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The ASTM designation, assigned by ASTM HQ on submittal for approval, consists of the following parts:
Classification, Guide, Practice, Specification, Terminology, Test Method
classification, n— a systematic arrangement or division of materials, products, systems, or services into groups based on similar characteristics such as origin, composition, properties, or use. guide, n— a compendium of information or series of options that does not recommend a specific course of action.
DISCUSSION—A guide increases the awareness of information and approaches in a given subject area.
practice, n— a set of instructions for performing one or more specific operations that does not produce a test result.
DISCUSSION—Examples of practices include, but are not limited to: application, assessment, cleaning, collection, decontamination, inspection, installation, preparation, sampling, screening, and training.
specification, n— an explicit set of requirements to be satisfied by a material, product, system, or service.
DISCUSSION—Examples of specifications include, but are not limited to, requirements for; physical, mechanical, or chemical properties, and safety, quality, or performance criteria. A specification identifies the test methods for determining whether each of the requirements is satisfied.
terminology standard, n— a document comprising definitions of terms; explanations of symbols, abbreviations, or acronyms. test method, n— a definitive procedure that produces a test result.
DISCUSSION—Examples of test methods include, but are not limited to: identification, measurement, and evaluation of one or more qualities, characteristics, or properties. A precision and bias statement shall be reported at the end of a test method. (Refer to Section A21 on Precision and Bias.)
The 80+ volume Annual Book of ASTM Standards contains ASTM's 12,000+ standards and is available in print and online formats.
Referenced standards include documents referenced within the standard: ASTM standards and adjuncts; and standards and codes of other organizations.
Once approval to proceed with the creation of a new standard is given by the subcommittee, a task group will be formed to develop a first draft. It is appropriate for the proponent to be active, and possibly even chair the task group. Average time for the development and approval of a new standard is 18 months.