COMMON QUESTION

Why are construction materials tested?

Construction material testing is a critical part of the engineering and construction process. By ensuring that the materials used in a construction project are of the highest quality, engineers can minimize the chances of a faulty project and ensure that the finished product is safe and reliable. 

Of course, when builders don’t follow rigorous testing protocols, it can lead to significant consequences for the project and a structure’s inhabitants. Here’s what you should know to learn more about the necessity of high-quality construction materials and building material testing. 

What is the purpose of material testing in construction? 

Construction material testing evaluates the properties of construction materials to ensure that they meet the required standards. The properties that are typically tested include strength, durability, and resistance to weathering and corrosion. 

In addition to ensuring the quality of the materials, construction material testing can also be used to help troubleshoot problems with existing structures. If a material fails a test, the construction professional can investigate the cause of the failure and take appropriate corrective action.

What happens when construction materials aren’t adequately tested? 

Regarding the safety of the people occupying a building, it’s of the utmost importance that construction materials be rigorously tested before use. Materials that haven’t gone through testing may not meet safety standards and could lead to severe injuries or fatalities in the event of an accident.

Some of the dangers of using untested materials in construction include:

  • Falling debris: If materials haven’t been tested, there’s no way to know how they will behave in a fall. Hazardous materials could lead to a deadly collapse.
  • Fire: Untested materials could easily ignite and lead to a dangerous fire.
  • Collapse: A building constructed with untested materials is at risk of collapsing, which could lead to severe injuries or fatalities.

The risks of using untested materials in construction are too significant and have even led to several high-profile incidents where poor materials testing was the culprit. For instance, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge project opted for less-expensive plate girders, which threw off the build’s depth-to-width ratio, leaving the bridge structurally unsound. Likewise, the Skyline Apartment project in Virginia used poor-quality concrete, which led to a partial collapse. 

These are a few incidents that directly resulted from lax construction material testing standards. 

What are top materials testing use cases? 

Materials testing is done to measure materials’ physical and chemical properties, which means that it has dozens of applicable use cases. This information is used to select materials that meet the requirements for a particular application. 

Depending on the properties that need to be measured, there are various construction materials testing lab methods that developers can use. The most common methods include mechanical testing, chemical analysis, and thermal analysis.

ForneyVault can help you rethink your existing CMT processes. 

Before you rush to search “construction materials testing near me,” start by looking into effective software solutions like ForneyVault. Our industry-leading CMT and construction management tools can help you take control of your testing process, mitigate project risks, and narrow your margin of error. By selecting the highest-quality materials for your construction build, you can craft a stable structure that’s durable and safe.

back to resources

Want more like this? Join our mailing list for monthly content.