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Frequently Asked Questions

General

We are located in tal-Ħandaq Industrial Estate, in the village of Qormi in Malta.

Quite close to the airport, we are positioned in the centre of the island. Being in such a strategic location makes it easy for us to be reached.

Solidbase laboratory Ltd.,
Ħandaq Industrial Estate
Qormi
QRM 4000
Malta

Give us a call on +356 21 49 28 07 and we'd be happy to explain how to find us.

Please visit the Contact Us for a map.

Network and website security is something that is on the forefront for our IT team. Rest assured that the site is hosted behind firewalls. These protect our network and website from unauthorized access, ensuring our internal systems are secure. For privacy, data security, and cookie usage, please refer to our Privacy Policy.

Our office opening hours are from 8:00am to 5:00pm, Monday to Friday, and on Saturday by appointment. Our operating hours (times when samples can be taken or tested) are as required by the client, including at night and over weekends. Work outside of normal office hours and on public holidays is required to be organised in advance to ensure technician availability.

There are many ways in which you can contact us as outlined below:

● Call us on +356 21 49 28 07
● Send us an email
● Fill in our contact form
● Request a call back at a time to suit you by using any of the means above
● Write to us at the below address:
      Solidbase laboratory Ltd.,
      Ħandaq Industrial Estate
      Qormi
      QRM 4000
      Malta

Yes, we do. We would seriously consider setting up and getting accredited for a requested test under certain conditions. Also, we have associate accredited labs which enables us to offer a wider range of tests.

If you cannot find the test you’re looking for (go to the materials testing page for a comprehensive list of tests) please contact us and a member of our team will be happy to help and point you in the right direction.

No. We work with individuals, sole traders, and builders, right through to the largest multi-national companies.

Quotations and Orders

Yes, we can. You have several options.

Request a quotation through the contact form or send us a request by email. Simply enter the requested details and a member of our team will come back to you with minimum delay with a tailored quotation.

Not sure exactly what it is you require and could do with some unbiased and impartial advice? We will be happy to help with that too! Just get in touch with us!

We understand that not everyone likes sending emails and have made additional options available. You can speak with a member of our team overt he phone by calling us on +356 21 49 28 07 or get in touch through our contact form. If you don’t have much time you can request a call back at a time to suit you.

You can schedule sampling and testing in a variety of different simple ways as below:

● Speak with a member of our team by calling us on +356 21 49 28 07
● Send us an email
● Send us a message through our contact form
● Request a call back at a time to suit you

We aim to respond to all requests within 24 hours during our regular business hours, 8am–5pm, Monday to Friday.

We are aware that changes happen continually on the construction site. In order to cancel or amend a scheduled booking please choose one of the following options below:

● Speak with a member of our team by calling us on +356 21 49 28 07
● Send us an email
● Send us a message through our contact form

Quotations are generally valid for thirty days from the date of issue.

Should you require an extension to a quotation, this should not be a problem. We can quickly confirm our rates, simply get in touch with us to discuss.

Yes, we can and will try to beat other quotations in most cases. It must be a like-for-like quotation.

If you apply for a quotation through our website you will be asked to provide details of the quotation you would like us to match or beat.

Your custom is very important to us and would like the opportunity to work with you to prove that we are head and shoulders above the rest.

The anwer to this question depends on the nature of the work required.

Concrete and asphalt sampling is carried out as and when the client requests it. Other laboratory sampling and testing is based on a first-come-first-served basis and technician availablility / workload. Having said that we try to be as efficient as possible in tending to our client's needs.

Larger projects such as structural appraisals, geotechnical investigations, and piling jobs have their own first-come-first-served list. Since the duration of such large jobs is greatly affected by unforeseen issues, such as problematic ground conditions and equipment breakdowns, it may be difficult to state when our plant / machinery and staff will be able to mobilise. Needless to say, we always try our best to cut down on waiting time to give our clients the best possible service.

Sampling

Yes, you can. If you are an existing client, please ensure you inform us of the incoming sample delivery.

If you are not an existing client please get in touch with us to organise a quotation and delivery.

Yes, we can. We offer a sample collection service from all over Malta and Gozo. If samples are taken by others, this fact will be reflected in the test report/s.

Yes, we can. We prefer this method as we can ensure the correct sampling procedure has been followed by our trained technicians and in line with European Standards.

Testing

We carry out testing services around the clock at very competitive prices. Our standard operating hours (times when samples can be taken or tested) are as required by the client, including nights, weekends, and public holidays at the director's discretion. Any work outside of standard working hours required to be organised in advance to ensure technician availability.

Yes, we do. We have several concrete cube collection runs that operate every day. This is carried out by our skilled, insured technicians. This way, we can guarantee the safe arrival of your samples to our laboratory on the same day. We can schedule collection of your samples at any time to suit you. This can be done as a one-off or on a regular basis.

Yes, we can. Sampling and testing hardened concrete and asphalt is at the heart of what we do as a business.

We offer full accredited on site concrete and asphalt sampling and testing services which involves.

We can also provide full site investigation services on hardened concrete as follows:
● Diamond drilling (concrete coring), sample preparation, density, and compressive strength
● Pull off test
● Sounding
● Petrographic analysis
● Chloride content
● Sulphate content
● Dampness survey
● Ultrasonic Pulse Velocity (UPV)
● Depth of carbonation
● Schmidt (rebound) hammer survey

And the following tests can be carried out on laid and compacted asphalt:
● Diamond drilling (concrete coring), sample preparation, density
● Theoretical maximum specific gravity
● Marshall testing
● Bitumen content
● Particle size distribution (grading) on mineral aggregate
● Chemical analysis on mineral aggregate

You can read more about our testing services in our materials testing page.

Destructive testing requires the test sample or area to be irreversibly damaged or destroyed during sampling and laboratory testing. An example of destructive testing we offer is diamond drilling which is also known as concrete coring in the construction industry.

This method of testing usually requires core (cylinders) of various diameters to be drilled from the concrete or asphalt with diamond tipped barrels, thus the name diamond drilling. In the case of concrete, the test sample removed is usually tested under compression or by chemical or microscopical analysis to ascertain the material properties, cement content, and much more. When it is asphalt that is tested, density, binder content, mineral aggregate grading, and Marshall testing are usually carried out.

As with destructive testing, there are many variations of non-destructive testing and these do not generally destroy or damage the area of the test. Sounding and Schmidt rebound hammer are commonly used and can give an indication of problems or strength straight away.

All methods discussed above are performed on hardened concrete and usually sampled in-situ on site.

You can read more about our destructive and non-destructive testing services in our materials testing page.

Test Results / Reports

Concrete cube test results are generally made available as soon as they are tested (at the prescribed age), processed and approved. This usually works out at less than two working days from the date of test.

Other laboratory testing is entered into our laboratory management software upon reception on a First-In-First-Out basis. This means that samples are processed in the order of reception. This means that when you will receive your results is much dependent on the laboratory's work load at the time of submission. Having said that, it is in our best interest to process tests as quickly as possible, while still ensuring the quality our clients expect from an accredited laboratory.

When it comes to appraisals, structural and geotechnical investigations, desk studies, and projects of a similar nature, we generally allow 4 to 6 weeks from the end of any associated field works. This timeframe is heavily dependent on the workload present at when the project starts and its size and complexity. In the meantime, we keep contact with the client and/or their architects as soon as filed work and test data become available, preliminary data that may be most important for not halting other works is forwarded without delay, and meetings are held with clients to go through the findings and what the implications on their project may be. Once again, we don't want to hold up reporting any longer than absolutely necessary.

Our test reports are made available in Adobe PDF format as standard. They can be made available in additional formats upon request.

Yes, we can. We hold all information securely in our tailor-made laboratory management system for a minimum of 7 years, as specified in European Norms.

Should you not be able to find a historic test report please contact us and we will have a copy issued to you.

Please be aware we are bound by data protection laws and have strict procedures in place for data request. Only persons / companies who commissioned and paid for a certain test can request a copy of their test results.

We have very secure internal encrypted systems to ensure that only our authorised senior staff are able to access your test data.

We will not supply test or account information digitally, via telephone, or any other method without the account holder’s written consent in advance. All disclosure requests must be submitted by the main account holder and from a registered e-mail address or domain we have stored on file. Disclosure requests are verified prior to authorisation as an added layer of security.

We take data protection very seriously and maintain the integrity of our systems and client information at all times.

Yes, we can. Unfortunately, we are not allowed to amend data via verbal communication received over the telephone. Data change is limited to information not relating to test results.

Our accreditation requires changes be traceable and documented at all times.

Geotechnical Investigations

The allowable bearing capacity describes a ground-structure interaction, therefore, an allowable bearing capacity of the ground per se does not exist. It describes a ground-structure interaction. This depends on both the intact rock and rock mass properties. The latter are difficult to test. Visual observations would generally guide an engineer in reducing the intact rock properties to represent rock mass properties. It also depends on the loading configuration (strip footing, pad footing, concentric, below water level, etc.) and the load magnitude. Certain projects may have other ground engineering issues of which the allowable bearing capacity may not be critical. We keep good contact with the even at the quotation stage in order to discuss project-specific issues.

We can advise you in every aspect of ground investigation in collaboration with our in-house professionals. In order to be able to carry out a ground investigation we would need to know the scope of the development and the site location. Armed with this information, we will carry out a desk study to see what may be an issue that would require particular investigation within a site and advise clients accordingly.

This is dependant on the current workload at the time of quotation but it is in our best interest to be on site as soon as humanly possible.

For a ground investigation, we allow 20m per day and for piling 35m per day, assuming that we experience no breakdowns and that no problematic ground conditions are encountered.

Billing / Payment

We accept payment in cash, cheque, and bank transfer. Bank account details can be found on your invoice.

If you have account or payment queries, please contact our accounts team by calling us on
+356 21 49 28 07, by sending us an e-mail, or through our contact form. We ask all invoice queries to be raised within 7 days from reception.