Quality control

Cement Quality Control in the Laboratory

The cement plant laboratory ensures excellence of the end product by conducting cement quality control inspections at every production phase. Analyses are conducted on stone (G), raw meal (H), clinker (S) and cement. Chemical analyses and physical tests of the cement are performed by specialized technicians using all equipment and measurement devices as required by Canadian and American Standards.

The following cement Standards are applied:

  1. In Canada (CSA – Canadian Standards Association)
    1. A3000 compendium, CSA A3001 for Portland cement.
    2. A3000 compendium, CSA A3001 for blended hydraulic cement.
    3. A3000 compendium, CSA A3002 for masonry cement.
  2. In the United States (ASTM – American Society for Testing and Materials International and AASHTO – American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials)
    1. ASTM C150 ASTM standards for Portland cements.
    2. ASTM C91 ASTM standards for Masonry cements.
    3. ASTM C1157 ASTM standards for Blended Hydraulic cements.
    4. AASHTO M-85 AASHTO standards for Portland cements.
    5. AASHTO M 307 AASHTO standards for Blended Hydraulic cements.

The laboratory controls raw material at each step in its transformation through continuous sampling, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Data are analyzed instantaneously, and the operator takes the appropriate correctives action, if necessary.

Validating the Laboratory and Procedures

By taking part in various audit programs, Ciment Québec Inc.(CQI) ensures that tests and measurements are precise and the equipment is in good working order.

Program 1
CCRL – Cement and Concrete Reference Laboratory Program

The entire North-American cement industry participates in this program. It involves sending participants samples of cement that must undergo all chemical and physical tests required. The results are then compiled and a report is produced. If discrepancies are seen in same tests that are completed on the calibration samples, recommendations are made by the CCRL and corrective action is taken immediately

This program involves a specialized technician visiting the facilities and checking all the equipment used, as well as the working method of our technicians. Following this audit, a report is prepared and corrective actions are taken if discrepancies are observed.

The St-Basile cement plant laboratory has a 5 rating – the highest rating issued by the CCRL.

Program 2
Approval from NYSDOT (New York State Department of Transportation) and Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans).

To be able to deliver cement in the United States, suppliers must register their product on a list for approval. This approval process consists of sending the specific DOT a sample of the cement to ensure that it meets their requirements. Moreover, once approval has been granted, samples are sent on a regular basis for audits.

Quality control tests on the concrete are conducted at the laboratories of Ciment Québec in Laval.