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Lightweight Materials

ASTM is a cosponsor of the Institute for Defense and Government Advancement’s Conference on Lightweight Materials: Engineering Lighter, Stronger, Faster Equipment for the Warfighter, to be held Oct. 28-29 in New Orleans, La. The program will examine the research, development, and execution of lightweight materials for military applications. Scheduled speakers include government decision-makers, executives from companies within the automotive and aerospace industries, and research scientists from academia. Interactive conference workshops will be held on “Assessing Emerging Technology and Its Influence on Structural Design and Durability,” and “New Processes for Manufacturing Lightweight Components.”

ISO 9000 Survey

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) subcommittee responsible for quality systems standards has asked for international participation in a survey of user experience with ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 9004:2000. A Web site questionnaire has been designed to determine users’ concerns and recommendations with regard to these standards, their suitability and their application. The results of the survey will play a major role in guiding the next amendment or revision of these standards. ISO member countries will be registering their experiences, comments and/or concerns on the use of the year 2000 editions of ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 9004:2000 standards. The survey takes approximately 15 minutes to complete, and there is no limit to the number of people who may respond from any one organization. It must be completed online; responses are due by March 31. Survey results will be disseminated through the ISO Technical Committee 176 Subcommittee 2 Web site.

Laboratory Accreditation

The National Cooperation for Laboratory Accreditation’s Third Annual Forum on Laboratory Accreditation will be held April 5-6, in Columbia, Md. Sessions are scheduled to cover “Measuring Uncertainty in the Testing Laboratory,” “Competent Assessors: Their Qualifications, Training and Performance,” “Values of Laboratory Accreditation,” and “Values of Recognition.” Contact: NACLA, c/o Guildline Instruments, Inc., 103 Commerce St., Suite 160, Lake Mary, FL 32746 (fax: 407/333-3309).

Online Tools for Scientists and Engineers

Two new tools provided at the Web site of the National Institute of Standards and Technology can help in making calculations. MassSpectator automates the mathematical calculations needed to convert plots of mass spectrometry data into final results — a listing of the chemical components and concentrations of substances in a mixture of unknown composition.

At, values for more than 300 basic constants and conversion factors — such as the speed of light in a vacuum and Avogadro’s constant — are now available. These values, recommended by the international Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA), are the result of an adjustment carried out by NIST physicists under the auspices of the CODATA Task Group on Fundamental Constants.

Polymer Testing Conference

Plastics and Rubber Weekly and European Plastics News are planning a conference on Polymer Testing to be held in Brussels, Belgium, on April 20-21. This intensive two-day conference will provide an opportunity to explore some of the latest technical advances and specialized polymer testing methods. Sessions topics include: “R&D Overview,” “Legislative Compliance,” “Infrared Testing Technology,” “Rheology and Flow Properties,” “Mechanical Testing,” and more. Contact:

Materials Standards and Color Measurement

The latest revision of the InterSociety Color Council’s “Guide to Material Standards and Their Use in Color Measurement” is available. Initiated within ASTM in 1957 and continued in an ISCC project committee, the guide provides an introduction to material standards and their use for the standardization of color measuring instruments. Contact: ISCC, Reston, Va. (phone: 703/318-0263).

New Standard on the Menu: Certified Slurried Spinach

While slurried spinach may not sound very appetizing, its use by food companies as a standard reference material created by the National Institute of Standards and Technology can help ensure that you know the exact nutritional information for the spinach you do eat. NIST has produced the reference materials as small jars of spinach that has been blanched, pureed, and passed through filter screens; the concentrations of vitamins and other constituents have been measured and certified so the food industry can use the reference to validate analytical methods and provide accurate nutritional information for its products. //

Copyright 2004, ASTM International