According to ASTM's own information, "ASTM does not 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."
QUALITY CONTROL TECHNOLOGY GUIDE What is ASTM to most of us? Is it more than that big book or small CD we all reference when we need to run a test? By David Apkarian, president, TransTech Systems Inc. A STM International (origi- standard material specifications mately 12,000 standards ranging nally known as the Ameri- were necessary in order to produce from crayons, cement, snow skiing, can Society for Testing and a longer lasting rail. advanced ceramics, biotechnology, Materials) was started in With this start other industries search and rescue, and terminology. 1898 due to the poor qual- soon took note and in 1902 cement, The growth of ASTM has been ity of steel manufacturing for the nonferrous metals and alloys, paint tremendous. It is truly arguable that railroads. and coatings were added. From there ASTM has had the largest impact While progress was slow, suppli- ASTM grew to what it is today. on our day to day quality of life and ers and industry soon realized that ASTM encompasses approxi- an impact on national, regional and 58 asphalt contractor • June/July 2009 QUALITY CONTROL TECHNOLOGY GUIDE international commerce. this is a volunteer organization, so Private companies are rarely Check the ASTM website — the mix you may have on any one invited into the research circles, www.astm.org — for more infoma- committee or task group may not be and will frequently be prevented tion on its history. a true representative cross section of from participating. When they do the industry. develop ground breaking technol- What exactly is Too often the committee rooms ogy, manufactures are put through an ASTM standard? are made up of manufactures and such a gauntlet to prove it works We all use ASTM specifications academia, and this is one of the that many simply move on to other or test methods in our daily life major issues we have in our area of industries or go out of business. but few industry practitioners truly ASTM, especially when new technol- In reality it’s sad that we are our understand what they represent or ogy is presented. ASTM or the com- own worst enemy when it comes to how they come about. mittees assigned to various technical innovation. Why does a researcher Many in the asphalt industry aspects are not the traffic cop for our concentrate on the 5% that may be think ASTM is an approval specifi- industry, that’s industry’s job. questionable ab
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