Construction materials testing (CMT), the process of testing the durability of structural materials used in construction (whether for new or existing structures), is critical to ensuring safe and trustworthy infrastructure that citizens interact with every day. Construction project owners have to trust the materials they are building with, and regulators have to trust that the data you’re reporting to them is valid. Project owners make a huge investment in building projects, so construction materials testing is a rigorous process. In short, a lot is riding on getting the testing process right.
All materials used in construction need to be tested in some way, shape or form – whether it’s onsite in the field, or in the laboratory. Materials that need to be tested include:
- Self-consolidating concrete
- Hydraulic cement
- Down hold cement
- CLSM/Flowable fill
- Proppant Ceramics
- Engineered railroad ties
Construction materials testing is a tried and true and, for the most part, well-oiled process. In the field, technicians look for a variety of things, including a material’s consistency, air content, temperature and weight. Unit weight for concrete is especially important to verify the mix you’re using for a specific setting. For example, you don’t want to pour full-weight concrete on the second floor of a building and lightweight concrete on the first floor.
In the lab, technicians look for compressive, flexural and tensile strength of a material and measure important values like Modulus of Elasticity and Poisson’s ratio.
At each point, CMT technicians need to evaluate the results from the field and lab tests, develop reports, and send them to project engineers for review and approval. A single material requires a series of construction materials tests and a plethora of data and analysis before being able to move to the next step, which is why many CMT labs and project owners turn to CMT software to manage and evaluate it all. This is especially important for key regulatory bodies and oversight organizations:
- ASTM International: a globally recognized leader in the development and delivery of testing standards across a wide range of materials and systems, including construction materials
- Federal Aviation Administration (FAA): responsible for the regulation and oversight of civil aviation within the U.S. to ensure safety (in this context, airport buildings and runways)
- United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE): provides public engineering services to strengthen national security, energize the economy, and reduce risks from disasters
- American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO): standards-setting body that publishes specifications, test protocols, and guidelines that are used in highway design and construction
Construction materials software automates how data moves through the testing workflow, from the field to the lab to the office and beyond. Today, this type of solution has become critical for labs trying to overcome the traditionally manual, time-intensive and error-prone workflow. The solution automates the process, promotes trust and transparency, and allows key stakeholders to access accurate unalterable data.
To learn more about why you need construction materials testing and how the right CMT software can help you better manage it all, contact the CMT experts at ForneyVault today. Reach out today with questions or to discuss testing specifics for more information.