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ASTM Committee E04 to Participate in M&M 2003

ASTM Committee E04 on Metallography will be one of the co-sponsoring organizations for this year's Microscopy and Microanalysis Convention to be held in San Antonio, Texas Aug. 3-7. E04's program begins on Aug. 3 with a short course in “How To Use ASTM E04 Metallographic Standards.” The instructor is Dennis W. Hetzner from The Timken Company. The workshop is designed to teach metallographers how to rate inclusions in steels using ASTM methods and how similar ratings are made by image analysis using another ASTM standard. ASTM methods for determining the volume fraction of microstructural constituents by manual point counting and by image analysis will be presented. ASTM methods for determining grain size will also be discussed, as will procedures for determining the repeatability and reproducibility of measurements obtained by these standards will be considered, . Committee E04 will also present Platform Session 23, devoted to using metallographic standards, on Aug. 6. Click here for more information.

Research Project on NTTAA

The economic impact of increased government reliance on voluntary consensus standards resulting from implementation of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) will be the subject of a new research project organized by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. RTI International, an independent, nonprofit corporation with a history in scientific research and technology development, will conduct the study. Signed into law in March 1996, the NTTAA directs NIST to coordinate with other federal agencies as well as state and local governments to achieve greater reliance on voluntary standards and decreased dependence on government-unique standards. The law also encourages government employee participation in voluntary consensus standards bodies.

RTI’s plan of action for conduct of the study calls for developing of technical and economic metrics for estimating benefits, using an established methodology for estimating quantitative benefits from the NTTAA, conducting case studies with procurement and regulatory agencies, and developing a survey instrument for use by NIST with compliant agencies.

U.S. House of Representatives Passes the Standards Developing Organizations Advancement Act of 2003

The Standards Developing Organizations Advancement Act of 2003 (H.R. 1086) was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on June 10. If approved by the Senate and signed by the president, the act would provide a new degree of limited relief to standards development organizations (SDOs) under existing antitrust laws. H.R. 1086 amends the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993 to address antitrust laws applying to joint ventures by providing limited antitrust protection to participants in such activities. The bill recognizes the assistance that (SDOs) provide to government agencies in developing standards for regulatory and procurement functions and now creates an explicit filing opportunity for developers of voluntary, consensus standards. The law also would help avert “unnecessary and costly” litigation against SDOs that have no commercial interest with regard to the technical specifications contained in the standards.

NIST Selects New Chief of NVLAP

Warren Merkel, a laboratory-testing and accreditation expert with public and private-sector experience, has been chosen to lead the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program at the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology. Before joining NIST, Merkel was the technical manager for the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA). As NVLAP director, he will oversee accreditation of testing and calibration laboratories in eight major product and service categories, from environmental analyses and radiation dosimetry to testing of information technology security and various types of products. NVLAP accreditation confirms that laboratories demonstrate compliance with quality and procedural requirements, satisfying relevant federal regulations and conforming to requirements jointly established by the International Organization for Standardization and the International Electrotechnical Commission, known as ISO/IEC 17025.

New and Improved Web Sites

The Cool Metal Roofing Coalition has launched its new Web site, covering information on cool metal roofing from energy performance and technical issues to sustainability and other environmental considerations. The mission of the Coalition is to unite the resources of the metals industry for education on the sustainable energy-related benefits of metal roofing.

The Association of American Ceramic Component Manufacturers, endorsed by the American Ceramic Society, has updated its Web site. The site now contains information that offers insight on material design challenges and solutions for applications in a variety of industries, including food and beverage processing, electronic, automotive, metal processing, semiconductor fabrication, chemical processing, and pharmaceuticals. The ceramic component solutions apply to other industries and applications that share similar issues such as aerospace, instrumentation, heat treating, power generation, telecommunication, electrical, appliance, medical, construction, textile, paper processing, and mineral processing. //

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