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Collaborative Testing Services, Inc.

P.O. Box 650820, Sterling, VA, USA 20165-0820  1-571-434-1925
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Plastics

Struggling to see the whole picture when it comes to measurement quality? While in-house control materials are valuable for maintaining day-to-day consistency, they don’t reveal everything about the reliability of those measurements. Participants in the CTS Plastics Program – including resin producers, automotive suppliers, molders, custom compounders and independent testing laboratories – are confident in the quality and reliability of their measurements.
 
CTS has created a testing program that fits your needs and presents results in a clear, concise format. Participants can select from a wide variety of tests covering mechanical, thermal, analytical/physical, and optical properties; for many properties, test can be conducted using either ASTM or ISO test methods. As an added benefit, each test is offered separately, allowing you to customize the program.
 
The scope of the Plastics Program help make the audit dependable. Variation can lead to doubt; the large number of participating laboratories and the proven methodology used by CTS reduce variability and increase your ability to make confident decisions. Suddenly, the picture is clear.
 

ASTM Test Methods

CTS offers a variety of plastics proficiency tests for ASTM test methods across four properties. Select any combination of tests (ASTM and/or ISO test methods) to build a custom interlaboratory program that meets your unique needs.

ISO Test Methods

The nine proficiency tests for ISO plastics test methods have been divided into three properties. Laboratories may select any combination of tests (ISO and/or ASTM methods) to meet their needs.

CTS Plastics Program History

In the late 1980's, resin producers, automotive suppliers, molders, and independent testing laboratories all faced a similar problem: how to prove measurement accuracy when conducting quality assurance tests on plastics and films. With traditional destructive testing there were few reference materials available to verify instrument performance. The use of in-house control materials, while a valuable quality assurance tool to maintain day-to-day consistency of measurements, did not evaluate a lab's ability to make measurements that agreed with other laboratories. Some companies attempted to determine the accuracy of their measurements through a round-robin program among three or four other facilities. This was often unsuccessful because the small number of participants made it difficult to determine a consensus value with a high degree of confidence.
 
 Members of the industry who were aware of CTS’ other interlaboratory programs contacted CTS in the spring of 1991, and all parties agreed to meet at the next American Association of Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) Assessors’ Conclave. Events progressed very quickly. At the A2LA meeting CTS learned that there were many labs being accredited for plastics test methods with no proficiency testing available to them. A2LA auditors had already approached some ASTM D20 members, who had indicated they felt that CTS was the best and most likely organization to get a plastics testing program up and running. The chair of D20 appointed three committee members to serve as the CTS program’s advisory committee, and three test methods were selected for the initial program – tensile properties, DTUL, and flow rates. Thus, the CTS Plastics Program was initiated in 1992 at the request of industry, ASTM committee D20 and accrediting bodies. While initially the plastics tests were incorporated into CTS’ existing Rubber Program, it quickly became clear that there was little in common between the two programs. In 1994, the CTS Plastics Program was established as its own separate entity.
 
The number and variety of tests offered quickly start growing. Strong interest in film testing led to tests being introduced in 1997. After more than a quarter of a century, subproperties are still refined as needed to meet the needs of a demanding and changing industry, and additional test offerings are under development.
 
 Today, participation in the CTS Plastics Program assesses laboratory performance by comparing each participant's results to a consensus value based on the results from as many as 100 laboratories testing the same material. An additional benefit of the CTS program is the use of "blind" samples. As the participant does not know what the result should be, the CTS program is a true assessment of the testing process including sample labeling and preparation, instrument operation, and calculation of the test result.

Sample Information

Sample Types for all ASTM Tests offered by CTS

Test No. Test Name Sample Type
704 Tensile Properties ASTM Type I tensile bars
710 DTUL @ 1.82 MPa 5" x 0.5" x 0.125" Molded Bars
711 DTUL @ .455 MPa 5" x 0.5" x 0.125" Molded Bars
715 Vicat Softening 5" x 0.5" x 0.125" Molded Bars
718 Specific Gravity 5" x 0.5" x 0.125" Molded Bars
720 Flexural Properties 5" x 0.5" x 0.125" Molded Bars
790 Notched Izod Impact 5" x 0.5" x 0.125" Molded Bars
750 Flow Rates Plastic pellets
755 Moisture Content Plastic pellets
757 Ash Content Reinforced/filled plastic pellets
770 Tensile Properties Thin plastic film
780 Static & Kinetic COF Thin plastic film
782 Tear Resistance Thin plastic film
785 Optical Properties Thin plastic film

Sample Types for all ISO Tests offered by CTS

Test No. Test Name Sample Type
712 DTUL @ 1.8 MPa ISO multipurpose bars
730 Tensile Properties ISO multipurpose bars
736 Flexural Properties ISO multipurpose bars
791 Notched Izod Impact ISO multipurpose bars
792 Notched Charpy Impact ISO multipurpose bars
718 Specific Gravity 5" x 0.5" x 0.125" Molded Bars
750 Flow Rates Plastic pellets
755 Moisture Content Plastic pellets
760 DSC Plastic pellets

CTS Plastics Program Schedule

The Plastics Program is an annual program and testing rounds are conducted on a quarterly basis. Subscribers participate in four, three or two quarters depending on the enrollment date.
 
Note that data due dates occur approximately 6 weeks after a shipment date and that results must be submitted on or before a data due date in order to be included in the report.
 
Participants can track shipments, submit data and access reports through the CTS Customer Portal.
 

Enroll by November 15 of preceding year

Includes Qtrs: Samples Ship: Data Due: Report Issued:
1 early January mid February early March
2 early April mid May early June
3 early July mid August early September
4 early October mid November early December

Enroll by February 15 of current year

Includes Qtrs: Samples Ship: Data Due: Report Issued:
2 early April mid May early June
3 early July mid August early September
4 early October mid November early December

Enroll by May 15 of current year

Includes Qtrs: Samples Ship: Data Due: Report Issued:
3 early July mid August early September
4 early October mid November early December

Portal Links

Participants in CTS Plastics Program tests can access Test Instructions on the CTS Customer Portal.

A Guide to Interpreting Performance Analysis Reports, available as well on the CTS Customer Portal, assists participants in understanding and getting maximum benefit from the individual reports issued at the completion of each testing round.