- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 18 Sep 2020
ASTM International was originally referred to as the American Society for Testing and Materials. In 2001, it became an international standards organisation that creates and delivers voluntary technical standards for products, materials and services. There are currently more than 12,000 ASTM International standards that apply to systems and components manufactured around the world.
The precursor to ASTM International was the American Section of the International Association for Testing Materials, launched in 1898 by scientists and engineers intent on resolving structural issues occurring in railroads.
The earliest efforts of the organisation were led by Charles Dudley an employee of the Pennsylvania Railroad. Dudley’s role at the railroad was to research materials the company relied on for its operations. Consequently, the first standard was one for steel that could be used to manufacture rails less prone to breakage.
As the first standards organisation, ASTM International was established before the British Standards Institution (BSI) and the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO). These organisations frequently incorporated or adopted ASTM standards, especially in areas such as steel, oil and other industrial materials.
In 2009, ASTM International began to certify services for products and personnel, which led to a partnership in 2016 with the Safety Equipment Institute (SEI). This organisation also works with labs and manufacturers to offer certifications.
Compliance with ASTM standards is not mandatory in most instances. However, this can change based on the circumstances related to adoption. This happens most frequently around issues associated with safety, particularly when dealing with cases involving large organisations (such as high profile corporations or government entities). They are also frequently adopted for products or services used by (or around) children.
On 8 July 2020, ASTM International released a proposed standard to evaluate the tensile performance of fibre-reinforced concrete (FRC). The proposed standard (WK73384) will be useful to contractors, testing agencies and researchers.
- Additive manufacturing (including 3D printing).
- Chemical standards (including research, production, and environmental safety of products manufactured from rubber, plastics and raw materials).
- Construction standards supporting the building industry.
- Consumer product standards.
- Energy standards (including research around renewable energy and climate change).
- Green construction.
- Healthcare services, products and technology.
- Metals (including steel, copper, aluminium and others associated with infrastructure construction projects, consumer items, equipment and machines).
- Safe and sustainable highways (including quality and performance for beneficial returns on infrastructure investments).
- Sustainability (including standards that promote cleaner air and water; eco-friendly homes and office buildings; enhanced waste management and recycling programmes; improved environmental assessments and so on).
- Testing programmes.
- Textile standards (including home furnishings, vehicles, mobile phones and more).
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
BREEAM offers its resilient approach to Building Back Better.
Country moves one step closer to creating independent body.
BSRIA examines factors driving the industry.
Ensuring designs are developed, validated and can be effectively implemented.
The Homebuyer Survey most suitable for newer homes or simple properties.
Health and safety practices for body and mind.
28 leading bodies set out their vision for the future.
Chancellor announces latest Winter Support packages.
Tapping technology to boost infrastructure and create jobs.
4 ways to ensure certificates are valid.
White elephant construction projects.
How Paul Williams bent over backwards to overcome racial barriers.
Organisation revises actions around dealing with COVID-19.
CIOB, NFCC, RIBA, RICS call for changes ahead of Building Safety Bill.