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Magazines & Newsletters / ASTM Standardization News


March/April 2008

ASTM Biofuel Standards in New Energy Law

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, signed into law by U.S. President George W. Bush on Dec. 17, 2007, references several ASTM International biofuel standards in an effort to promote the use of alternative fuels. This law will increase automobile fuel economy standards and require fuel producers to use at least 36 billion gallons of renewable fuel annually by 2022.

U.S. President Bush

U.S. President Bush signs into law the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 at the U.S. Department of Energy.

The energy bill mandates the use of ASTM International standard D 6751, Specification for Biodiesel Fuel Blend Stock (B100) for Middle Distillate Fuels, for biodiesel blend stock used in the United States. This performance-based standard establishes criteria for quality and purity that help ensure that biodiesel fuels do not harm engines. Moreover, D 6751 is blend-stock neutral and thus appropriate for biofuel derived from either plant oils or animal fats. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency already requires that all biodiesel intended for use as fuel meet ASTM D 6751.

The law further exempts some biomass-based diesel blends from new labeling requirements if these fuels meet ASTM D 975, Specification for Diesel Fuel Oils.

In April 2007, Robert McCormick of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Steven Westbrook from Southwest Research Institute wrote in SN that rising demand for biofuel has increased the need for developing standards for alternative fuels. They noted that stakeholders have “worked within the ASTM process to develop [biofuel] standards useful to all.”

ASTM International Committee D02 on Petroleum Products and Lubricants maintains the biofuel standards included in the energy bill.

ASTM Swimming Pool Safety Standard in New Law to Prevent Drowning Accidents

In an effort to prevent child drownings, U.S. President George W. Bush signed into law the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act of 2007, which establishes federal safety standards for swimming pools and spas. The new law cites ASTM International standard F 2387, Specification for Manufactured Safety Vacuum Release Systems (SVRS) for Swimming Pools, Spas and Hot Tubs.

Named after Virginia Graeme Baker, a 7-year-old who died in a drowning accident in 2002, this legislation requires that new pools and spas include safer drainage systems that reduce the likelihood of children becoming trapped underwater.

More than 750 children died in drowning accidents in 2004. This law instructs the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to establish a safety rule for improved drain covers and safety vacuum release systems based on existing American Society of Mechanical Engineers and ASTM International standards.

ASTM Committees F15 on Consumer Products and F14 on Fences have developed safety standards for swimming pools and spas, including anti-entrapment devices, barrier fencing and pool covers. ASTM standard F 2387 provides guidelines for rapidly detecting and releasing vacuum pressure when a person blocks an outlet for the pool’s pumping system, thereby reducing the risk of drowning or entrapment. Although F 2387 is the only ASTM standard specifically cited, this law does encourage CPSC and states to use the most recent pool safety-related standards.

Safe Kids USA, a children’s safety advocacy group, believes the law’s safety measures combined with new education programs could save the lives of thousands of children. Former Secretary of State James Baker, the grandfather of drowning victim Virginia Graeme Baker, told Safe Kids USA that his family’s “hearts have been lifted by the passage of this common-sense piece of legislation that will save lives.”

Kevin Cummins is ASTM director, public policy and international trade

ASTM Annual Business Meeting: June 25

The 2008 Annual Business Meeting will be featured during the Wednesday, June 25, ASTM members’ breakfast at the June committee week meetings in Denver, Colo. The complimentary breakfast begins at 7:00 a.m. at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Contact Maureen Houck, ASTM International, for further information (phone: 610/832-9594).


Jon Cavallo (center) and Mr. Liu Fei (far right)

On Dec. 28, 2007, Jon Cavallo (center), chair, ASTM International Committee D33 on Protective Coating and Lining Work for Power Generation Facilities, and Mr. Liu Fei (far right), chief representative, ASTM China office, attended a meeting at China’s Institute for Standardization of Nuclear Industry about technical issues related to the standards for protective coatings for nuclear engineering. The discussion lasted several hours, with topics being the general background of ASTM (including membership, the consensus process, history and China operations) and information about the scope of Committee D33. Also discussed was the continuing development of standards under the jurisdiction of Committee D33. Nine Chinese experts, including three from the Beijing Institute of Nuclear Engineering and one from the Shanghai Nuclear Engineering Research and Design Institute, attended the meeting, which was headed by Mr. Kang Yexi, vice director, ISNI.

Earl Ruth

While traveling to Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, and various cities in India on behalf of Tinius Olsen Testing Machine Co., Inc., Earl Ruth, a member of the ASTM International board of directors and chairman of ASTM Committee E28 on Mechanical Testing, had the opportunity to present information about ASTM International, its standards development process and the resulting standards. In each location, Ruth was met by ASTM members and standards users who were eager to know more about the organization’s voluntary consensus process as well as about technical aspects of Committee E28’s standard test methods.

John Pace and Martin Farrell

John Pace and Martin Farrell

John Pace, vice president, publications and marketing, ASTM International, and Martin Farrell, director of international sales (Australia/Asia and western United States), visited Beijing, China, from Jan. 16 to 18. During their visit, Pace and Farrell, accompanied by Mr. Liu Fei, ASTM’s China office chief representative, and Ms. Nancy Hu, assistant, Consortium on Standards and Conformity Assessment, met with representatives from various Chinese organizations, including the China National Institute of Standardization (above), the State Food and Drug Administration of China, the Committee for Surgical Implants of the China Association for Medical Devices Industry, the Hefei General Machinery Research Institute, the Institute for Standardization of Nuclear Industry, and the China office of CPN International. During these meetings, discussions included renewal of the ASTM-CNIS cooperative contract, distribution of standards and translation of standards for medical devices, valves, nuclear energy and nuclear density. In addition, Pace hosted a dinner for Mr. Shi Baoquan, vice administrator, Standardization Administration of China, to show appreciation for his active role in cooperative efforts between ASTM International and SAC.

Vanessa Corona Villatoro, contact administrator at the ASTM International office in Mexico City, Mexico, spent a week at ASTM International Headquarters in West Conshohocken, Pa. Here, Corona (center) poses with Spanish speaking ASTM staff members (left to right): James Olshefsky, Christine DeJong, Jessica Hychalk, Vanessa Corona, Brendan Huffman and Derek Franco.

Kevin Cummins and Stephen Mawn

David Li, a building services engineer from Hong Kong’s Electrical and Mechanical Services Department, met with representatives from ASTM International and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers in Washington, D.C., to discuss energy efficiency standards and building codes. From left to right: Kevin Cummins and Stephen Mawn, ASTM; Ryan Colker, ASHRAE; and David Li, Hong Kong EMSD.

ASTM Hosts ANSI/NAM Network on Chemical Regulation Meeting

The second in-person meeting of the ANSI/NAM Network on Chemical Regulation was held at ASTM International headquarters in West Conshohocken, Pa., Jan. 21-22. The network, which is sponsored by the American National Standards Institute and the National Association of Manufacturers, is an issue-driven group created to enable industry to speak with one voice when addressing chemical-related regulations and regulatory controls. James Cooper

James Cooper, a member of the ANSI/NAM Network on Chemical Regulation, addresses a group during one of the sessions held at ASTM headquarters in January.

The purpose of the meeting was to introduce and launch a new working group structure within which to conduct business. Working groups formed during the meeting will address chemical-related regulatory issues that have been identified as having the most significant impact across all industries.

With the work group structure in place, the network will now be able to strategically and tactically address the imminent requirements for implementation of European Community regulation EC 1907/2007 (REACH), which deals with the registration, evaluation, authorization and restriction of chemical substances. REACH took effect on June 1, 2007. In addition, the network will now be able to appropriately address chemical-related concerns going forward.

Members of ASTM International Committee F40 on Declarable Substances in Materials have the ANSI/NAM Network since its formation in October 2007.

FAA Rules in Favor of ASTM LSA Standards for Use in Primary Category Airplane Manufacture

Two ASTM International standards developed by Committee F37 on Light Sport Aircraft have recently been accepted by the Federal Aviation Administration for use in the design and building of primary category airplanes. The two standards, F 2245, Specification for Design and Performance of a Light Sport Airplane, and F 2339, Practice for Design and Manufacture of Reciprocating Spark Ignition Engines for Light Sport Aircraft, may now be used in place of federal regulations in the design and production of larger primary category aircraft.

F37 standards were developed for a relatively new category of small, light, two-seat aircraft, mostly for recreational use. However, due to the FAA ruling, F 2245 and F 2339 can now be used in the design and production of larger, four-seat airplanes that are more complex than light sport airplanes and are more likely to be used for transportation, as opposed to recreation. Earl Lawrence, F37 chair and vice president, industry and regulatory affairs, EAA, says that this ruling is a vote of confidence in ASTM International and in the standards developed by F37.

“The FAA is saying that F37 did such a good job in writing design standards for small aircraft that these standards will now be allowed to be used for more complex aircraft,” says Lawrence. “F37 standards are already being used globally for light sport aircraft. Now that the FAA has accepted these two standards in the primary category, we expect more governments around the world to adopt these standards for larger aircraft certification as well.”

In addition to adding depth and breadth to the F37 standards, Lawrence notes that the FAA ruling will make it easier for smaller manufacturers to expand their production and provide larger, more capable aircraft without having to switch their production systems.

More Terms, Expanded Search Options Enhance ASTM Online Dictionary

Enhancements to ASTM International’s online Terminology Dictonary have made an already valuable tool for standards development even better. Launched in early 2007, the Terminology Dictionary is accessible free of charge to all participating and organizational members of ASTM. When it was originally launched, the dictionary contained 30,000 items from ASTM terminology standards. Recent enhancements to the dictionary include the following.

The dictionary has now more than doubled in content. An additional 46,000 terms defined in ASTM standards other than terminology standards (test methods, specifications, practices, guides and classifications) have been included, creating a comprehensive 76,000-entry electronic dictionary.

Search options have been expanded to include the ability to search for keywords as part of the term or as part of the definition. Also, search results may now be further sorted by standard
or committee.

The online dictionary, with the benefits of its electronic format, search functionalities, vast technical content and quarterly update, is an important resource for the standards-related work of ASTM members. To access the Terminology Dictionary members can log into the My ASTM section of the ASTM International Web site. Then click on My Committees; the Terminology Dictionary appears as the last entry in the My Tools box on the left-hand side of the page.

MOU Program: Mozambique and Grenada

ASTM International has recently signed memorandums of understanding with two more national standards bodies. In January, ASTM International signed a memorandum of understanding with Mozambique’s Instituto Nacional de Normalização e Qualidade, Mozambique. The MOU was signed by Alfredo Filipe Sitoe, director, INNOQ and James Thomas, president, ASTM International. An MOU was finalized in February with the Grenada Bureau of Standards. Thomas and L. Simeon Collins, director, GDBS, signed the MOU.

ASTM International has now signed 57 memorandums of understanding with national standards bodies and one with a regional standards body. The purpose of the MOU program is to promote communication between ASTM International and national standards bodies; to promote knowledge of each other’s standards development activities; facilitate greater worldwide participation in the ASTM standards development process; and facilitate the development of national standards that will aid health, safety, environmental and economic institutions.

ASTM Advantage Award

After the success of the 2007 competition launch, ASTM International is again seeking success stories that clearly demonstrate the benefits of ASTM standards by offering the 2008 Advantage Award. Anyone who knows a case in which ASTM standards make the world safer, help the flow of business or are cited in regulation, and has data to support the example, is encouraged to write a case study for the 2008 Advantage Award competition.

Papers must accurately address, in detail, the impact of using an ASTM standard or set of ASTM standards and must contain supporting data. Cash prizes will be awarded to the authors listed on the entry form of winning entries: $15,000 for first prize; $10,000 for second prize; and $5,000 for third prize.

William T. Cavanaugh Memorial Award

Nominations are being sought for the William T. Cavanaugh Memorial Award. Established in 1987, this award is granted to a person of widely recognized eminence in the voluntary standards system who may or may not be a member of ASTM International. The title of honorary member is bestowed upon recipients of this award.

Nominations should contain a citation of 25 words or less, career background and details on the candidate’s outstanding contributions within ASTM at the society level as well as to other standards organizations or professional societies. All offices and special positions held in each organization should be identified, and accomplishments to advance the efforts of the global standards community specifically identified.

Nominations must be received by April 1. Send nominations to the Executive Committee, c/o the President’s Office, ASTM International, 100 Barr Harbor Drive, P.O. Box C700, W. Conshohocken, PA 19428. Contact Maureen Houck for a copy of the award criteria or if you need additional information (phone: 610/832-9594).

Dudley Medal

The ASTM Committee on Publications is soliciting candidate publications from ASTM committees for the Dudley Medal Award. Each committee may submit one publication for consideration.
The award honors an outstanding contribution that has a widely recognized impact on a particular field of ASTM interest and has been documented in ASTM literature. A minimum of three years must have elapsed between the date of publication of a nominee and the nomination deadline of April 15.

Eligible candidate publications may be:

  • An individual paper or group of papers;
  • A special technical publication;
  • A data series publication;
  • An atomic and molecular data publication; or
  • A manual, monograph, handbook or computer software program.

Submittals should be made on or before April 15 and must contain the following information:

  • Name of the candidate publication;
  • Name of the author(s), editor or contributor to the candidate publication;
  • Statement of 300 words or less stating why the candidate publication should receive the award and how the publication meets the basis of the award;
  • Name and designation of the submitting committee (no more than one nomination from a committee shall be submitted); and
  • Name and address of the individual acting on behalf of the committee.

Submit nominations to Kathy Dernoga, Committee on Publications, ASTM International, 100 Barr Harbor Drive, P.O. Box C700, W. Conshohocken, PA 19428.

Frank W. Reinhart Award

ASTM International seeks nominations for the 2008 Frank W. Reinhart Award, which honors a technical committee, a subcommittee or an individual ASTM member who has made outstanding and unusual contributions to the organization in terminology standardization.

The award, established in 1981, honors the late Reinhart, who was active in ASTM terminology work for many years. Reinhart exemplified the intent of the award through his dedication to the use of correct and appropriate technical terminology in ASTM standards. The Subcommittee on Form and Style of the Committee on Standards administers the award.

Nominations documenting the contributions of the candidate must be postmarked by Aug. 1, and forwarded to Barbara Smith, ASTM International, 100 Barr Harbor Drive, P.O. Box C700, W. Conshohocken, PA, 19428 (phone: 610/832-9684).

Walter C. Voss Award

Nominations are requested for the 2008 Walter C. Voss Award to recognize outstanding contributions to advancing knowledge in the building technology field. The award honors longtime member and former chair of Committee C07 on Lime, Walter C. Voss. Presented to an engineer, scientist, or other professional in the trade, both ASTM members and nonmembers are eligible.

Nominations should indicate how the nominee has contributed to advancing knowledge in the building technology field. Emphasis should be placed on those using materials that led to significant advances, innovation or creative efforts that have benefited the entire construction industry and encouraged its fundamental development.

Nominations documenting the contributions of the candidate must be postmarked no later than Aug. 1. Please send nominations to Barbara Smith, ASTM International, 100 Barr Harbor Drive, P.O. Box C700, W. Conshohocken, PA 19428 (phone: 610/832-9684).

Katharine and Bryant Mather Scholarship

Applications are currently being accepted for the 2008 ASTM International Katharine and Bryant Mather Scholarship. Administered by ASTM International Committee C09 on Concrete and Concrete Aggregates, the scholarship applies to students pursuing degrees specializing in cement or concrete materials technology or concrete construction.

Full-time undergraduate students completing their second/sophomore year of college or later, or graduate students specializing in cement or concrete materials technology are eligible to apply. The 2008 Katharine and Bryant Mather Scholarship consists of $7,500 of tuition assistance. The deadline for applications for this year’s scholarship is April 30.

The scholarship honors Katharine and Bryant Mather, who together contributed more than 100 years to the investigation and research on the effects of various concreting materials and construction techniques, and on the ability of hydraulic-cement concretes to remain durable under aggressive exposure conditions.

For more information, including a full description of the scholarship award, a student scholarship application and faculty reference form, please click here, or contact Scott Orthey, manager, Technical Committee Operations, ASTM International (phone: 610/832-9730).

Nominating Committee Welcomes Suggestions for ASTM Board

The ASTM Nominating Committee, appointed annually by the ASTM board of directors, welcomes suggestions from the ASTM membership for candidates for the following positions on the 2009 board of directors:

  • Chairman (one-year term);
  • Vice-chairman (two-year term); and
  • Six directors (three-year terms).

Complete biographical information including candidate's name, title, business address, education, as well as the candidate's professional experience affiliations, honors and awards should be sent to ASTM Nominating Committee, Attn: Maureen Houck, 100 Barr Harbor Dr., P.O. Box C700, W. Conshohocken, PA 19428. Contact Maureen Houck if you need further information (phone: 610/832-9594).