Cement and Concrete Reference Laboratory: Promoting Quality in Laboratory Testing
J H. Pielert
In the early part of the 20th century, a number of organizations including ASTM, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the Portland Cement Association collaborated in activities to improve and standardize specifications and test methods for portland cement. This led to the formation of the Cement Reference Laboratory (CRL) at NIST in 1929 under the sponsorship of ASTM Committee C01 on Cement. Other concrete materials were later added to the scope of CRL's programs and, in 1960, ASTM Committee C09 on Concrete and Concrete Materials also became a sponsor. CRL's name was then changed to the Cement and Concrete Reference Laboratory (CCRL). CCRL's Laboratory Inspection and Proficiency Sample Programs have evolved over time to where they now cover portland, blended and masonry cements; portland cement concrete; portland cement aggregates; pozzolans; and reinforcing steel. Laboratory participation in CCRL's programs currently stands at more than 1,000 laboratories. This paper describes the evolution of CCRL programs and growth in laboratory participation; the use of CCRL programs by laboratory accreditors, governmental agencies, materials producers, and others; and the development of a research program in collaboration with NIST which supports the development of cement and concrete standards.