ICPA - For Architects and Builders: ANSI/ICPA Performance Standard for Solid Surface Materials
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ANSI/ICPA Performance Standard for Solid Surface Materials

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 18, 2001

Contact: Timothy R. Rugh
(703) 610-9034
trugh@icpa-hq.org

ICPA Endorses Certification Program for Solid Surface Materials

McLean, Virginia – The International Cast Polymer Association (ICPA) today endorsed the first independent, third party certification program for solid surface materials designed to assure consumers – from homeowners and builders to architects and remodelers – of the performance of solid surface materials they select and use. Solid surface materials are one of the fastest growing and most versatile materials, used primarily in kitchen countertops and bath products. A material with virtually unlimited variety in shape, color, and texture, solid surface is also growing in other commercial, retail, and residential applications, such as wall panels, windowsills, and other architectural products.

The new third party certification program was developed to show that a manufacturer’s products have been tested and verified by a professional, independent laboratory to meet or exceed the performance requirements of the new American National Standards Institute (ANSI) national consensus standard for solid surface materials, Performance Standard for Solid Surface Materials (ANSI/ICPA SS-1-2001). The new ANSI national standard establishes the test methods pertaining to the structure, water resistance, colorfastness, stain resistance, cleanability, and other significant properties, including the ability to be fabricated with inconspicuous seams and to be restored to its original finish. In addition, there are general requirements of materials and workmanship and finish. ANSI/ICPA SS-1-2001 establishes a common set of performance criteria for the benefit of manufacturers, fabricators, architects, specifiers, consumers and others that manufacture, specify or use solid surface materials.

Key requirements of the voluntary certification program include an in-plant qualification inspection, product sampling and testing, and verification of a sound quality control program. The qualification process is followed up by periodic in-plant inspections, product sampling and testing by the third party organization. The qualification inspection is an independent audit of the manufacturer’s quality control program and includes a random selection of product for testing from the manufacturing facility’s finished goods inventory. Randomly selected solid surface materials will be subjected to ‘full series’ testing to all provisions of ANSI/ICPA SS-1-2001. Material selected will adequately represent the variety of materials the manufacturer produces.

The manufacturing facility must also have a written quality control program that includes, at minimum, a quality check of incoming raw materials and in-process manufacturing process control and finished product quality checks.

Once each year during the follow up inspection, randomly selected products are selected to undergo the full series test. Between the full series evaluation inspections, randomly selected product will undergo ‘short series’ testing which includes Point Impact, Colorfastness and Aging, Stain Resistance, Heated Pan, and Ability to be Renewed as specified in ANSI/ICPA SS-1-2001.

Products that meet the requirements of ANSI/ICPA SS-1-2001 may be marked or labeled to indicate the product passes the standard and meets the proposed HUD Use of Materials Bulletin # 104, subject to provisions of the independent laboratory’s licensing agreement.

To obtain endorsement of a voluntary certification program by ICPA, third party independent laboratories must demonstrate professional competency by being accredited or listed for the scope of testing required by the new ANSI standard by one of the following accrediting agencies:

Building Officials and Code Administrators, International Evaluation Service (BOCA-ES), International Conference of Building Officials Evaluation Service (ICBO-ES), Southern Building Code Congress International Public Safety and Evaluation Service (SBCCI PS&ES), National Evaluation Service (NES), International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials Research and Testing (IAPMO R&T), National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP), or American Association of Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA).

The laboratories also must have the capability to manage the inspection and testing process, compile periodic summary reports showing aggregated testing data for evaluation by industry representatives, participate in inter-laboratory round-robin testing as needed, and cooperate in evaluating trends in testing data and general improvements in industry production practices. The laboratories must also be independent from ownership by or partnership with any other listing agencies or code bodies.

The following independent testing laboratories are currently endorsed by ICPA: Industrial Testing Laboratories, Inc., Maryland Heights, Missouri; NAHB - Research Center, Inc., Upper Marlboro, Maryland; SGS U.S. Testing Company, Inc., Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Universal Laboratory, Inc., Garland, Texas.

ANSI/ICPA SS-1-2001 was recently approved by ANSI as the industry’s first national consensus standard for solid surface materials. The new national standard was developed by ICPA and a representative group of producers, users and others in accordance with the ANSI canvass method. The new national standard establishes a common set of performance criteria for the benefit of manufacturers, fabricators, architects, specifiers, consumers and others in the growing solid surface marketplace. The new ANSI national standard reflects the consensus of key producers, users and other materials experts based on more than two years of work. ICPA began groundwork on the new standard in 1993.

Founded in 1974, ICPA is the nonprofit trade association representing manufacturers, suppliers, fabricators, and installers of cultured marble and solid surface products used in the kitchen and bath industry. ICPA is dedicated to promoting recognition and demand for cast polymer products, representing the industry on legislative and regulatory issues, and maintaining high standards of quality in cast polymer products.

For background information on the development of the new standard, visit the ICPA web site at or contact ICPA headquarters at 8201 Greensboro Drive, Suite 300, McLean, VA 22102; phone: (703) 610-9034; fax: (703) 610-9005; e-mail: icpa@icpa-hq.org; information hotline and fax-on-demand service: 1 (800) 414-4272.

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