What is ASTM


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Unformatted text preview: ASTMO N A L I N T E R N AT I ASTM INTERNATIONAL is a global forum for the development of consensus standards. What is For over a century, industries around the world have turned to ASTM International for the development of voluntary consensus standards. Known for their high technical quality and market relevance, these standards are an important part of the information infrastructure that guides design, manufacturing, and trade in the global economy. ASTM INTERNATIONAL Organized in 1898, ASTM International is one of the largest voluntary standards developing organizations in the world. ASTM is a not-for-profit organization that provides a forum for the development and publication of voluntary consensus standards for materials, products, systems, and services. ASTM's members, representing producers, users, consumers, government, and academia from over 100 countries, develop technical documents that are a basis for manufacturing, management, procurement, codes, and regulations. These members belong to one or more committees, each of which covers a subject area such as steel, petroleum, medical devices, property management, consumer products, and many more. It is these committees that develop the more than 11,000 ASTM standards that can be found in the 76-volume Annual Book of ASTM Standards. What is ? Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (Public Law 104-113). The Law requires government agencies to use privately developed standards whenever it is at all possible, saving taxpayers millions of dollars in formerly duplicative standards development efforts. There are countless notable uses of ASTM standards. A few of them include: Petroleum --Travelers on land and in the air are assured of the standard quality of the fuels they use wherever they go because of the myriad ASTM standards for petroleum recognized around the world. The Environment--Developers of commercial real estate can satisfy requirements of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) using ASTM standards for environmental site assessments. Sports and Recreational Equipment--The incidence and severity of head injuries is reduced when consumers use bicycle helmets and other protective headgear manufactured to an ASTM specification. WHAT IS A STANDARD? As used in ASTM, a standard is a document that has been developed and established within the consensus principles of the organization and which meets the requirements of ASTM procedures and regulations. Full consensus standards are developed with the participation of all parties who have a stake in the standards' development and/or use. S TA N D A R D S D E V E LO P M E N T I N A S T M I N T E R N AT I O N A L HOW IS A NEW STANDARDS DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITY INITIATED? Generally, anyone who identifies a need for standardization can submit a written request to ASTM Headquarters. ASTM staff research the idea to assess if there is adequate interest in the field, to discover if parallel activities exist in other organizations, and to determine where the activity would appropriately fit within the ASTM structure. The staff of ASTM does not determine which standards should be developed. ASTM standards development activities cover a wide range of technical and management areas. A sampling of recently formed technical committees gives an indication of ASTM's broad scope: Committee E53 on Property Management Standards Committee F10 on Livestock, Meat and Poultry Evaluation Committee F35 on Compatibility of Machine Tool Components with Industrial Lubricants Committee F36 on Technology and Underground Utilities See the back panel for more examples of the many sectors that have chosen ASTM for their standards development needs. HOW AND WHERE ARE ASTM STANDARDS USED? ASTM standards are used by individuals, companies, and agencies around the world. Purchasers and sellers incorporate standards into contracts; scientists and engineers use them in their laboratories and offices; architects and designers use them in their plans; government agencies around the world reference them in codes, regulations, and laws; and many others refer to them for guidance. ASTM standards are "voluntary" in the sense that their use is not mandated by ASTM. However, government regulators often give voluntary standards the force of law by citing them in laws, regulations, and codes. In the United States, the relationship between private-sector standards developers and the public sector has been strengthened with the 1995 passage of the National WHO GOVERNS ASTM'S STANDARDS DEVELOPMENT PROCEDURES? ASTM's governing body is its Board of Directors, which is elected by the entire membership. The Board and its Standing Committees have established procedures to ensure that standards are developed on a full consensus basis, that all dissenting parties receive due process, and that all ASTM standards follow style and format requirements. The "Regulations Governing ASTM Technical Committees" and the manual, "Form and Style for ASTM Standards," are among the documents that govern the ASTM standards development process. HOW ARE ASTM STANDARDS DEVELOPED? Standards development work begins when members of an ASTM technical committee identify a need or other interested parties approach the committee. Task group members prepare a draft standard, which is reviewed by its parent subcommittee through a letter ballot. After the subcommittee approves the document, it is submitted concurrently to the main committee and the entire membership of ASTM. All negative votes cast during the balloting process, which must include a written explanation of the voters' objections, must be fully considered before the document can be submitted to the next level in the process. Final approval of a standard depends on concurrence by the ASTM Standing Committee on Standards that proper procedures were followed and due process was achieved. ASTM INTERNATIONAL'S MEMBERS WHO DEVELOPS ASTM STANDARDS? ASTM has over 30,000 members from more than 100 countries around the world who are producers, users, consumers, and general interest parties, such as academicians and government representatives. These members write ASTM standards through their service on one or more of ASTM's 130-plus technical committees.It is these members who determine which standards development activities to pursue. Anyone who has interest in the field covered by a committee's scope is eligible to become a committee member. HOW OFTEN DO COMMITTEES MEET? HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO DEVELOP AN ASTM STANDARD? Depending on a committee's commitment to timely development and approval, standards can take as little as six months to become full consensus standards. ASTM's ever-evolving use of Internet technology offers its members increasing opportunities to get new high-quality, relevant standards into the marketplace as quickly as possible. For the past several years, ASTM has been committed to the creation of a "Digital Path" that will digitize the contents of a standard from inception to publication. For example, ASTM's Internet-based Standards Development Forums enable 24/7 access to drafting and revising ASTM standards; Virtual Meetings combine teleconferencing with Internet document viewing and editing. Other resources such as electronic balloting, and the electronic distribution of meeting minutes, further facilitate timely response to industry needs, and aid members from around the world in participating without straining travel budgets. Each ASTM committee determines its own meeting schedule; most meet twice a year. Today, with the aid of technology, a good deal of standards development work takes place between meetings online through e-mail, Virtual Meetings, and ASTM's Internet-based Standards Development Forums. See the material under "How long does it take to develop an ASTM standard?" for more information on this. HOW DO I BECOME A MEMBER OF ASTM? Simply contact ASTM International Headquarters at +1 610/832-9500 or visit www.astm.org. Informational and participating memberships cost $75; organizational membership is $400. A S T M A N D I N T E R N AT I O N A L S TA N D A R D S D E V E LO P M E N T WHAT MAKES ASTM AN INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS DEVELOPING ORGANIZATION? From its inception, ASTM's method of developing standards has been based on consensus without borders. ASTM's process ensures that interested individuals and organizations representing academia, industry, product users, and governments alike all have an equal vote in determining a standard's content. Participants are welcome from anywhere on the globe. Further, ASTM's high quality standards are responsive and relevant to the needs of the global marketplace. More than 40 percent of ASTM's standards are sold outside of the United States. Supports flexibility by allowing the use of different approaches Encourages timeliness by avoiding administrative delays Maximizes coherency by avoiding overlap or conflict A CC E S S T O S TA N D A R D S HOW DO I OBTAIN AN ASTM STANDARD? An online search of more than 11,000 ASTM standards enables you to locate ASTM standards in dozens of industrial, management, and other areas. Available on the ASTM Web site (www.astm.org -- select "Search"), this function facilitates searches by keyword or standard numbers; you can see the titles and scopes of all ASTM standards and the documents referenced in each standard. You can also purchase any standard as a PDF download immediately or place an order through Customer Service at ASTM International (+1 610/832-9585). DOES ASTM MEET CRITERIA FOR ORGANIZATIONS THAT DEVELOP INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS? ASTM meets all the basic criteria for an international standards developing organization as outlined in Annex 4 of the Triennial Review of the World Trade Organization's Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement (WTO/TBT). Both the U.S. National Standards Strategy and the WTO/TBT state that international standardization can be more effective through the support of sector-driven standards and observance of basic principles of standards development. In line with these documents, ASTM's standards development process: Reaches decisions through the consensus of those affected Allows open participation by all affected stakeholders Maintains a balance among competing interests Facilitates transparency by making information directly available Ensures due process by considering all views and allowing appeals MISCELLANEOUS HOW IS ASTM FUNDED? Approximately 75% of ASTM's income is derived from the sale of publications, primarily from standards. Other income is derived from annual administrative fees, and standards-related programs. DOES ASTM CERTIFY PRODUCTS OR GRANT A SEAL OF APPROVAL? ASTM does not verify that products are tested according to a standard. Many manufacturers, however, choose to indicate that a product has been tested according to an ASTM standard by providing such information on product labels or packaging. ARE ASTM STANDARDS COPYRIGHTED? Yes. See the Intellectual Property Policy, available on the ASTM homepage at www.astm.org or request a copy from Headquarters at +1 610/832-9500. rev. 9/02 INDUSTRIES IN ASTM INTERNATIONAL ASTM has over 130 technical committees that develop standards in a wide range of technical and management sectors. Here is a sampling: Aerospace & Aircraft Building Construction Biotechnology Cement & Concrete Consumer Products Composites Corrosion Electronics Environment Fire Standards Forensics Livestock Evaluation Mechanical Testing Medical & Surgical Metals Packaging Paint & Coatings Petroleum Plastics Property Management Occupational Health & Safety Quality & Statistics Roads Rubber Soil & Rock Sensory Evaluation Shipbuilding Sports Equipment & Facilities Steel Textiles Waste Management Water www.astm.org/committees For a complete listing of the industries represented in ASTM's technical committees, visit: ASTM INTERNATIONAL 100 Barr Harbor Dr. PO Box C700 West Conshohocken, PA 19428-2959 USA phone: +1 610/832-9500 fax: +1 610/832-9555 e-mail: service@astm.org web: www.astm.org EUROPEAN OFFICE 27-29 Knowl Piece Wilbury Way Hitchin, Herts SG4 0SX UK phone: +44 (0)1462 437933 fax: +44 (0)1462 433678 e-mail: atp@ameritech.co.uk web: www.ameritech.co.uk/astm ...
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