Laboratory Testing

Complementing our certification and third-party inspection services offered to clients around the world, Benchmark International also provides an array of best-in-class laboratory testing. Having been independently accredited by International Accreditation Service (IAS), one of the most experienced and respected accreditation bodies, Benchmark offers industry-leading test services to clients worldwide. From simple analysis to complex evaluations of product performance or code compliance, Benchmark International can help provide confidence to you and your customers that your products are on the up and up.

Contact us today to discuss how we can help!

Formaldehyde Emissions

Formaldehyde emission standards for composite wood products including hardwood plywood, medium-density fiberboard (MDF), particleboard, and laminated products is regulated under CARB ATCM 93120 and EPA TSCA Title VI regulations. In addition, many Japanese Agricultural Standards (JAS) incorporate formaldehyde emission test requirements applicable to a wide array of engineered wood products
intended for introduction to the Japanese marketplace.

While formaldehyde emissions testing and certification is required of all manufacturers of regulated composite wood panels, fabricators, importers, distributors, and retailers alike often incorporate voluntary formaldehyde emissions testing as one element of their reasonable prudent precaution and supplier compliance programs.

As an EPA and CARB-approved test laboratory and a Registered Overseas Certifying Body (ROCB) approved by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Forestry (MAFF), Benchmark International offers a wide range of formaldehyde emissions test services to meet your needs including:

  • 40 CFR Part 770 – Formaldehyde Emission Standard for Composite Wood Products
  • ASTM D5197 – Standard test method for determining formaldehyde and other carbonyl compounds in air
  • ASTM D5582 – Standard test method for determining formaldehyde levels from wood products using a desiccator
  • ASTM D6007 – Standard test method for determining formaldehyde concentrations in air from wood products using a small-scale chamber
  • ASTM E1333 – Standard test method for determining formaldehyde concentrations in air and emission rates from wood products using a large chamber
  • MAFF No. 303 – Japanese Agricultural Standard for Plywood
  • MAFF No. 2903 – Japanese Agricultural Standard for Flooring
  • MAFF No. 1587 – Japanese Agricultural Standard for Glued Laminated Timber (GLULAM)
  • MAFF No. 2773 – Japanese Agricultural Standard for Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL)
  • MAFF No. 2904 – Japanese Agricultural Standard for Structural Panel

Physical Properties

Physical and mechanical testing is a vital part of product development, validation, and quality control processes. Testing not only allows design engineers to better understand the variables which affect product performance, but also supports production and quality management teams to monitor product quality, investigate the impact of process changes, or solve performance problems through failure mode analysis.

To meet these needs, Benchmark offers a host of physical and mechanical test services based on the latest ASTM, ANSI, ISO, BS, or DIN standards and test methods. In addition, our team of technical experts can work with you to develop client-specific test protocols and methods as required. Our physical and mechanical test capabilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Physical properties such as moisture content, density, or hardness
  • Mechanical properties such as tensile, shear, compression, and flexural strength or stiffness
  • Adhesion properties including surface bond or internal bond
  • Product impurities, contamination, or residual solids

Examples of accredited test methods include, but are not limited to:

  • ASTM D143 – Standard test method for small clear specimens of timber
  • ASTM D198 – Standard test method of static tests of lumber in structural sizes
  • ASTM D905 – Standard test method for strength properties of adhesive bonds in shear by compression loading
  • ASTM D1037 – Standard test method for evaluating properties of wood-base fiber and particle panel materials
  • ASTM D1101 – Standard test methods of integrity of adhesive joints in structural laminated wood products for exterior use
  • ASTM D1101 – Standard test method for ash in wood
  • ASTM D1761 – Standard test methods for mechanical fasteners in wood
  • ASTM D2395 – Standards test methods for density and specific gravity (relative density) of wood and wood-based materials
  • ASTM D2559 – Standard specification for adhesives for bonded structural wood products for use under exterior exposure
  • ASTM D2718 – Standard test method for structural panels in planar sheer (rolling shear)
  • ASTM D3043 – Standard test method for structural panels in flexure
  • ASTM D4442 – Standard test methods for direct moisture content measurement of wood and wood-based materials
  • ASTM D4688 – Standard test method for evaluating structural adhesives for finger jointing lumber
  • ASTM D4761- Standard test method for mechanical properties of lumber and wood-based structural materials
  • ASTM D5055 – Standard specification for establishing and monitoring structural capacities of prefabricated wood I-joists
  • ASTM D5516 – Standard test method for evaluating the flexural properties of fire-retardant treated softwood plywood exposed to
    elevated temperatures
  • ASTM D7147 – Standard specification for testing and establishing allowable loads of joist hangers
  • ASTM E72 – Standard test method of conducting strength tests of panels for building construction
  • ASTM E661 – Standard test method for performance of wood and wood-based floor and roof sheathing under concentrated static and impact loads
  • ASTM F1575 – Standard test method for determining bending yield moment of nails
  • EN 314-1/EN 314-2: Plywood Bonding Quality
  • EN 322: Wood-based panels – determination of moisture content
  • EN 323: Wood-based panels – determination of density
  • EN 326-1/EN 326-2: Wood-based panels – sampling, cutting and inspection

Don’t see a test you need? No problem! Benchmark International provides a menu of additional test services and maintains relationships with several accredited laboratory partners who have been thoroughly evaluated and selected to supplement our world-class test capabilities. From flammability to acoustics and everything in between, Benchmark provides a one-stop shop for just about any client testing need. Please contact us today to discuss your specific requirements and see what we can do for you!

Coating Properties

Not only do paints and coatings beautify your products, they can also help to extend their service life. While it is important to make the right paint or coating choice given the intended product end use, production variables such as application rates, coating thickness, and cure play a vital role in assuring long term product quality and performance. Whether it’s determining thickness, wear resistance, or any number of other coating properties, Benchmark International has your back. Current coating test services offered include, but are not limited to:

  • ASTM D1005 – Standard test method for measurement of dry-film thickness of organic coatings using micrometers
  • ASTM D3359 – Standard test method for rating adhesion by tape test
  • ASTM D4060 – Standard test method for abrasion resistance of organic coatings by the taber abraser
  • ISO 2409 – Standard test method for assessing the resistance of paint coatings to separation from substrates
  • ISO 2808 – Standard test method for measuring the thickness of coatings applied to a substrate

Concrete & Steel

Concrete and steel are some of the most durable products on earth, but even the strongest substances have weak points. At Benchmark
International, we offer a menu of concrete and steel test services in accordance with rigorous building codes, performance standards and
evaluation service requirements. Examples of current tests offered include, but are not limited to:

  • ASTM A370 – Standard test method and definition for mechanical testing of steel products
  • ASTM A970 – Standard specification for headed steel bars for concrete reinforcement
  • ASTM A1034 – Standard test methods for testing mechanical splices for steel reinforcing bars
  • ASTM E8 – Standard test method for tension testing of metallic materials
  • ASTM E18 – Standard test method for Rockwell hardness of metallic materials
  • ICC-ES AC13 – Joist hangers and similar devices
  • ICC-ES AC133 – Mechanical splice systems for steel reinforcing bars
  • ICC-ES AC347 – Headed deformed bars for use with 2018, 2015, 2012 I-codes

Product Performance Testing

For those who seek to optimize performance, differentiate their products in the marketplace, or simply have compliance peace of mind, product performance testing offers a means to put your products through their paces to verify they comply with applicable standards, specifications, or regulatory requirements. Want to know how you stack up against the competition or if your products still support your claims? Performance testing might be the ticket to achieving the edge you need.

Combined with our other test capabilities, Benchmark offers a variety of product performance test services in accordance with some of the most stringent and widely recognized product standards in the world including, but not limited to:

  • ANSI A208.1: American National Standard for Particleboard – Defines requirements and test methods for dimensional tolerances, physical and mechanical properties, and formaldehyde emission standards for particleboard
  • ANSI A208.2: American National Standard for Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) for Interior Applications – Defines requirements and test methods for dimensional tolerances, physical and mechanical properties, and formaldehyde emissions for medium density fiberboard
  • ANSI/HPVA HP-1: American National Standard for Hardwood and Decorative Plywood – Specifies requirements and test methods for plywood produced primarily from hardwoods
  • NALFA LF-01: Laminate Flooring Specifications and Test Methods – Defines performance criteria and test methods applicable to laminate flooring
  • UBC Standard 23-1: Classification, Definition and Methods of Grading for All Species of Lumber
  • UBC Standard 23-2: Construction and Industrial Plywood
  • U.S. Department of Commerce Standard PS 1: Structural Plywood – Standards and test methods for plywood intended for structural (i.e. load bearing) use
  • U.S. Department of Commerce Standard PS 2: Performance Standard for Wood Structural Panels – Performance-based standards and test methods applicable to wood-based structural-use panels such as plywood, OSB, and mat-formed or other composite panels

Do you have a special test requirement or unique end use that is not covered by the traditional set of product standards and test methods? Please contact us! Benchmark will work with you to tailor a test regimen to effectively evaluate your product’s performance, highlight its strengths, and identify potential opportunities for improvement.

Environmental Testing

When you need to understand how well your products can stand up to the elements, Benchmark International offers a wide array of environmental testing options. Our laboratory is equipped with state-of-the-art environmental equipment designed to help determine how your products perform when exposed to extreme temperatures, humidity, moisture and more.

The range of equipment capabilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Environmental chambers:
    • –   -30º C (-22ºF) to 170º C (338º F), 20% RH – 90% RH
    • –   20º C (69º F), 90% RH
  • Conditioning rooms:
    • –   10º C (50º F) t o 35º C (95º F), 30% – 90% RH
    • –   20º C (68º F), 80% RH
    • –   25º C (77º F), 50% RH
  • Continuous or intermittent wetting and re-dry

The bottom line? No matter your need, Benchmark International is poised to deliver what you need. Contact us to learn how we can help.