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The LBTP laboratory : Construction and Public Works

CETEMCO’s LBTP laboratory (French acronym for Laboratory of Building/Construction and Public works) was created in order to address the fields of construction, engineering structures and roads. Its activities tackle soil and its characteristics, aggregates, cement, concrete material and its applications, terra cotta and ceramic.

It provides construction players (public works companies, real estate developers, engineering design offices, etc.) with the means and methods to assist them in monitoring their construction projects and soil studies, expert assessments, materials approval and concrete quality monitoring. It also offers services for industrial production (aggregates, ready-mix concrete and concrete products), such as performing compliance test for the standards within the production monitoring process or within the NM certification process.

The CETEMCO construction and public works laboratory is ISO 17025 certified for a very large range of tests.


An aggregate is made of a set of mineral grains with a diameter between 0 and 125 mm. According to its size, it belongs to one of the 7 following families:

▶ Fillers;
▶ Sands;
▶ Fine sands
▶ Gravels;
▶ Fine Gravels;
▶ Ballast;
▶ Riprap.

Aggregates are extracted from sand deposits and gravel of land or marine alluvial origin. They are obtained by crushing massive rocks (limestone, eruptive), or by recycling products from demolition work.

Their nature, shape and characteristics vary according to the deposits and production methods.

In order to guarantee an optimal exploitation of aggregates in concrete construction or in wearing courses, CETEMCO’s LBTP laboratory offers its customers a variety of tests: physical, mechanical and chemical tests on aggregates.
CETEMCO also offers special tests to control concrete durability.


1- Geotechnical identification tests and in-situ tests:

Geotechnical identification consists in determining all the parameters relating to the nature and the state of diverse types of soils.
It is a physical, chemical and mechanical characterization of the soil. For this purpose, the CETEMCO BTP laboratory offers various services such as:

▶ Density determination in the state of loose soil;
▶ Rocky soils bulk density determination
▶Atterberg limits measurement
▶Argillosity analysis
▶ Quantity determination of sulfates, chlorides…;
▶ pH and acidity determination
▶ Permeability measurement;
▶ Cohesion and friction angle measurement
▶ Compressive strength of rocks determination
▶ Determination of the extent of soils by compaction (Proctor and CBR);
▶ Measurement of soil in-situ density and compaction index

2- Geotechnical studies and pavement design :

CETEMCO’s BTP laboratory has the skills to intervene in the different missions of geotechnical reconnaissance (Mission GI), dimensioning and design of foundations (Mission G2), execution of geotechnical works’supervision and monitoring (Mission G3 and G4), in compliance with the standard NFP 94-500 of November 2013.
CETEMCO’s geotechnical engineers carry-out geotechnical studies of pavements and retaining walls dimensioning. They are also involved in slope stability studies.
The BTP laboratory intervenes in geotechnical studies in accordance with the NFP 94-500 standard in particular in:

▶ Geotechnical reconnaissance (Mission G1);
▶ Foundations design and dimensioning (Mission G2);
▶ Monitoring of the execution of geotechnical works (Mission G3 and G4).


In a construction project, ready-mix concrete or concrete manufactured on site has to comply with mandatory regulatory and normative requirements.

In this respect, CETEMCO provides its customers with a variety of tests allowing to ensure the quality follow-up and check the concrete’s compliance in fresh and hardened state either in factory, on site or in the laboratory.
In order to support its customers in their product’s quality control and avoid all types of anomalies or disorders affecting the works in the short, medium or long term, CETEMCO offers several tests on concrete (physical, chemical and mechanical) such as:

▶ Concrete workability control through fresh concrete slump test;
▶ Temperature of fresh concrete measurment
▶ Occluded air content of fresh concrete measurement
▶ Making concrete specimens for laboratory testing;
▶ Measurement of fresh and hardened concrete density
▶ Hardened concrete compressive strength measurement
▶ Hardened concrete flexural strength measurement
▶ Measurement of compressive strength on concrete cores;
▶ Measurement of water absorption on concrete specimens;
▶ Non-destructive testing on reinforced concrete structural members.

Concrete products and masonry elements

CETEMCO is involved in compliance verification of concrete products and masonry elements in respect of regulations and standards of mandatory application.
Whether you are a manufacturer, a client, an architect or a subcontractor, our services cover tests on concrete products, clay bricks as well as other masonry elements. This provides support for manufacturers on products certification as well as guidance for referrers and users when choosing products suited to their project.
CETEMCO’s BTP laboratory offers its expertise through the following tests:

Measurement of dimensional characteristics and configuration:
▶ Walls and partitions Widths, heights, lengths and thicknesses
▶ Percentage of voids;
▶ Flatness of laying surfaces, combined thicknesses…).

Mechanical testing:
▶ Compressive strength measurement
▶ Flexural strength measurement

Physical tests.
▶ Porosity measurement
▶ Water absorption measurement by capillarity
▶ Absolute and bulk density measurement
▶ Thermal conductivity measurement
▶ Dimensional change measurement
▶ Deep abrasion measurement…

Expertise and diagnosis

The BTP laboratory also aims to offer optimal solutions for rehabilitation, repair or reinforcement for structures’ safeguarding.
Its engineers and technicians are involved in diagnosing pathologies in buildings and roadways, verification of structures’ condition, anomalies and disorders analysis as well as the determination of the materials’ intrinsic characteristics.

The diagnosis and expertise procedure is based on:

▶ Comprehensive report of disorders affecting the works;
▶ Identification of the load-bearing structure and materials used in the constructions
▶ Detection and measurement of reinforcement coatings by electromagnetic methods;
▶Concrete strength and quality evaluation by non-destructive testing (Sclerometer analysis, dynamic testing, …) ;
▶ Concrete homogeneity verification by Ultrasonic Pulse Velocity (UPV) test;
▶ Verification of reinforcement’s state of corrosion by non-destructive testing based on electrochemical methods;
▶ Determination of the causes of disorders and definition of vulnerability factors;
▶ Facade pull-off test
▶ Recommendations and safety measures proposal.