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Vacuum Box Quiz: Take a Peek at How the Industry Scored

By December 1, 2016 Uncategorized

mailbox-the-results-are-inThank you so much for your participation in the recent vacuum box quiz. The response was overwhelming! And, to those of you who e-mailed me your score and commented on how much fun you had – thank you for sharing!  I really enjoyed the dialogue.

To add to the fun, we collected all quiz results. We did this anonymously, of course. I assume that many of you are just as curious as I was on how the industry scored.

So I thought I would publish it. Without further ado here are the results. 

Vacuum Box Quiz Results

For each of the possible scores, 0-5 correct, the graph shows the percentage of individuals who had that many correct answers.

0 Correct Answers


1 Correct Answer


2 Correct Answers


3 Correct Answers


4 Correct Answers


5 Correct Answers


Individual Question Results

53.4% answered this correctly

1. Per the ASTM, a calibration is required for the pressure gauges at what frequency?

  • A calibration certificate is not required
  • Every 3 months
  • Every 6 months
  • Every 12 months
  • Every 24 months

65.0% answered this correctly

2. Based on the photographs below, if the specification requires the test pressure to be a minimum of 5 pound force per square inch (psi), does this test meet the specification (assuming calibration certificates are not an issue)?

  • Yes, it meets the specification
  • No, it does not meet the specification


59.2% answered this correctly

3. Assuming the specified vacuum box overlap requirement is 2” (following ASTM procedure), which set of hashed lines best describes the perimeter which should be monitored for this overlap?

  • Line 1 and Line 2
  • Line 1 and Line 3
  • Line 1 and Line 4
  • Line 2 and Line 3
  • Line 2 and Line 4
  • Line 3 and Line 4


52.4% answered this correctly

4. According to the ASTM, the dwell time for a vacuum test should be a minimum of:

  • 2 seconds
  • 5 seconds
  • 10 seconds
  • 15 seconds
  • 30 seconds

80.6% answered this correctly

5. According to the ASTM, the vacuum test report should include which of the following information:

  • Geomembrane type, including polymer type and source
  • Seam type and width
  • Latest pressure gauge calibrations
  • Foaming solution used for the test, and locations where each was used if different solutions used
  • Location of defective areas
  • All of the above
  • None of the above


There was a great variety of individuals with diverse backgrounds who participated in the quiz, evidenced by the feedback from contractors, engineers, material suppliers, technicians and many others involved across a range of the geosynthetics market spectrum. While it would be hard to draw any scientific data given the nature of the anonymous quiz, I can say that we as an industry are passionate about our geosynthetics, and we want to continually improve our environment and ourselves.

One way to ensure this improvement is to continually challenge ourselves to be the best we can be, mutually as individuals, and as an industry. The geosynthetics/containment industry is very diverse, both in individual knowledge/experience and in an overall market composed of many unique segments. 

For instance, lined containment systems are used in agriculture, aquaculture, horticulture, sports, waste management, manufacturing, mining, and oil/gas development to name a few. Within each of these market segments, not only do the regulations and requirements vary, so does individual expertise.

The mean score was 3 of 5 correct.

If you scored well on the quiz, look around yourself and see if there are others that may benefit from the knowledge you have – and share it with them! 

As an industry, we need to have a bridge that spans and unites all the market segments. That bridge is communication. It is important to share the knowledge and lessons learned from one industry to another, one individual to another. 

If your score did not live up to your expectation, take the steps needed to gain the knowledge you want or need – get a copy of the ASTM and study it (as well as keeping it for reference) and seek out others who can mentor or train you.  By sharing our knowledge with each other, and challenging each other (such as these quizzes), we are taking personal responsibility to elevate our industry. 

Let’s keep growing together!

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