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July 06, 2017
Why Does Product Testing Matter?

Posted by: Joe Royer

A product is only as good as the data that exists to back it up. This premise is something to keep in mind when searching for products to solve your next storm and sanitary challenge. How can you know what you’re buying unless you know how it performs? It is for this reason that Milliken Infrastructure (MIS) puts a significant emphasis on product testing. With any MIS product, including geopolymer mortar systems and Concrete Cloth™ GCCM we find that no two application conditions are ever the same, so it is critical to have good scientific data on the products used.

The list of individual tests that we subject our products to is extensive, but each is important in order to produce relevant and pertinent data that instills confidence in our products.

First and foremost, when MIS undertakes a testing program we look for the most relevant industry standard tests available. The many testing standards have been developed by organizations like ASTM, ISO or even individual government units like DOTs or the EU.  Whenever possible we strive to use certified personnel who are trained in the specific testing, in fact several MIS personnel have the same certifications that you would expect from a third-party laboratory, to ensure the testing is done properly.

Our general testing protocols vary by product line, but every product, both geopolymer products and Concrete Cloth™, undergoes a series of internal quality assurance tests to ensure they meet our data sheet values. Our manufacturing quality assurance testing is conducted on a frequency specific to the product where we spot check materials and lots to make sure the product that leaves the plant meets the requirements and standards our customers are expecting. Some of this testing is even done by external certified labs for an extra level of assurance to our customers. 

Once the product arrives in the field, specifically with our geopolymer products, nearly each individual project will require field testing. Products are sampled from the material that is mixed and applied on site to confirm that the compressive strength of the materials meets requirements in that particular environment. This on-site testing is done by certified third-party laboratories that collect the material and maintain a chain of custody of the samples to ensure the asset owner that the material that was installed is up to the quality standards they expected.

MIS has done extensive performance testing, which assists with our product engineering efforts. These tests with our geopolymer products give us a sense of what load capacities our product is capable of until the point of failure. Then, under monitored conditions, we can assess how and why the product failed and develop engineering models to predict field performance. In product lines such as Concrete Cloth, MIS has done field installations at test sites where water flow can be controlled to test for critical performance properties in real world installations.

Finally, as some of the concepts behind MIS products are new to the world, many of these tests help us work with groups such as ASTM to develop new standard installation and testing procedures. Testing for the purpose of standard creation applies mainly to Concrete Cloth due primarily to its versatility and our customers’ unique applications.

So why does all this testing matter? The bottom line is that we want to be able to say, with absolute certainty, that our products will perform properly and as we say they will in the field. As any good manufacturer should, we only advertise our products with claims that can be backed up with scientific data.

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Category: GeoSpray Geopolymer, Concrete Cloth

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