Two new calibration standards for use with X-ray fluorescence equipment in the chemical analysis of hydraulic cement are now available from the Cement and Concrete Reference Laboratory (CCRL). The new standards are designated Portland Cements 167 and 168 and are vacuum-sealed to prevent moisture uptake.

Robin Haupt, supervisor, CCRL proficiency sample program, says that the two new cements were used in the Portland Cement Proficiency Sample Program, with the data collected from this program being used in establishing certificate values for each. "In selecting these cements as calibration standards, CCRL identified cements that would supplement the current existing standards," says Haupt. "The component percentages of these cements were specially selected for their uniqueness from other cements currently being used in calibrating X-ray fluorescence."

CCRL plans to add four additional calibration standards by April 2009.

The mission of CCRL is improve quality testing in the construction materials industry through laboratory assessments, proficiency samples, instruction, guidance and clarification of ASTM standards in a professional, competent, accurate and consistent manner.

The CCRL is located in the Materials and Construction Research Division of the Building and Fire Research Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, Md. CCRL is a NIST Research Associate Program sponsored by ASTM International, with ASTM Committees C01 on Cement and C09 on Concrete and Concrete Aggregates providing programmatic oversight to CCRL.