Structural failures occur due to a number of reasons. These may include under design, poor workmanship, substandard materials, misleading laboratory tests and lots more. Reinforcing steel bar is an important construction material, hence its properties must be accurately known before being utilized in construction. Understanding this property involves carrying out mechanical tests prior to design and during construction to ascertain correlation using steel testing machine which is usually not readily available due to the location of project. This study was conducted to determine the reliability of reinforcing steel testing machines. Reconnaissance survey was conducted to identify laboratories where yield and ultimate tensile strengths tests can be carried out. Six laboratories were identified within Ibadan and environs. However, only four were functional at the time of the study. Three steel samples were tested for yield and tensile strengths, using a steel testing machine, at each of the four laboratories (LM, LO, LP and LS). The yield and tensile strength results obtained from the laboratories were compared with the manufacturer’s specification using a reliability analysis programme. Structured questionnaire was administered to the operators in each laboratory to consider their impact on the test results. The average value of manufacturers’ tensile strength and yield strength are 673.7 N/mm2 and 559.7 N/mm2 respectively. The tensile strength obtained from the four laboratories LM, LO, LP and LS are given as 579.4, 652.7, 646.0 and 649.9 N/mm2 respectively while their yield strengths respectively are 453.3, 597.0, 550.7 and 564.7 N/mm2. Minimum tensile to yield strength ratio is 1.08 for BS 4449: 2005 and 1.15 for ASTM A615. Tensile to yield strength ratio from the four laboratories are 1.28, 1.09, 1.17 and 1.15 for LM, LO, LP and LS respectively. The tensile to yield strength ratio shows that the result obtained from all the laboratories meet the code requirements used for the test. The result of the reliability test shows varying level of reliability between the manufacturers’ specification and the result obtained from the laboratories. Three of the laboratories; LO, LS and LP have high value of reliability with the manufacturer i.e. 0.798, 0.866 and 0.712 respectively. The fourth laboratory, LM has a reliability value of 0.100. Steel test should be carried out in a laboratory using the same code in which the structural design was carried out. More emphasis should be laid on the importance of code provisions.
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