This project is a response to the need for a systematic investigation of the accuracy, precision, reproducibility and weaknesses of the current EN testing standards for refractories and to enhance their relevance, especially to the specific needs of the SMEs.
The central objective of this project is to improve, promote and ensure the reliability, precision and efficiency of the current European testing standards which form the base of the technical data sheets for refractory products. Up-to-date EN testing standards will promote the visibility of the European refractory production and therefore increase the competitiveness of the European SME refractory producers.
An extensive investigation of the current EN testing methods, designs of experiments and interlaboratory tests, more specifically collaborative tests, involving the major European refractory testing laboratories will be the key approach to attain this objective.
The purpose of the interlaboratory collaborative tests is to test the performance of the testing methods in the hands of the typical users. Thanks to designs of experiments and collaborative tests the reliability of the actual European standards can be assessed and their shortcomings identified and subsequently improved. The expertise gained throughout the whole project aims not only to strengthen the quality of the current EN testing standards but also to promote a sound base and methodology for the development of future standards for the refractory products.
To ensure a successful review of the EN testing standards and an effective dissemination of the project results a strong and broad-based cooperation between transnational partners is crucial. For this purpose, the PRE (only European SME-AG for the refractory industry) brings together the most active European testing laboratories and SMEs to conduct a large scale and in-depth study of EN testing standards. Under the umbrella of the PRE, the national SME-AG will be involved in the project and will actively participate in the dissemination of the results. Special attention is required to address the interests of SMEs as potential users of standards. SMEs-associations are the natural organization to defend the interest of the SMEs.