Press Release – GNBS now capable of testing Concrete Hollow Blocks

The Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS) is now fully capable of testing the compressive strength of locally manufactured concrete hollow blocks. This will help to determine whether blocks available for construction are conforming to the requirements of the Guyana Standard Specification for Load Bearing masonry Concrete units (GYS 215:2003).

Testing of concrete hollow blocks by the GNBS is now possible 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.

The GNBS 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 initially or routinely 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.

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. Stakeholders are encouraged to contact the GNBS to ascertain the sample size needed for testing.

Meanwhile, under its Product Certification Scheme, the GNBS is looking to expand its service towards the Certification of concrete hollow blocks. This Certification will include batch certification. These Certification and Testing services will be provided at very affordable costs.

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.

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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