Material Test Report
What is a Material Test Report (MTR)?
A MTR is a quality assurance document that is used in most metal-making industries which certifies a material's compliance to certain specifications or standards. MTR may also stand for Mill Test Report; companies and industries may have different methods for formatting and categorizing MTRs, as there are different governing standards for different material industries. Regardless of how a material is being produced or how an MTR is prepared and described, the following describes common aspects that are expected from all MTRs:
An ASTM/ASME/UNS standard for US suppliers.
In the case of foreign MTRs, there are specifications which certain countries follow, such as: EN for European Nation, JN for for Japanese Nation, and ISO for International Standards Organization. As most foreign suppliers are used by US companies/industires, most foreign MTRs should have a cross-reference to similar US alloys and/or specifications.
Physical description, including dimensions and weight of heat or batch number that the document is referring to.
Chemical composition specification of the heat or batch number that the document is reffering to.
Mechanical properties of specimen(s) from the heat or batch number that the document is referring to.
Why is material traceability important?
Material traceability provides "positive proof" verification to not only the customer and their contractor(s), but also to all of the governing bodies and inspection agencies that must verify that the project meets government safety specification and code requirements.
When are MTRs needed?
As an example, construction projects often require MTRs for materials used on the construction site. US regulations demand compliance to material certifications from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) for material parts installed on pressure-retaining components in boilers, pressure vessels, and pressure piping. Certain industrial applications require 3rd party verification of material composition and mechanical properties as well. Material traceability is vital to every application of structural or function-critical material use, as it mitigates the risk of premature component failure(s) or unexpected material performance due to misinformation regarding the actual material that was used in a certain application.
Why are 3rd party MTRs needed?
In the current US market, there is an enormous amount of material being used from foreign suppliers; not 100% of these foreign material manufacturers is honest when it comes to reporting actual chemical composition and mechanical property data of the material that their MTR certifies. There is the possibility that an MTR for your material was falsified or slightly changed in order for a supplier to be able to purchase it (and maintain compliance with governing standards and specifications) and then sell it to your company. 3rd party material verification is the way to get accurate, reliable test results of component's chemical composition and mechanical properties, as a 3rd party has no vested interest in not reporting material test results which may fail to meet specification requirements. A replacement MTR can also be provided for misplaced MTRs. This again will assure the material is of proper quality for the application.
How do I get an MTR?
This should be given with the purchase of your material and should be supplied by the seller. If they are not supplying MTRs with the purchase of the material, you may every right to ask that they be supplied. In this type of situation, you may also have to ask that product material is clearly identified with the heat or batch number, in order to reflect that the proper MTR was supplied for the product material being purchased. Most companies that are in the business of supplying material are completely aware of MTRs and the role that these documents play in quality control and assurance.