Material testing laboratories Unit (MTLU)

Material testing laboratories Unit (MTLU)

Materials Testing Laboratories Unit has the mission of guaranteeing the quality of materials before use, for meeting standard safety requirements. In compliance with national or international standards, Materials Testing Laboratories test the quality of various imported goods and locally manufactured products against the requirements of the standards. In addition to national standards, the laboratory has a broad range of international test methods such as EAS, ISO, ARSO ASTM, IEC, IEEE, EN, DIN and BSI standards, among others. Like other RSB Laboratories, MTLU provides material product conformity assessment test services to support RSB certification services and national regulators, for example RICA, REMA, RURA, etc. MTLU services are open to individuals or private companies that need to check their compliance with standard requirements. The laboratory is managed in accordance with ISO/IEC 17025 General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories. MTLU strives to ensure consumer safety, protection, and trade promotion in line with the mission of RSB.

Since 2011, MTLU has been progressively expanding its testing capability by choosing technological testing solutions that increase customer confidence in test results. That is the reason why most of testing equipment used, are software controlled and designed following international standard test methods.

Even though construction materials samples are the most frequently brought by customers, MTLU testing capacity goes beyond to cover: Polymers such as Environmental complying packaging materials, condoms, paints, mattresses, paper products such as books, paper bags, hygienic papers, textile and leather, improved biomass cook stove, solid biomass fuel, electrical, and electronics products such as electrical cables, photo voltaic solar panels, electrical batteries, and safety protective equipment.

The Unit has in place Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) facilities, which are modern techniques where materials are tested without causing damage, and can still be used if found to meet standards requirements. These include; X-ray spectroscopy, color spectroscopy, ultrasonic material thickness determination, ultrasonic inspection of material defect, and weld inspection.

MTLU strives to continually meet customer satisfaction; where possible, customers can propose test methods and researchers are free to bring samples and suggest test methods on their own in order to validate their research works.

Testing Laboratory’s capability has given priority to safety: Real estate infrastructure, food processing equipment, food packaging material, and environmentally-complying materials.

MTLU Sections, Analysis scope and Capabilities

The entire scope is currently covered by the following Materials Testing laboratories:

Civil Engineering laboratory

This laboratory tests the following products: 

  • Cement

  • Roofing sheets

  • Cement blocks and bricks

  • Paving blocks

  • Burnt bricks and blocks

  • Clay roofing tiles

  • Concrete 

  • Sand

  • Plastic pipes

  • Floor tiles

  • Paints and coatings


  • Cement standard consistency

  • Cement soundness

  • Cement loss on ignition

  • Cement chloride content

  • Cement sulfate content

  • Compressive strength and/or flexural strength of cement (2days /7days/28 days)

  • Base metal thickness of roofing sheets

  • Metal coating mass: Zinc and Al-Zn

  • Dimensional test of roofing sheets and gauge thickness identification

  • Dimensional test of steel plates 

  • Compressive strength of bricks, blocks

  • Dimensional test of bricks, blocks, and roofing tile

  • Flexural strength building and construction materials

  • Particle size distribution of sand by sieve analysis 

  • Compressive strength of concrete cubes and cylinders

  • Hydrostatic pressure test of plastic pipes

  • Tensile test of plastics materials and roofing sheets

  • Heat reversion

  • Compression test and ring stiffness test of plastics materials 

  • Organic coating thickness on the material

  • Resistance to abrasion of coated material

  • Water absorption of building and construction materials

  • Moisture content of building and construction materials

  • Load test of assemblies

Polymers and textile laboratory

This laboratory tests the following products:


  • Mattress

  • Leather materials

  • Papers products

  • Papers and boards as packaging materials

  • Textile

  • Plastics

  • Paint


  • Freedom from holes in condoms

  • Bursting volume of condoms

  • Bursting pressure of condoms

  • Dimensions of condoms

  • Lubricant content in condoms

  • Pack seal integrity of condoms

  • Tensile properties of leather and textiles

  • Tear resistance of leather and textiles

  • Density of leather

  • Dimensional test of polymers, leather, and textile

  • Fabric weight/grammage

  • Fiber composition of cellulosic and non-cellulosic based materials

  • Colorfastness to washing, rubbing, weathering, lighting

  • Color identification

  • Bursting strength and bursting index of packaging materials

  • Elmendorf tear strength of packaging materials

  • Melt Flow index of plastic materials

  • Degradation end point test of plastic materials

  • Insoluble polymeric- plastic residues

  • Regulated Heavy metals in plastics

  • Heat reversion of plastics

  • Surface quality of packaging materials by friction coefficient test

  • Gurley air permeability test on paper packaging materials

  • Water absorptiveness by Cobb test on packaging materials

  • Mattress density

  • Mattress tensile strength

  • Mattress tear strength

  • Mattress dimension

  • Specific gravity/density of paint

  • Drying time of paints

  • Nonvolatile and volatile matter

  • pH of paint

  • Fineness of paint

  • Heavy metals in paint

  • Gloss value on coatings

  • Resistance to abrasion

  • Hardness of organic coating(paints)

  • Resistance to water penetration of waterproofing materials

“RSB services are delivered in consideration of gender equality to ensure inclusive sustainable socio-economic development”