An interlaboratory study conducted recently among 14 local cement laboratories has confirmed that the Cement Testing Center (CTC), only one of two Bureau of Product Standards-accredited laboratories, produces precise test results.

Also accredited by the Department of Public Works and Highways-Bureau of Research and Standards (DPWH-BRS), CTC is the only local cement testing laboratory which participates regularly in the United States-based Cement and Concrete Reference Laboratory’s proficiency testing program for Portland and blended cement.

“Overall, CTC has performed well in this interlaboratory study. It does provide consistent test results,” a third-party consultant stated in a report.

Following the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Standard Test Methods for Chemical Analysis and Physical Test of Hydraulic Cement, the interlaboratory assessment evaluated the center’s precision for monitoring cement quality. The study conducted is in conformity with ASTM C802, Standard Practice for Conducting an Interlaboratory Test Program to Determine the Precision of the Test Methods for Construction Materials.

The study was commissioned by the Cement Manufacturers’ Association of the Philippines (CeMAP) to establish the precision by which cement industry laboratories measure the physical and chemical properties of cement, and to compare CTC’s performance against 13 other laboratories operated by CeMAP member-companies.

It confirms the results of the laboratory audit conducted by a team of five quality control experts from local cement companies in March, which found CTC to be a competent testing laboratory. The team noted the center’s strict adherence to accepted methodologies for cement testing, as well as its proper cement sampling and handling procedures.

“The findings of the study are reassuring for the consuming public because CTC is the institution that ensures consumer welfare by ascertaining that only cement which has passed applicable standards go into their homes and buildings,” CeMAP President Dr. Ernesto M. Ordoñez said.

He further pointed out that a reliable testing center is crucial to determine whether or not a particular cement product is safe to be sold in the market. Cement is one of several types of construction material regulated by the Department of Trade and Industry to protect the interests of the consuming public.

Formed in 1980, CTC monitors cement quality through continuous testing of samples. It gathers cement samples monthly from manufacturers and a wide range of market sources nationwide. All samples collected go through a stringent process of sample preparation that includes sample coding, chemical analysis and physical testing. Once a product completes determinations on its chemical composition, compressive strength, autoclave expansion and other physical properties, the center issues a test certificate to the manufacturer-owner.

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