Outreach

Malaysia’s SIRIM Berhad

MOU Partner with ASTM International since 2003

SIRIM Berhad in Selangor, Malaysia, a memorandum of understanding partner with ASTM International since 2003, has responsibility for standards work as part of a scope that also takes in industrial research, certification, testing and training. More than 3,000 experts on about 250 standards development committees cover diverse industries, from building construction and petroleum to plastics and environmental management, in their standards work. About 24 Malaysians participate on ASTM technical committees, and close to 60 students are members as well.

Through the MOU, SIRIM Berhad makes use of ASTM standards, and more than 350 ASTM International standards have been adopted, referenced or used as a basis for national Malaysian standards. Recent adoptions include standards from ASTM Committees D02 on Petroleum Products, Liquid Fuels and Lubricants, D04 on Road and Paving Materials, D10 on Packaging and D20 on Plastics. SIRIM Berhad has relied on ASTM standards in a wide variety of industry sectors in which ASTM is involved, including metals, construction products, road and paving materials, rubber, plastics, geosynthetics, mechanical testing, flexible barrier materials and many more.

“ASTM standards have been widely referred to in developing our national standards,” says Abdul Aziz bin Long, senior general manager in SIRIM Berhad’s Standard Research and Management Center. “Many ASTM standards were adopted directly as Malaysian standards.” Long adds that the MOU also enables SIRIM to track and monitor the development and revision of ASTM standards so that committee members can be advised accordingly.

Malaysian laboratories, both corporate and independent, participate in ASTM’s Proficiency Testing Program, which uses ASTM test methods to provide statistical quality controls enabling labs to assess their performance through comparison with other global participants. Programs for diesel fuel, jet fuel, gasoline, biodiesel, oils and additives number among the PTPs with Malaysian laboratory participants, as do offerings for aromatic hydrocarbons, plastics and insulating fluids.

The global trade of rubber, a great deal of which comes from Malaysia, largely depends on ASTM International standards, according to D. Thomas Marsh, president of Centrotrade Minerals and Metals Inc. in Chesapeake, Virginia, and current chairman of the ASTM Finance and Audit Committee. Marsh notes that international company labs and independent labs test rubber and latex according to ASTM International standards, citing D1076, Specification for Rubber-Concentrated, Ammonia Preserved, Creamed, and Centrifuged Natural Latex, as the method commonly used to ensure the quality of the material. “It’s the gold standard,” Marsh says. In addition, Malaysian manufacturers produce medical exam and surgical rubber gloves according to two ASTM standards: D3577, Specification for Rubber Surgical Gloves, and D3578, Specification for Rubber Examination Gloves.

Training has been an ongoing aspect of the MOU partnership with SIRIM. Liu Fei, chief representative in the ASTM China office, has made a presentation to SIRIM staff about the ASTM standards development system and global projects. ASTM global cooperation staff members have also spoken at a National Quality Summit organized by SIRIM Birhad and at the Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association about ASTM’s process. In addition, training workshops have benefited SIRIM staff.

In late 2011, a SIRIM staffer, Lee Hooi Lan, participated in the ASTM Standards Expert Program. Lee Hooi Lan is a SIRIM senior executive in the engineering standards management and consulting services section, Standards Research and Management Center, with responsibility for overseeing standards development activities, including managing and monitoring standards development work, training standards committees, monitoring standards writing organizations and maintaining coordination with regulatory bodies.

For more information about the ASTM International MOU program, visit www.astm.org/GLOBAL.

Regional Standards Body: SIRIM Berhad

Location: Selangor, Malaysia

Major Activities: Industrial Research, Standardization and Quality, Certification and Testing, Training

MOU Signed with ASTM: 2003

This article appears in the issue of Standardization News.