ACRS — eliminating breaks in the ‘chain of certification’

0
226

Quality construction projects require quality materials with demonstrated compliance. Selecting construction materials based on price alone can end up costing significantly more than using materials that are selected on the basis of quality and performance, particularly if it is determined that fault in law could be found.

Put simply, it doesn’t matter how well you build if you have built in a high risk of structural failure through using unverified materials from an uncertified supplier.
Certification by the Australasian Certification Authority for Reinforcing and Structural Steels (ACRS) from the mill to the end supplier provides a simple tool to manage this risk — the supplier’s ACRS certificates.

Steel reinforcement, prestressing steel and structural steel are integral parts of any building or structure. While to the casual observer, all steel may look to be created equal, in reality this is far from the case.

Whether as a result of inferior raw materials, contamination during manufacturing, incorrect or inappropriate manufacturing processes, or manufacturing to alternative Standards, there are steel reinforcing, prestressing and structural steel products which quite simply do not meet the requirements of the relevant Australian and New Zealand Standards.

Notwithstanding the potential safety issues that can result from using sub-standard construction materials, in these days of widespread litigation and strict “chain of responsibility” legislation, the use of non-compliant steels can spell disaster for engineers, certifiers, specifiers, suppliers and builders in more ways than one.

Expert third-party steel assessment

With these issues and risks in mind, ACRS provides fully independent, non-biased, expert third-party assessment and verification of steel construction materials supplied to the construction industry, to ensure they meet Australian and New Zealand Standards.

Quite simply, ACRS certification reduces the risk of buying and using steel which does not meet minimum requirements, and enables feedback and corrective action in case problems arise.

Major construction clients, designers and contractors worldwide recognise and even specify ACRS and its product certification scheme to confirm the technical competence of suppliers and gain assurance of consistent product quality.

ACRS is the expert, independent, third-party product certification scheme for construction steels supplied to AS/NZS Standards.
It was created in 2000 as a not-for-profit body to provide a cost effective, but credible means of verifying through direct, factory and in-market assessment, that the construction steels supplied to building sites consistently meet the requirements of engineers, specifiers, builders, building certifiers and customers.

Independent of any commercial interests, ACRS assessors, auditors and management are all experienced engineers, certifiers or metallurgists with extensive experience in steel manufacture, supply, design and construction.

ACRS provides a centralised, streamlined certification process for:
• Reinforcing bar, wire and mesh
• Prestressing bar, wire and strand
• Cold-formed steel hollow sections
• Hot-rolled steel plates, bars and sections.

ACRS currently certifies more than 150 manufacturing locations, in 15 countries around the world, and has undertaken more than 700 technical conformity assessments to AS/NZS steel Standards. 

These include:
• AS/NZS 4671 — Steel reinforcing materials (manufacturing and processing of materials)
• AS/NZS 4672 — Steel prestressing materials 
• AS/NZS 1163 — Cold formed steel hollow sections
• AS/NZS 1594 — Hot-rolled steel flat products
• AS/NZS 3678 — Hot-rolled plates, floorplates and slabs
• AS/NZS 3679.1 — Hot-rolled bars and sections
• AS/NZS 3679.2 — Welded I sections

Warning

Just because the steel originally came from an ACRS certified mill, does not mean the end product is “ACRS certified”.

When it comes to ACRS certification, there are only ever two options, either:
• The supplier is ACRS certified and all of its materials are declared, assessed and verified to AS/NZS Standards, or 
• The supplier is not ACRS certified (and therefore the onus is on the customer to verify the supplier’s claims of conformity).

It is fraudulent for a supplier to claim that a product is “ACRS certified” simply because the end product used materials from an ACRS certified mill.
The full “chain” must be ACRS certified. Failure to verify that the products are from an ACRS certified supplier may result in you using non-compliant materials for which you may be held liable.

Certificates — quick and easy web-based verification

ACRS also provides real choice. It certifies not just domestic suppliers, but also world-class overseas manufacturers, giving Australian and international customers the widest choice of products complying with Australian and New Zealand Standards.

With ACRS it’s easy for your suppliers, easy for your customers and easy for yourself.

For further information about the validity of supplier certification for any materials being supplied into your project, visit the ACRS web site at www.steelcertification.com, phone ACRS on 0061 2 9965 7216, or email info@steelcertification.com.