONS PREPARED BY ELMENDORF AIR FORCE BASE. AFTER THE PROPOSAL HAD BEEN CIRCULARIZED DOUBT AROSE AS TO THE ADEQUACY OF THE INVOLVED SPECIFICATIONS AND THE PROCUREMENT OFFICIALS CONCLUDED THAT THE INTERESTS OF THE UNITED STATES WOULD BE BETTER SERVED BY ADVERTISING FOR "NAME-BRAND" PRODUCTS, OR EQUAL. THE CONTROVERSY PROMPTED THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE TO CONDUCT TEST STUDIES OF VARIOUS COMPOUNDS AND SOLUTIONS, AND TO REAPPRAISE THE INVOLVED SPECIFICATIONS. THE EXAMINATION BY THE DEPARTMENT AND BY THE NATIONAL BUREAU OF STANDARDS ESTABLISHED THAT 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. 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.

SINCE THESE MATTERS PRIMARILY ARE FOR DETERMINATION BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCY CONCERNED, AND SINCE SUCH ACTION RENDERS ACADEMIC YOUR PROTEST WITH RESPECT TO THE CITED INVITATIONS, NO FURTHER ACTION BY THIS OFFICE APPEARS TO BE AUTHORIZED OR REQUIRED.

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