Providing worldwide interlaboratory testing since 1971


New to the Metals Program?

If your laboratory is planning to subscribe to the Fasteners and Metals Interlaboratory Testing Program, you may have questions about how the program works. This "how-to" guide for metals labs is designed to answer many of those questions.

How it Works

Testing samples are manufactured from one source and distributed to participants for concurrent testing.  The laboratories test the samples and return the results to CTS on or before a data due date. CTS analyzes the data and compiles the information into a report that is distributed to the participants.

Getting Started

The Metals Program operates on a quarterly schedule. Full year tests are conducted either during the 1st and 3rd quarters or the 2nd and 4th quarters of the year. Most tests adhere to this schedule; however, some tests are only available once per year. The Fasteners and Metals Program Schedule illustrates the test distribution and other pertinent information. 

Our Materials

CTS works with industry suppliers to select relevant samples that are commonly seen in the metals testing industry to ensure laboratory familiarity with the chosen material and that testing processes simulate "real world" applications.

Your Samples

The sample package you receive contains testing materials and data reporting sheets on which test results are returned to CTS. The Metals Specific Testing Instructions are conveniently located on the CTS Portal. The Fasteners and Metals Interlaboratory Testing Program adheres to the ASTM or equivalent test methods for each property and for sample conditioning and preconditioning. Test instructions contain amendments and additions to the test method to ensure that results from all participating laboratories may be intercompared.

Submitting Your Results

Test results can be submitted to CTS through our convenient Online Portal, mail, or fax. The CTS Portal offers a secure and dependable method for your laboratory to electronically submit testing results directly to CTS. All testing results must be submitted to CTS by the data due date for inclusion in the report. The data due date is typically 6 weeks after the samples are shipped and will be printed on the data sheets.


Once the data is returned from each lab the results are compiled and an analysis is performed for each test. CTS uses a bivariate analysis technique to judge measurement performance on both samples simultaneously. Using this method CTS generates an ellipse to visually display consensus statistics for each test. For more information on the analysis used by CTS, please refer to the Guide to Interpreting Individual Reports.

Performance Analysis Report

Following completion of the data analysis, CTS prepares and sends an Individual Performance Report by e-mail to a Primary Contact designated by you. In addition, CTS uploads your report to the Online Portal where the Primary Contact may access it at any time. Everything within each report is tailored specifically for your lab, including the data and charts.

Web Summary Report

CTS also publishes a Web Summary Report that allows labs to view the results for all participants in each test. CTS randomly generates temporary "WebCodes" to protect the confidentiality of results displayed in the summary report. The WebCodes are unique to each test and are not permanently associated with a specific participant. Web Summary Reports from prior years can be found on the Metals Summary Report page.

Quality Manager Report

For those companies that have multiple locations and several labs participating in the CTS Fasteners and Metals Program, CTS created a Quality Manager Report. This customized report is prepared for the Quality Manager and designed to allow for the easy comparison of multiple laboratory's results in a single report. Please contact the Metals Program manager via e-mail for more information about our Quality Manager Report.

Still have questions?

We would like to hear from you! Call 571-434-1925 or e-mail 

Updated: 24 May 2017

Copyright © CTS, Inc., 2018

Collaborative Testing Services, Inc.
P.O. Box 650820, Sterling, Virginia, USA 20165-0820
Phone: 1-571-434-1925