Testing is a vital tool for the construction industry which is constantly faced with the demands of quality, durability and cost-effectiveness. Testing programmes ensure that materials will perform to their design requirements. There is an increasing demand for standard and non-standard tests for materials and structures. However, the planning, implementation and operation of a testing programme together with the collection and interpretation of data is no simple task. It is essential that the programme is established to provide answers to relevant questions and when the data has been analysed, that the correct action has been taken. This series will deal with all materials of any import in construction. By building on a broad base, it will be possible for the reader to extract information on a specific topic or to gain a general appreciation of the requirements in testing programmes. A most useful part of these volumes will be to identify the tests and indicate where they might be used, or not, as the case may be. This first volume is an introduction to the subject presenting information and guidance which is also applicable to all subsequent volumes.
In addition to a brief history of the subject, the authors deal with issues of fundamental importance, including laboratory planning, quality control and handling data. As a stand-alone volume, it presents a concise appreciation of this important aspect of construction - as part of the series, it forms the foundation of a valuable guide to good practice.