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(Feature) DOST-ITDI promotes quality testing for rubber products

By Ma. Cristina C. Arayata

MANILA, May 14 (PNA) — Rubber shoes and ball… what do they have in common? Both are made of rubber.

There are many things we see every day that are made of rubber, just like the automotive tires.

According to the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the rubber industry is hindered by the lack of testing laboratories and product standards in the Philippines. It added that this is despite the fact that rubber has been part of the country’s commodities for decades, and has actually been helping the economy.

Do we care? DOST does. Through its Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI), it has integrated quality testing services for rubber and rubber-based products.

Because there is lack of testing laboratories and product standards, both consumers and manufacturers deal with the dilemma on defective products. DOST-ITDI cited, as example, the rubber hoses used by oil, gas and liquefied petroleum industries and consumers. This hose, the DOST-ITDI noted, pose huge threat to life and to property. This is a major concern for the industry with regard to safety.

DOST-ITDI saw the need to have standards and testing protocols that ensure rubber products’ adherence to national and global quality standards.

As such, as per Department of Trade and Industry’s Bureau of Product Standards Technical Committee No. 16, the DOST-ITDI became the third-party laboratory and “appropriate agency” offering a complete testing service that permits the product specification. This specification has to be verified prior to issuance of quality mark by an enforcing agency.

Why does DOST-ITDI care to integrate testing services?

Aside from wanting to increase its capability in offering complete laboratory testing services, it also eyes to integrate analytical testing services for manufactured rubber in Standards and Testing Division (STD)-ITDI.

The analytical testing services shall be in accordance with established standards and requirements for DTI issuance of “PS/ICC” quality mark.

How can the rubber industry benefit from this integration?

With the integration, new and upgraded testing facilities and state-of-the-art testing equipment can be built or procured.

Moreover, having the testing facilities at ITDI would mean less samples need to be sent abroad for testing. Thus, this would also lead to save time and money.

DOST-ITDI also cited that with the integration, product standards can now be based on local conditions, while staying in accordance with international standards.

The following sectors will also benefit from the integration of rubber testing services according to DOST-ITDI: infrastructure and transportation sectors, airport management agencies, railroad services authorities, water service companies, manufacturers and distributors of tires, footwear, latex, etc., plus the consumers, of course.

Currently, the ITDI’s rubber testing services include: load test, compression set, tear resistance, stain resistance, hemical/oil swelling test, specific gravity/density, accelerated weathering and compression recovery.

The agency still needs to acquire equipment so it could offer services such as abrasion test, tensile, percent elongation, modulus properties, aging test, International Rubber Hardness Degrees/durometer hardness as well as dimensional test. (PNA)

SCS/MCCA/EDS

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