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Passport to Steel Presents Comprehensive Steel Data from Around the World
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 February 2006 Feature
Richard Wilhelm is news editor and writer for SN.

Passport to Steel Presents Comprehensive Steel Data from Around the World

Steel has always played a prominent role in the development of ASTM International. The first ASTM committee, established soon after the organization’s founding in 1898, was Committee A01 on Steel. Of course, the world is much more complex today than it was when ASTM was founded, so trying to find information on any one of the thousands of types of steel now available throughout the world can be a daunting task. However, Passport to Steel, a powerful new online database launched by ASTM International in May 2005 provides a vast array of information on thousands of globally used steel alloys.

According to John Bringas, member of ASTM International Committees A01 and B02 on Nonferrous Metals and Alloys, Passport to Steel is the most powerful database on the Internet today that gives users the ability to search for the latest steel data of more than 50,000 alloys.

“Passport to Steel is actually three separate databases in one: a steels database, a coated steels database and a reference center that contains a mini-library of steel information,” says Bringas. The database contains data on more than 50,000 alloys, including over 11,000 coated steels.

Passport to Steel contains data from the following standards developing organizations: ASTM International, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Petroleum Institute, the Society of Automotive Engineers, the Canadian Standards Association, the Japanese Standards Association and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the European Committee for Standardization, which includes all 28 countries within the European Union, such as Deutsches Institut für Normung, the British Standards Institution, the Association Francaise de Normalisation, etc.

Extensive Search Capability
A distinct advantage to Passport to Steel is that it can be searched in many different ways, including powerful wild card searching and the ability to search for minimum, maximum or nominal values. These searches allow the user to focus specifically on the type of data for which they require. The following types of searches can be done:

• Standards organization — Search by standards developing organizations individually or as a user-defined grouping.
• Specification title — Search by keywords and phrases in a title.
• Specification — Search by the numeric or alphanumeric designation of a standard.
• Designation — Search by steel grade, class, type, symbol, name or any combination thereof.
• Steel number or UNS number — Search by steel number or UNS number.
• Product form — Search from a choice of 26 product selections.
• Alloy group — Search from a choice of nine alloy selections.
• Chemical composition — Search 36 elements using nominal values, minimums, maximums, a range of values or use wildcards for single or multiple characters to increase searching power.
• Mechanical properties — Search by tensile strength, yield strength, percent elongation, percent reduction in area, hardness, impact strength and absorbed energy at temperature.

Once a user has completed a search, data can be sorted and selected for faster viewing on a results page that displays up to six tables. These tables include specification with year date, status (current, withdrawn, replaced by) designation, UNS number or steel number, product form, special notes relating to found data, chemical compositions, mechanical properties, heat treatment and other specified data such as carbon equivalent requirements.

Reference Center Adds Value
In addition to the steel and coated steel databases, users can find even more information in the technical reference center that is part of Passport to Steel. Contained here are terminology standards, technical articles from leading engineering journals, chapters from popular engineering textbooks, lists of current and withdrawn standards from ASTM, JIS, ISO, and EN standards that have replaced national standards from DIN, BSI and AFNOR, glossary of metals terminology in four languages, a hardness conversion engine and an interactive table of the elements.

Comprehensive Technical Support
Passport to Steel is easy to use with a full help menu containing over a hundred search examples. In addition to the help options detailed here, users can use a dedicated “request data” form to ask that new data be added to the database. If the user can’t find the data, they can also send specific questions via e-mail to technical support staff, who will research user questions and provide answers. A regularly updated list of frequently asked questions provide further assistance for new Passport users.

Continuously Updated
Passport to Steel is updated constantly by a team of engineers and technical experts that continually studies changes to standards. “It’s extremely up-to-date; as soon as standards are published, they’re put into the database. Even in the case of non-English standards, the numbers are often in the Passport database before the English version of the standard has been published,” says Bringas.

While users working in the steel industry will surely find Passport to Steel to be a valuable resource, Bringas says anyone who works in an industry that uses steel in any manner will find the database useful. As an example, he cites a recent experience dealing with a company that builds brick-making furnaces that include steel components. Bringas says this company was able to save a great deal of money based on information found in Passport to Steel.

For more information on Passport to Steel, including a free trial, contact Ileane Smith, ASTM International (phone: 610/832-9552). //

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