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Astm Standard: What Exactly It Is

Aug 19, 2021

Based on your experience in the metals industry, you may have come across ASTM standard designations. You'll find phrases like ASTM B194 for beryllium copper or ASTM B103 for phosphor bronze, but what exactly is an ASTM standard?


What are ASTM Standards?

ASTM standards are documents developed and published by ASTM International which is the American Society for Testing and Materials, the organization's predecessor. ASTM safety standards are critical to ensuring that materials are of high quality and perform exactly as they should in your facility. They created six types of standards that is related to the manufacturing process, such as testing, material classification, and operations. The six types are Test Methods, Norms, Classifications, Practices, Guidelines, and Terminology Standards:


Terminology: The basis for all standards, the Terminology section defines all basic phrases, words, and acronyms.

Specifications: This section describes the requirements that the material, system, or service must meet. Specifications can include chemical and physical properties and performance criteria.

Test Methods: These regulations describe how manufacturers should test their products and what results they should expect. This process may include measurement processes and characteristic evaluations.

Classification: In this area, ASTM classifies materials, systems, and services based on common characteristics.

Practice: ASTM provides a specific set of instructions for certain procedures to maintain general industry practice. This section does not produce similar results as the Test Methods section.

Guidelines: Guidelines provide practical advice, not instructions. Guiding standards provide a sense of direction without outlining strict requirements.


How to read the ASTM standard?

Each ASTM standard has a mandatory name represented by capital letters (A-H), 1-4 digits, a dash, and the year the standard was published. Occasionally, some ASTM standards will have a capital "M" for metric or a year in parentheses (0000) to indicate the year of last reapproval:

A - Ferrous metals and their products (steel)

B - Non-ferrous metals and products (coatings)

C - Cement, ceramic, concrete and masonry materials

F - End-use materials and products (bolts)

G - Corrosion, deterioration, weathering, durability and degradation of materials and products


Why are ASTM Standards Important?

ASTM standards are essential for evaluating the material, chemical, mechanical, and metallurgical properties of metals. This information helps guide product manufacturers on proper processing and application. Institutions and individuals can use the ASTM webpage to search over 12,000 standards for any available industry.


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