28/11/2016

PACE-PTS Logo

Pan-African Cement Proficiency-Testing-Scheme (PACE-PTS)

Source: PACEPTS

PACE-PTS

General information

The Pan-African Cement Proficiency Testing Scheme (PACE-PTS) is a cooperation between the BAM Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing and the German Metrology Institute (PTB). It gives opportunity for public and private laboratories to self-assess their laboratory performance and to increase their network and skills due to a supplementary evaluation workshop.

After 2012/2013 and 2014/2015, the PACE-PTS in 2016/2017 is the third Africa-wide proficiency testing scheme. It is funded within the framework of the German Development Cooperation. The evaluation workshops were organised in Berlin and Tanzania in 2013 and 2015, respectively.

Background

The cement proficiency testing scheme (PT scheme) was set up in 2012 with the aim of establishing a cement-testing network for Africa. Testing the quality of cement is an important task in order to ensure the safety of construction. PTs are evaluations of participants’ performance against pre-established criteria by means of inter-laboratory comparisons. Proficiency tests are a precondition for accreditation to ISO/IEC 17025.

Participants

Private and public laboratories in Africa involved in cement testing, and which are competent to analyse the fundamental physical and chemical properties of cement, are encouraged to participate. The costs for the participation in the PT scheme differ in price between public laboratories (universities and government) and private laboratories (see Fees below). The final workshop is open for all participants. Funding is available for participants coming from public laboratories.

• Public laboratories (Universities and Government): 100 USD including shipping costs
• Private laboratories (Industries): 300 USD including shipping costs

The attendance to the final workshop is open to all participants. Funding for participation will be available for delegates from African public laboratories who submit results.

History

In 2012/2013 the number of 27 public and private laboratories from 18 African and two European countries participated in PACE-PTS.
In 2014/2015 the number of participants increased to 36 laboratories from 18 African and two European countries.
The currently running proficiency testing scheme 2016/2017 involves 53 laboratories from 23 African, two European and one Asian countries.

Specifications and test items

Standard cement tests

Standard mortar with reference cement
EN 196-1:2016 - 2 days flexural strength
EN 196-1:2016 - 7 days flexural strength (optional)
EN 196-1:2016 - 28 days flexural strength
EN 196-1:2016 - 2 days compressive strength
EN 196-1:2016 - 7 days compressive strength (optional)
EN 196-1:2016 - 28 days compressive strength

Reference cement
EN 196-2:2013 - Loss on ignition
EN 196-2:2013 - Insoluble residue
EN 196-2:2013 - Sulfate, SO3
EN 196-2:2013 - Cloride, Cl-
EN 196-3:2009 - Water demand for standard consistency
EN 196-3:2009 - Initial setting time
EN 196-3:2009 - Final setting time
EN 196-3:2009-05 - Soundness (optional)
EN 196-6:2010 - Specific surface (Blaine)

Advanced cement tests

Standard mortar with reference cement
Specifications - Spread flow diameter after mixing
Specifications - Spread flow diameter 30 minutes after mixing
EN 196-1:2016 - 28 days flexural strength
EN 196-1:2016 - 28 days compressive strength

Standard mortar with local cement
Specifications - Spread flow diameter after mixing
Specifications - Spread flow diameter 30 minutes after mixing
EN 196-1:2016 - 28 days flexural strength
EN 196-1:2016 - 28 days flexural strength
EN 196-1:2016 - 28 days compressive strength

Aggregate test - delivered sample

EN 933-1:2012 - Aggregate particle size distribution

Operational implementation

The required raw materials (cement, sand, extra items) are sent out to all registered participants for the analysis. The results needs to be submitted by a deadline.

After the analysis of the results, each laboratory receives an anonymised report about the statistical results and an assignment number to identify the individual laboratory’s statistics.

At the end of the PT scheme a final workshop will take place for all participants to analyse and discuss the results of the executed tests, with discussions of corrective measures and the way forward. The workshop participation is supported by the funding scheme for public laboratories.