Metal Casting Technology Station accredited as an ISO/IEC 17025 testing and calibration laboratory

Scope of accreditation focusses on metallurgical and mechanical testing of ferrous and non-ferrous metals.

The Metal Casting Technology Station (MCTS) at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) has announced that they have been accredited as an ISO/IEC 17025 testing and calibration laboratory for metallurgical and mechanical testing with a specific emphasis in the foundry industry.

The facility is accredited in accordance with the recognised International Standard ISO/IEC 17025:2005. The accreditation demonstrates technical competency for a defined scope and the operation of a quality management system. While this certificate remains valid, the accredited facility is authorised to use the relevant accreditation symbol to issue facility reports and/or certificates.

“This is a major achievement for the MCTS. The ISO/IEC 17025 general requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories is the main ISO standard used by testing and calibration laboratories. In most countries, ISO/IEC 17025 is the standard for which most labs must hold accreditation in order to be deemed technically competent,” explained Kulani Mageza, Station Manager at the MCTS.

The Metal Casting Technology Station has been accredited as an ISO/IEC 17025 testing and calibration laboratory. The scope of accreditation focusses on metallurgical and mechanical testing of ferrous and non-ferrous metals, including hardness testing (Vickers and Micro-Vickers)

“ISO/IEC 17025 enables laboratories to demonstrate that they operate competently and generate valid results, thereby promoting confidence in their work both nationally and around the world. It also helps facilitate cooperation between laboratories and other bodies by generating wider acceptance of results between countries. Test reports and certificates can be accepted from one country to another without the need for further testing, which, in turn, improves international trade,” added Mageza.

“The scope of our accreditation includes tensile (Room temperature up to 600kN upper yield, 0.2%, proof stress Ultimate Tensile Strength (UTS) elongation and reduction area) testing and hardness testing (Vickers and Micro-Vickers) for both ferrous and non-ferrous metals on the mechanical side. On the metallurgical side we are accredited for cast iron analysis (ASTM A247:2006 and EN ISO 945:2005) and spectrographic analysis (ASTM E350:2012 and ASTM A751:2007), excluding nitrogen.”

ISO/IEC 17025:2005 specifies the general requirements for the competence to carry out tests and/or calibrations, including sampling. It covers testing and calibration performed using standard methods, non-standard methods, and laboratory-developed methods.

It is applicable to all organisations performing tests and/or calibrations. These include, for example, first, second and third-party laboratories, and laboratories where testing and/or calibration forms part of inspection and product certification.

ISO/IEC 17025:2005 is applicable to all laboratories regardless of the number of personnel or the extent of the scope of testing and/or calibration activities. When a laboratory does not undertake one or more of the activities covered by ISO/IEC 17025:2005, such as sampling and the design/development of new methods, the requirements of those clauses do not apply.

ISO/IEC 17025:2005 is for use by laboratories in developing their management system for quality, administrative and technical operations. Laboratory customers, regulatory authorities and accreditation bodies may also use it in confirming or recognising the competence of laboratories. ISO/IEC 17025:2005 is not intended to be used as the basis for certification of laboratories.

ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation is the single most important standard for calibration and testing laboratories around the world. ISO 17025 accredited laboratories have demonstrated that they are technically proficient and able to produce precise and accurate test and calibration data. This is a voluntary, third party-reviewed process that ensures a laboratory’s quality management system is thoroughly evaluated on a regular basis to guarantee continued technical competence and compliance with ISO 17025.

Laboratory accreditation bodies use the ISO 17025 standard specifically to assess factors relevant to a laboratory’s ability to produce precise, accurate test and calibration data including:

• Traceability of measurements and calibrations to national standards
• Technical competence of staff
• Maintenance of test equipment
• Quality assurance of test and calibration data
• Validity and appropriateness of test methods
• Appropriate handling and transportation of test items
• Quality of testing environment and sampling

To ensure continued compliance, accredited laboratories are regularly re-assessed to check that they are maintaining their standard of technical expertise. These laboratories are also required to participate in regular proficiency testing programs as an ongoing demonstration of their competence.

How does this benefit you as the customer?
ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation helps you minimise risk by ensuring that you are choosing a technically competent lab that has a sound quality system in place. This also allows you to avoid expensive retesting, which enhances your confidence in our product by assuring that it has been thoroughly evaluated by an independent, competent testing or calibration laboratory that has been assessed by a third party.

On the metallurgical side the MCTS are accredited for cast iron analysis and spectrographic analysis

What is the difference between ISO 9001 and ISO 17025?
For instance, the requirements of ISO 9001:2015 on resources and processes are general for any industry, whereas ISO 17025:2005 is more specific and detailed for testing and calibration laboratories.

The Metal Casting Technology Station at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) is an initiative of the Department of Science and Technology (now the Department of Science and Innovation – DSI), and is managed through the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA). The MCTS focuses on the casting of ferrous and non-ferrous metals, sand technology, metallurgical testing and failure analysis, additive manufacturing and mechanical alloy of ultra-hard materials and the station’s primary mandates are technology transfer and capacity building.

The MCTS is hosted in the Research and Innovation division of the University of Johannesburg on the Doornfontein Campus. The MCTS supports and assists the metal casting industry, including foundries, suppliers and related industries, to improve the sectors innovation ability for increased competitiveness and sustainability, with a focus on physical metallurgy, moulding technology, foundry technology and support services.

“By becoming accredited to ISO/IEC 17025, the MCTS automatically became affiliated to the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC), which means its reports are recognised internationally,” finished Mageza.

For further details contact the Metal Casting Technology Station on TEL: 011 559 6952/011 559 6019 or email address