ASTM International

Last updated

ASTM International
Headquarters West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, U.S
Area served
United States (1898–present)
International (1898–present)

ASTM International, formerly known as American Society for Testing and Materials, is an international standards organization that develops and publishes voluntary consensus technical standards for a wide range of materials, products, systems, and services. Some 12,575 ASTM voluntary consensus standards operate globally. The organization's headquarters is in West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, about 5 mi (8.0 km) northwest of Philadelphia.


It is founded in 1902 as the American Section of the International Association for Testing Materials (see also International Organization for Standardization).


A group of scientists and engineers, led by Charles Dudley, formed ASTM in 1898 to address the frequent rail breaks affecting the fast-growing railroad industry. The group developed a standard for the steel used to fabricate rails. Originally called the "American Society for Testing Materials" in 1902, it became the "American Society for Testing And Materials" in 1961. In 2001, ASTM officially changed its name to “ASTM International" and added the tagline "Standards Worldwide". In 2014, it changed the tagline to "Helping our World Work better". Now, ASTM International has offices in Belgium, Canada, China, Peru, Washington, D.C., and West Conshohocken, PA. [1] [2]

On June 9th, 2022, it was announced that the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) and ASTM International have agreed to extend and expand a Technical Cooperation Agreement from 2019. [3]

Membership and organization

Membership in the organization is open to anyone with an interest in its activities. [4] Standards are developed within committees, and new committees are formed as needed, upon request of interested members. Membership in most committees is voluntary and is initiated by the member's own request, not by appointment nor by invitation. Members are classified as users, producers, consumers, and "general interest". The latter includes academics and consultants. Users include industry users, who may be producers in the context of other technical committees, and end-users such as consumers. In order to meet the requirements of antitrust laws, producers must constitute less than 50% of every committee or subcommittee, and votes are limited to one per producer company. Because of these restrictions, there can be a substantial waiting-list of producers seeking organizational memberships on the more popular committees. Members can, however, participate without a formal vote and their input will be fully considered.

As of 2015, ASTM has more than 30,000 members, including over 1,150 organizational members, from more than 140 countries. [5] [6] The members serve on one or more of 140+ ASTM Technical Committees. ASTM International has several awards for contributions to standards authorship, including the ASTM International Award of Merit (the organization's highest award) [7] ASTM International is classified by the United States Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Standards compliance

ASTM International has no role in requiring or enforcing compliance with its standards. The standards, however, may become mandatory when referenced by an external contract, corporation, or government. [5]

See also

Related Research Articles

American National Standards Institute American non-profit organization that develops standards

The American National Standards Institute is a private non-profit organization that oversees the development of voluntary consensus standards for products, services, processes, systems, and personnel in the United States. The organization also coordinates U.S. standards with international standards so that American products can be used worldwide.

British Standards Standards produced by BSI Group

British Standards (BS) are the standards produced by the BSI Group which is incorporated under a royal charter and which is formally designated as the national standards body (NSB) for the UK. The BSI Group produces British Standards under the authority of the charter, which lays down as one of the BSI's objectives to:

Set up standards of quality for goods and services, and prepare and promote the general adoption of British Standards and schedules in connection therewith and from time to time to revise, alter and amend such standards and schedules as experience and circumstances require.

International Organization for Standardization International standards development organization

The International Organization for Standardization is an international standard development organization composed of representatives from the national standards organizations of member countries. Membership requirements are given in Article 3 of the ISO Statutes.

Standardization or standardisation is the process of implementing and developing technical standards based on the consensus of different parties that include firms, users, interest groups, standards organizations and governments. Standardization can help maximize compatibility, interoperability, safety, repeatability, or quality. It can also facilitate a normalization of formerly custom processes. In social sciences, including economics, the idea of standardization is close to the solution for a coordination problem, a situation in which all parties can realize mutual gains, but only by making mutually consistent decisions.

A standards organization, standards body, standards developing organization (SDO), or standards setting organization (SSO) is an organization whose primary function is developing, coordinating, promulgating, revising, amending, reissuing, interpreting, or otherwise contributing to the usefulness of technical standards to those who employ them. Such an organization works to create uniformity across producers, consumers, government agencies, and other relevant parties regarding terminology, product specifications, protocols, and more. Its goals could include ensuring that Company A's external hard drive works on Company B's computer, an individual's blood pressure measures the same with Company C's sphygmomanometer as it does with Company D's, or that all shirts that should not be ironed have the same icon on the label.

European Committee for Standardization Standards organization

The European Committee for Standardization is a public standards organization whose mission is to foster the economy of the European Single Market and the wider European continent in global trading, the welfare of European citizens and the environment by providing an efficient infrastructure to interested parties for the development, maintenance and distribution of coherent sets of standards and specifications.

CSA Group Canadian standards development organisation

The CSA Group is a standards organization which develops standards in 57 areas. CSA publishes standards in print and electronic form, and provides training and advisory services. CSA is composed of representatives from industry, government, and consumer groups.

European Standards are technical standards which have been ratified by one of the three European standards organizations: European Committee for Standardization (CEN), European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC), or European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI). All ENs are designed and created by all interested parties through a transparent, open, and consensual process.

Snell Memorial Foundation Helmet safety standards organization

The Snell Memorial Foundation is a nonprofit organization created to provide a high quality standard of safety for helmets. Founded in 1957, the foundation is named after William "Pete" Snell, a popular sports car racer who died in 1956 of head injuries he received when the racing helmet he wore failed to protect his head. A group of friends, scientists, physicians, and others joined together to create a group that would promote research and education as well as test and develop standards to improve the effectiveness of helmets.

Toy safety Practice of ensuring that toys meet safety standards

Toy safety is the practice of ensuring that toys, especially those made for children, are safe, usually through the application of set safety standards. In many countries, commercial toys must be able to pass safety tests in order to be sold. In the U.S., some toys must meet national standards, while other toys may not have to meet a defined safety standard. In countries where standards exist, they exist in order to prevent accidents, but there have still been some high-profile product recalls after such problems have occurred. The danger is often not due to faulty design; usage and chance both play a role in injury and death incidents as well.

An independent test organization is an organization, person, or company that tests products, materials, software, etc. according to agreed requirements. The test organization can be affiliated with the government or universities or can be an independent testing laboratory. They are independent because they are not affiliated with the producer nor the user of the item being tested: no commercial bias is present. These "contract testing" facilities are sometimes called "third party" testing or evaluation facilities.

European Cooperation for Space Standardization Standardization organization for European space activities

The European Cooperation for Space Standardization (ECSS) is a collaboration between the European Space Agency (ESA), the European space industry represented by Eurospace, and several space agencies, to develop and maintain a coherent, single set of user-friendly standards for use in all European space activities. Established in 1993 following a call by Eurospace to unify space products assurance standardization on a European level, it was officially adopted by the ESA on 23 June 1994 through the resolution ESA/C/CXIII/Res.1, to replace its own Procedures, Specifications and Standards (PSS) system. The ECSS currently has 139 active standards, forming the ECSS system. These standards cover management, engineering, product assurance, and space sustainability disciplines. The ECSS is managed by the ESA Requirement and Standard Division, based in the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in Noordwijk, the Netherlands. The ECSS maintains connections with multiple European and international standardization organizations, to contribute to standardization and to adopt relevant standards as part of the ECSS system.

A specification often refers to a set of documented requirements to be satisfied by a material, design, product, or service. A specification is often a type of technical standard.

Fire safe cigarettes, abbreviated "FSC", also known as lower ignition propensity (LIP), reduced fire risk (RFR), self-extinguishing, fire-safe or reduced ignition propensity (RIP) cigarettes, are cigarettes that are designed to extinguish more quickly than standard cigarettes if ignored, with the intention of preventing accidental fires. In the United States, "FSC" above the barcode signifies that the cigarettes sold are fire standards compliant (FSC).

ETSI European standards organization in ICT

ETSI is an independent, not-for-profit, standardization organization in the field of information and communications. ETSI supports the development and testing of global technical standards for ICT-enabled systems, applications and services.

A technical standard is an established norm or requirement for a repeatable technical task which is applied to a common and repeated use of rules, conditions, guidelines or characteristics for products or related processes and production methods, and related management systems practices. A technical standard includes definition of terms; classification of components; delineation of procedures; specification of dimensions, materials, performance, designs, or operations; measurement of quality and quantity in describing materials, processes, products, systems, services, or practices; test methods and sampling procedures; or descriptions of fit and measurements of size or strength.

The Nordic Institute of Dental Materials AS (NIOM AS) is a Nordic Cooperative Body for dental biomaterials. The Institute’s activities in research, materials testing, standardisation and research-based consulting are directed towards dental health services and health authorities in the Nordic countries. The Institute is owned jointly by NORCE and the Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Services. Activities are financed by the Nordic Council of Ministers and the Nordic ministries for health services. Materials testing and consulting services also generate income. As a joint Nordic resource center, NIOM collaborates with dental schools and research institutions and provides services to government health authorities, dental professionals, and the public in the Nordic countries in the field of dental biomaterials.

NSF International Organization

NSF is a product testing, inspection, certification organization with headquarters in Ann Arbor, Michigan. NSF also offers consulting and training services worldwide.

Cyprus Organisation for Standardisation

Cyprus Organisation for Standardisation or CYS, is the National Standardisation Body of Cyprus, whose principal activity is the production of standards and the supply of standards-related services.

ASTM International's Committee on Cannabis (D37) began developing technical standards for cannabis stakeholders in 2017. The committee was formed after a January conference hosted by American Public Health Association, an organizational meeting on Feb. 28 at ASTM International's global headquarters in West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, and approval by the organization's board of directors on April 25. Americans for Safe Access (ASA) and many other organizations are partnering with ASTM International to develop seed-to-consumer quality standards that ASA say they hope become mandatory. D37 includes several subcommittees: indoor and outdoor horticulture and agriculture; quality management systems; laboratory; processing and handling; security and transportation; and personnel training, assessment, and credentialing.


  1. ASTM International. "What is ASTM International?". The History of ASTM International. Retrieved May 12, 2021.
  2. Gerard, Barbara (April 8, 2015). "What is ASTM International?". Craftchind: Craftech Industries. Archived from the original on April 25, 2017. Retrieved February 1, 2017.
  3. "ASTM International and CEN Extend and Expand Cooperation Program | NEWSROOM". Retrieved June 17, 2022.
  4. "Membership". ASTM International.
  5. 1 2 "Detailed Overview". ASTM International.
  6. "ASTM International Board of Directors". ASTM International. Archived from the original on November 26, 2016. Retrieved November 6, 2013.
  7. "Society Awards". ASTM International.
  8. Transport Canada use of ASTM Archived November 19, 2005, at the Wayback Machine
  9. "Safer Children's Toys – ASTM F963 Toy Safety Standard Required by U.S. Law". ASTM International. Archived from the original on June 22, 2017. Retrieved April 14, 2014.