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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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Rubber

From tire manufacturers to makers of industrial gaskets, the CTS Rubber Program includes companies from a wide range of industries who share one goal: reliable test data. Participating in these tests will help your lab better ensure the dependability of its results.

CTS teams with standards organizations, instrument manufacturers and technology centers to provide participants with the expertise needed for measurement assurance and to keep the tests relevant to industries using the program. Combine that knowledge with CTS' extensive experience in proficiency testing and you end up with a powerful and objective tool with which to continuously monitor your performance and prove measurement competence. 

CTS Rubber Program History

Rubber came into its own during WWII as industries worked overtime to supply the American war effort. When the natural rubber plantations came under Japanese control, the race was on to develop synthetic rubbers. As a result, the US government poured money into related projects. Years after the war, rubber remained a big industry and the US was a major player.
 
The National Bureau of Standards (NBS, now the National Institute of Standards & Technology or NIST) for several years had provided Standard Reference Materials (SRMs) to various industries, but were unsure how individual laboratories used those standards to improve the quality of their measurements. In addition, NBS wanted to know what steps were taken when such standards were not available. Through answering those questions, NBS hoped to be able to assist labs in improving test measurements. While people were not unfamiliar with interlaboratory testing, the majority of those studies had concentrated on validation of a test method. In 1969, specifically for the rubber industry, NBS created something revolutionary: a large-scale proficiency testing program that focused mainly on overall lab performance.
 
The NBS Rubber Program originally focused on vulcanized rubber. The initial testing round had 72 participants, a large number for a first-of-its-kind venture and a reflection of the need in the industry. Participation remained strong, and it became clear that the NBS program was more than a research study. Since CTS had already worked with NBS on interlaboratory programs for paper and color measurement, NBS also turned to CTS for assistance in running the Rubber Program. CTS expanded it in 1971 to include tests for other characteristics of raw and vulcanized rubber. Complete responsibility for the program's operation was formally transferred to CTS in the mid 1970s. Key to the programs enduring success was the fact that, as other projects took priority, the effort to develop rubber SRMs at NBS/NIST had all but fizzled by the mid 1990s. Left to the private sector, such work was found to be too expensive, with few standards available to date. Thus, an on-going proficiency testing program became an incredibly cost-effective way to validate a labs results so much so that several of the original participating organizations are still enrolled in the program today.
 
Starting in the mid 1980s, the Rubber Division of the American Chemical Society (ACS) created an Advisory Committee on Testing Procedures to provide guidance to providers of rubber testing programs. Several instrument manufacturers also work with CTS to ensure that the program remains relevant to the industry. Today, laboratories from around the world participate in the CTS Rubber Program to continuously monitor their performance and prove measurement reliability.

CTS Rubber Program Schedule

The Rubber 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 December 10 of preceding year

Includes Qtrs: Samples Ship: Data Due: Report Issued:
1 late January early March early April
2 late April early June early July
3 late July early September late September
4 late October early December late December

Enroll by May 10 of current year

Includes Qtrs: Samples Ship: Data Due: Report Issued:
2 late April early June early July
3 late July early September late September
4 late October early December late December

Enroll by June 10 of current year

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

Portal Links

Participants in CTS Rubber 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.