What are ASTM standards?
In your experience in the metal industry, you’ve likely come across ASTM standard designations. You’ll find phrases like ASTM B194 for beryllium copper or ASTM B103 for phosphor bronze, but what are ASTM standards, exactly?
ASTM safety standards are crucial to ensure materials are high-quality, and performing exactly the way they’re supposed to in your facility. Below we’ll give you a quick review of what ASTM means, and why it should matter to you.
What's ASTM meaning?
ASTM International, formerly known as American Society for Testing and Materials, is a global leader in developing voluntary consensus standards used by individuals, companies, and other institutions around the world. ASTM is made up of over 30,000 volunteer members from more than 140 countries.
The organization meets the criteria for international standards developing organizations as set forth by the World Trade Organization. The entire membership of the ASTM elects a board of directors to govern and make decisions.
How are ASTM safety standards developed?
A standard is a document detailing specific requirements for the quality and safe use of materials from a wide range of industries such as metals, paints, plastics, textiles, petroleums, and consumer products. ASTM lays out this information here. It outlines these identifying characteristics and tests to tell you which products should conform to the standard.
Any interested party can submit a request for a new standard to ASTM International. An ASTM technical committee prepares a draft of the standard, which is then submitted to a parent subcommittee before being made available to all members for review. Any objections during this process must be considered before the document can move on to the next level.
The ASTM International Committee on Standards gives final approval after ensuring ASTM procedures were correctly followed and the standard was given due process. This due process ensures all interested parties have a say and maintains a balance among competing interests.