Originally called the American Society for Testing and Materials, ASTM International is a global leader in developing voluntary consensus standards used by individuals, companies, and other institutions around the world. The ASTM is made up of over 30,000 volunteers from over 140 countries.
ASTM International accepts requests for new standards from any interested party. A technical committee of ASTM prepares a draft of the standard, which is then submitted to a parent subcommittee before being sent to all members for review. During this process, any objections must be considered before the document can move forward.
ASTM standards are written in a specific and organized manner. A standard's scope describes its purpose and limitations. The document may also include a glossary of unfamiliar terminology used in the document, as well as a bibliography of referenced documents.
Each ASTM standard is identified by a capital letter (A-H), a serial number (ranging from 1-4 digits), a dash, and its year of publication. There are times when ASTM standards will have a capital "M" for metric or a year in parenthesis (0000), indicating the last time they were re-approved. A - Ferrous metals and products (steel) B - Nonferrous metals and products (coatings) C - Cementitious, ceramic, concrete, and masonry materials F - end-use materials and products (bolts)