GNBS to begin testing strength of concrete hollow blocks

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The Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS) will soon begin testing the compressive strength of locally manufactured concrete hollow blocks to determine whether they are conforming to the requirements of the Guyana Standard Specification.

The GNBS in a statement on Monday said for many years, homeowners and contractors have expressed concerns about the poor quality of concrete hollow blocks provided by some makers.

It is anticipated that the new testing and certification services of the GNBS will help to concretely address these quality concerns and reduce complaints of users.

The GNBS said it is now capable of testing the blocks after its Industrial Metrology and Testing Services Department acquired the requisite training, equipment, and facility.

Hollow blocks of common sizes including 3 inches, 4 inches and 6 inches can be tested.

As such, the agency is encouraging local manufacturers, domestic block makers, contractors, and homeowners, who have long awaited this service, to commence the submission of their concrete hollow blocks to its testing laboratory for initial or routine testing.

“The results provided would be an accurate indication of the quality of blocks being manufactured and used during construction; and a certificate would be provided for tests conducted,” the GNBS said.

Importantly, the sample size of blocks to be tested would range from one to five blocks; depending on individual circumstances related to batch size or purpose.

The agency is also looking to certify concrete hollow blocks under its Product Certification Scheme.

Ultimately, the increased testing and certification of the blocks is a significant step towards assuring stakeholders of the integrity of new concrete structures.

Finally, the National Standard requires that an individual unit (block) have compressive strength not less than 5.5 Megapascals (Mpa) (798 PSI), or the average of three units must not be less than 7 Mpa (1015 PSI).

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