ASTM Adds Certification Capabilities
New Program Initiated for Product and Personnel Conformance
At its Oct. 27-28, 2009, meeting, the ASTM International board of directors authorized ASTM’s management to develop the capability to offer certification services. Titled ASTM International Certification Programs, the new initiative offers the opportunity for the certification of products (materials, services and systems) as well as personnel.
The recent action by the ASTM board is a response to inquiries, particularly in the areas of new standards development activities, for ASTM to provide certification to meet expressed needs for independent, third-party demonstrations of compliance to standards. Similar requests have come to ASTM from those facing regulatory pressures to demonstrate standards compliance.
“The board agreed that the ability for the society to offer certification programs as a part of ASTM’s portfolio of services — similar to our successful proficiency testing and training programs — is important in remaining relevant in the changing global marketplace,” explains James A. Thomas, president of ASTM International. “This is the first step toward certification in ASTM’s 111-year history. The board approved this initiative to satisfy the requirements of ASTM’s diverse stakeholder community and to meet the needs of industries relying on ASTM International standards.” Potential benefits of the ASTM Certification Programs to manufacturers and consumers include increased confidence, reliable product comparisons, equitable testing and rating, potential liability reduction and facilitated regulatory compliance.
Requests for an ASTM program may come from ASTM technical committees or directly from industry, purchasers or government bodies. A product certified through ASTM’s program would be tested, at the direction of ASTM International, by a third-party laboratory to determine the product’s ability to conform to one or more ASTM standards. All program initiatives will be based on the level of interest of the relevant ASTM technical committee as well as the support of industry.
ASTM’s Stoller and Cendrowska Visit STAMEQ in Hanoi
On Oct. 22, 2009, Roger Stoller, Ph.D., distinguished scientist at ORNL and now chairman of the ASTM International board of directors, and Teresa Cendrowska, vice president, global cooperation, visited the Vietnam Directorate for Standards, Metrology and Quality (STAMEQ) at STAMEQ headquarters in Hanoi.
The meetings were conducted with STAMEQ, a memorandum of understanding partner with ASTM since 2004, in two sessions. In the morning, Stoller and Cendrowska met with representatives of the nascent nuclear power industry in Vietnam, including the Vietnam Agency for Radiation and Nuclear Safety, Vietnam Atomic Energy Commission and the Vietnam Atomic Energy Institute. The session included presentations about ASTM, the success of the ASTM-STAMEQ MOU and a general overview of ASTM standards that serve the nuclear industry.
EPA Approves ASTM Test Methods for Contaminated Water Testing
In an action effective on Nov. 10, 2009, 15 methods contained in 10 ASTM standards are among 25 analytical methods that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved for determining contaminant concentrations in samples collected under the Safe Drinking Water Act. The methods are under the jurisdiction of Subcommittee D19.05 on Inorganic Constituents in Water, part of ASTM Committee D19 on Water.
The SDWA authorizes the EPA to approve the use of alternative testing methods through publication in the Federal Register. According to the Federal Register entry announcing the ruling, “This expedited approach provides public water systems, laboratories and primacy agencies with more timely access to new measurement techniques and greater flexibility in the selection of analytical methods, thereby reducing monitoring costs while maintaining public health protection.”
The methods were approved as being equally effective relative to methods previously promulgated in the regulations. Through the Nov. 10, 2009, Federal Register notice, the following methods were added to Appendix A of CFR Part 141, Subpart C:
More information on the EPA’s expedited method approval process can be found by clicking
ASTM International staff members met with Shona Weller, general manager for customer service and sales at Standards New Zealand on Nov. 30, 2009. Weller visited ASTM headquarters to exchange information on membership and membership promotion, the ASTM webshop platform and its history and development, the history and strategies of ASTM’s online services related to products, educational outreach and related services. Pictured from left to right are: Kathe Hooper, assistant to vice president, rights and permission, ASTM; Phil Lively, vice president, information technology development and application, ASTM; Weller; Teresa Cendrowska, vice president, global cooperation, ASTM; and Sarah Naouri, manager, global cooperation, ASTM. Also presenting that day, but not pictured, was James S. Thomas, director, international sales (Europe and Eastern U.S.), ASTM.
Following their participation in the November 2009 committee week meetings of ASTM Committee E28 on Mechanical Testing, representatives of Badan Standardisasi Nasional, an ASTM memorandum of understanding partner, visited ASTM headquarters. Mr. Rachman Mustar (right), and Mr. Yoes Usman (second from right), met with Teresa Cendrowska (second from left), vice president, global cooperation, ASTM; Sarah Naouri (left), manager, global cooperation, ASTM; John Pace, vice president, publications and marketing, ASTM; and Martin Farrell, director, international sales (Australia/Asia and Western U.S.), ASTM, to discuss various aspects of the ASTM–BSN MOU signed in 2004. Discussion items included adoption of ASTM standards, membership information and the proposed 2010 ASTM International–BSN technical assistance training program.
ASTM Standards to Support New FAA Regulations for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems
Standards Will Support Special U.S. Federal Aviation Regulations
ASTM International has been selected by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration as one of the standards development organizations that will develop small unmanned aircraft system, or sUAS, standards intended to support new FAA regulations. This activity will take place in ASTM Committee F38 on Unmanned Aircraft Systems, where members will be working hand-in-hand with the FAA’s Unmanned Aircraft Office to develop groundbreaking standards that will provide a first step in gaining National Airspace System access for sUAS.
Earlier this year, the FAA had announced they would be creating a Special Federal Aviation Regulation designed to provide a systematic approach for regular access to parts of the NAS for sUAS — primarily focusing on commercial applications. The current process requires that requests to operate UAS in the national airspace be reviewed on a case-by-case basis through either a certificate of waiver or authorization or special airworthiness certificate, experimental category process. However, due to the nature of these processes and the temporary authorizations that result, neither could support the routine access of UAS to the national airspace. These processes also made the development and use of UAS for civil applications expensive and difficult to pursue, thus severely restricting the potential growth of the UAS industry.
The FAA issued a request for information, invoking Public Law 104-113, National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act, which states that government agencies should use private sector SDOs and commercial standards whenever possible. Therefore, rather than codifying all aspects of sUAS operation and airworthiness in the special regulation, the FAA can accelerate the process and involve industry, government and academic experts to develop the consensus standards for addressing significant portions of the practices, methods, specifications and procedures that will be needed.
To kick off this effort, F38 will hold a meeting in Arlington, Va., on February 17–18. For more information on this meeting and F38, click here. For further information, contact F38 membership secretary James Jewell, UAV MarketSpace, Bath, Pa. (phone: 610-910-4029) or Daniel Schultz, staff manager, ASTM International (phone: 610-832-9716).
Committee D33 Chairman Speaks at Shanghai Workshop
ASTM staff and committee members participated in a seminar held by the Shanghai Nuclear Engineering Research and Design Institute in Shanghai, China, on Oct. 22-23, 2009.
The seminar purpose was to provide information on standards developed by ASTM International Committee D33 on Protective Coating and Lining Work for Power Generation Facilities and to educate Chinese engineers about using D33 standards in design and construction.
Jon Cavallo, ENERCON, Eliot, Maine, chairman of Committee D33, presented comprehensive information on standards developed by the committee. Liu Fei, ASTM’s chief representative in China, also spoke, explaining the ASTM International standards development process and ASTM’s operations in China.
A technical workshop during the event gave participants a chance to ask specific questions about individual D33 standards.
The seminar was cosponsored by ASTM International, SNERDI, ENERCON, PPG China and Carboline Dalian.
Korean Standards Experts Meet with ASTM Staff
The second half of 2009 was a notable time for interaction between ASTM staff and standards experts from Korea.
On August 21, the following met with staff at ASTM International headquarters: Il-Sub Shin, director, standards planning division, Korean Agency for Technology and Standards; Jun-Ho Kim, researcher, KATS; Jin-Su Chun, team leader, international standards support team, Korean Standards Association; and Jeon-Min Yun, chief researcher, KSA.
During the meeting, several important initiatives were discussed that have been a result of the relationship ASTM International has had with Korea over many years, highlighted by the signing of a memorandum of understanding with KATS in May 2006. The meeting provided an opportunity to reflect on the successful participation of Mr. Kim during ASTM’s 2008 Standards Expert Exchange Program. Also discussed was the enthusiastic participation by several new Korean members on ASTM technical committees and the possibility of future member training.
Several Korean technical experts participated actively during the latest Committee A01 on Steel, Stainless Steel and Related Products meeting held in Atlanta, Ga., as part of the November 2009 ASTM committee week. The visit was part of Korea’s recent increase in activity in proposing revisions to existing ASTM standards to better reflect the needs of the international marketplace.
Finally, on Nov. 25, 2009, researcher Tae-Wan Kim from KATS visited the ASTM International Washington, D.C., office and met virtually with ASTM staff members Daniel Schultz and James Olshefsky to discuss ASTM’s electronic tools and virtual meetings capabilities. KATS plans to develop more online tools, including online conferencing, in the coming year. KATS staff traveled to visit ASTM to learn more about the society’s extensive experience in this area.
Representatives of the Shanghai Institute of Standardization, an ASTM cooperative agreement partner in China since 2004, visited ASTM on Nov. 13, 2009. The SIS representatives took the opportunity to present information on recent domestic standardization research achievements, standards promotion activities and the results of a customer survey. ASTM staff presented information on publications, copyright, and product and membership promotion. The meetings provided an opportunity for targeted information exchange so that both organizations might consider areas for broader cooperation.
ASTM staff meet with a delegation of six representatives from various offices of the Jiangsu Provincial Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision on Dec. 2, 2009. The delegation, the second from Jiangsu Province to visit ASTM headquarters in 2009, gained general information about ASTM and its standards process. Staff members Teresa Cendrowska, ASTM vice president of global cooperation, and James Olshefsky, ASTM director of external relations, also provided information on ASTM’s compliance with World Trade Organization/Technical Barriers to Trade principles that define international standards developing organizations, the use of ASTM standards by the U.S. federal government and governments worldwide, and about ASTM’s relationships and programs in China.
Global Radio Frequency Identification
On Nov. 17, 2009, Liu Fei, ASTM International’s chief representative in China, attended the GRIFS (Global RFID Interoperability Forum for Standards) meeting – Building the Global Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Standards Forum in Beijing. The purpose of the meeting was to develop an international forum and channel to coordinate and harmonize activities regarding RFID standards development and application. The meeting was sponsored by GS1 and supported and organized by GS1 China. There were about 50 participants in the forum, including users as well as representatives from government agencies, industries and institutes.
Liu Fei presented on ASTM RFID standards and the effectiveness and efficiency of the ASTM standardization system as well as about the opportunity for international participation in the ASTM International RFID standards development process. Following his presentation, Liu Fei addressed several questions covering how ASTM funds its standards development, the Chinese adoption of ASTM standards, the number of RFID standards, and the relationship between ASTM and the International Organization for Standardization and ASTM patent policy.
On Dec. 3, 2009, the ASTM China Office staff met with the Standardization Administration of the People’s Republic of China (SAC)/Technical Committee 291 on Sporting Goods. In attendance were representatives from several Chinese wushu (martial arts) organizations: China Wushu Administrative Center, China Wushu Research Institute and Chinese Wushu Association. Discussions focused on cooperation in developing martial arts standards, a new activity in Committee F08 on Sports Equipment and Facilities, engaging membership in F08 and the potential for a delegation to attend F08 meetings at a committee week in 2010.
Liu Fei stressed the historical evolution, international membership, global market relevance and influence of the ASTM standards development system, which can serve as a resource for the Chinese wushu practitioners and enhance awareness of the sport worldwide. Liu Fei also attended the annual meeting of SAC/TC291 on Dec. 17.
Indoor Air Pollution
On Dec. 9–10, 2009, the Henan Building Research Institute conducted a meeting on revisions of GB50325-2001, Standard on the Control of Indoor Air Pollution in the Civil Building Engineering (which is a mandatory standard). The purpose of the meeting, which took place in Zhengzhou, Henan Province, was to discuss proposed modifications to the standard and to achieve a final revised version for submission to the Ministry of Housing, Urban and Rural Development and the Standardization Administration of the People’s Republic of China for approval and publishing.
About 40 experts joined together to discuss technical issues in the GB50325, which makes reference to several ASTM standards such as D3969, Test Method for Zirconium in Paint Driers by EDTA Method; D2832, Guide for Determining Volatile and Nonvolatile Content of Paint and Related Coatings; and D2369, Test Method for Volatile Content of Coatings. Liu Fei was invited to be one of the review committee members to attend discussions on modification and further presented general information on ASTM International as well as Committee D22 on Air Quality, ASTM’s standards development system and new activities related to air quality standards.
Teresa Cendrowska, ASTM vice president, global cooperation; Sarah Naouri, manager, global cooperation; and Jeff Grove, ASTM vice president for global policy and industry affairs, met with a delegation of eight industry leaders involved in the Smart Infrastructure project under way in Qatar. The project focuses on infrastructure development for major expansion across segments of physical infrastructure and includes sustainability in road and building construction. The visit, facilitated by Meridian International, took place in ASTM’s Washington, D.C., offices. Information presented included a basic overview of ASTM International, information on the benefits of the memorandum of understanding between ASTM International and the Qatar General Organization for Standards and Metrology, basic information on ASTM standards pertaining to road and highway infrastructure, and ASTM activities addressing sustainability in both road and building construction.
On Dec. 3, 2009, ASTM staff welcomed representatives of the China National Institute of Standardization to ASTM International headquarters. ASTM and CNIS established a cooperative relationship in 2003. During the meetings CNIS presented information on recent initiatives within the institute, including selected research projects, educational outreach and China’s intellectual property rights policy relevant to standards. An overview of the Chinese standardization system was also provided. ASTM offered information about new activities, standardization priorities, standardization strategies, member training and academic outreach and intellectual property rights. The meetings afforded a good opportunity for the partners to review their cooperative relationship and consider future opportunities for collaboration.
ASTM Staff and Members Contribute to Nuclear Standards Workshop in Beijing
Four speakers representing ASTM International spoke at the Third China-U.S. Technical Workshop of Nuclear Standards—Application of ASME/ASTM Standards Including AP1000 Technology on Oct. 19-20, 2009. More than 200 people attended the workshop, including a delegation of more than 10 ASTM staff and members from the United States and Korea.
The workshop was organized at the request of Chinese organizations that want to learn more about the application and use of ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) codes and ASTM International standards in the design, construction and maintenance of civil nuclear power plants, particularly the AP1000 design. ASTM International co-sponsored the event with ASME, the China Machinery Industry Federation and China’s State Nuclear Power Technology Corp.
Speaking on ASTM’s behalf were: