CE Marking assured with factory-produced mortars
Specifiers and contractors wanting to ensure mortars and screeds being used on their projects comply to CE marking criteria should only be using factory-produced materials. This is the message from the Mortar Industry Association (MIA), one year on from the introduction of the CE marking regulations.
Chairman of the MIA marketing group, David Stewart, said: 'In the case of MIA members, we have decided to produce products to a guaranteed minimum strength or to defined mix proportions as required by current standards. In order to fulfill these requirements, membership companies take regular samples for testing and analysis to ensure compliance. This record then becomes part of a formal Factory Production Control (FPC) system where complete traceability can be checked and monitored.
'The above scenario is satisfactory when our customer base is buying our MIA factory-mixed products whether they be wet ready-to-use, silo-delivered or pre-batched lime:sand. The issue, however, is that specifiers, clients and main contractors are faced with major logistical challenges before they can demonstrate compliance to this standard when they start site mixing.'
To achieve CE marking - arising from the introduction in July 2013 of the Construction
Products Regulations in the UK - a producer is required to make a Declaration of Performance (DOP). This is data based and will always relate back to initial type testing and ongoing FPC, although this may well already be available as a result of an historic testing regime. Continuing testing, FPC, is also a requirement. The CE mark demonstrates conformity to a set of requirements as outlined in the DOP and is not a quality mark. It means that a product has been produced in accordance with the relevant 'harmonised' European Standard, BS EN 998 for mortars. In addition, it shows that the product meets the seven basic requirements for construction works: mechanical resistance and stability; safety in case of fire; hygiene, health and the environment; safety and accessibility in use; protection against noise; energy economy and heat retention; and sustainable use of natural resources.
David Stewart again: 'The introduction of CE marking calls for a huge educational and cultural change in the building industry. It’s a challenge to say the least.'