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New certification to ensure steel tubing meets quality standards

STINA’s new structural steel tubing (HSS) certification program will eliminate end users’ concerns


November 5, 2010
by Purchasing b2b staff

The Steel Tube Institute of North America (STINA) has established an industry-wide structural steel tubing (HSS) Product Certification Program.

The program is designed to provide assurance that the HSS certified by STINA’s program has been produced to and tested to meet ASTM standards (formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials).

STINA explains that up until now it has been almost impossible to track the chain of supply of HSS. It may be produced anywhere in the world and then travel through a series of distribution channels before it reaches a job site. And the documentation and standards are often self-certified.

Problems

The lack of set standards does create problems. STINA says that recently throughout North America substandard product was found at job sites, which created a significant concern among specifiers and end users.

STINA also explains that the liability of a product like HSS can include the design and engineering firms involved in the project, as well as the fabricators, contractors and project owners.

Solution

So STINA joined with its HSS producers to create a system to authenticate and certify the testing procedures and documentation that accompany the product.

The result? STINA partnered with Intertek, a product testing and certification company, to develop the criteria and procedures for the program. The company will also administer the evaluation and product testing required for producing companies to earn certification.

Certification process

The HSS certification process will include:

• an engineering evaluation of each of the participating companies’ manufacturing locations; and

• testing at Intertek’s Verification Center of sample tubes that have been produced at the participating companies’ mills.

HSS committee members who are participating in the certification program include producers from the US and Canadian, such as Allied Tube & Conduit, Bull Moose Tube, Evraz, JMC Steel Group, Leavitt, Hannibal Industries, Southland Tube, Valmont, Vest and Maruichi.

Testing by Intertek of STINA’s member companies is expected to begin this December.