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More than two-thirds of TMT bar brands fail quality tests: Study

More than two-thirds of TMT bar brands fail quality tests: Study

New Delhi: In what could be a blow to the construction sector, 18 out of 26 TMT bar brands in the country failed on quality parameters in sample tests, according to a report released by an infra think tank Wednesday. The findings come at a time when India has accorded the highest priority to infrastructure with an estimated spending of Rs 5.97 lakh crore in the sector during 2018-19, up by over Rs 1 lakh crore from the last fiscal.

"We analysed 66 TMT bars samples manufactured by 26 brands. And as the results are now out, of 26 brands, 18 brands have failed as phosphorous and combinations of sulphur and phosphorous were higher than required quantity," the report by First Construction Council said, questioning if India's infrastructure investment was at risk.

This indicates, how even renowned players spending plenty on advertising have failed to clear basic research test. To become a quality reinforcement bars (Rebar) called as TMT bars, all the chemical and physical parameters are to be according to standards as failure even on a single parameter means that safety standards are being compromised, the report mentioned.

The FIRST Construction Council (FCC) claims to be an infrastructure think-tank, focused on providing latest updates on the construction industry in India. The FCC in a statement said while a lot has been researched, written and spoken about raw materials, there is hardly any research available on reinforcement bars (ReBars) also known as thermo-mechanically-treated (TMT) bars.

Rebars form the backbone of any construction, be it the foundation, column, beam or the slab in any RCC structure. The quality of rebars used in any structure is critical to the overall quality of the structure.

FCC President Pratap Padode said, "We had taken different diameter samples of similar grade (Fe500). Though classification can be done on diameter basis, a very interesting factor emerged from the test results. While all primary players managed to get positive results, many secondary players failed."

He said in the retail segment, usually TMT bars of 8 mm, 12 mm and 20 mm are widely used and it was decided to test all the brands that have a presence in these diameter categories besides rebars of other diameters as well.

"While all samples collected from primary players like SAIL, RINL, Tata, JSPL, JSW and Electrotherm managed to maintain the quality benchmark, most different diameter samples from secondary players failed to meet the requirements," the report outlined.

A leading developer, who wished not be quoted, said 18 brands which failed to meet the parameters should be asked to take extraordinary steps to come up to expectations instead of "promoting" only eight brands, the prices of which are already higher.

L&T Infrastructure Development Projects Ltd CEO Shailesh Pathak pointed out that there should be some scientific method for ascertaining the quality of construction material like aggregates and said unavailability of sand was also posing a problem.

"Use of raw materials in the infrastructure project is paramount, which provides inherent strength to any infrastructure project. However, recent accidents, whether it is Kolkata bridge fall, a foot over bridge collapse and caving-in of a car parking wall in Mumbai indicates that there is a dire need for the better quality raw material to enhance the life of concrete," the FCC highlighted.

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