How do I search for an ASTM International standard?

    From any page at, search by keyword or designation (e.g., A53) in the site search box at the top right - OR - select the Products & Services drop-down, then Standards to use the Standards Search - OR - select the Get Involved drop-down, then Technical Committees and search for a Technical Committee. On each Technical Committee page, drill down through the link List of Subcommittees, Standards and Work Items to find standards of interest.

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    How do I access an ASTM International standard through COMPASS?

    From, determine if your IP address is associated with a Compass subscription. If so, search by keyword or designation (e.g., A53) in the site search box at the top.
    To view a tutorial on how to access COMPASS platform click here:

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    What does an ASTM International designation number mean?

    The ASTM designation, assigned by ASTM HQ on submittal for approval, consists of the following parts:

    • A letter denoting the classification according to material, product, system or service;
    • A sequential number following the letter;
    • A hyphen, followed by the last two numbers of the year of acceptance or of last revision. (If the standard is revised again during the same year, this is indicated with an "a" added for the second revision, “b” for the third revision, etc.)
    • The parenthetical phrase "(Reapproved 20___)" is used to denote the year of last reapproval of a standard and the epsilon (ɛ) is added after the year designation to indicate an editorial change.

    Designation Number

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    What types of standards does ASTM International develop?

    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.)

    Types of Standards

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    What is the Book of Standards?

    The 80+ volume Annual Book of ASTM Standards contains ASTM's 12,000+ standards and is available in print and online formats.

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    What is a referenced standard?

    Referenced standards include documents referenced within the standard: ASTM standards and adjuncts; and standards and codes of other organizations.

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    What is the timeline for a standard's development?

    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.

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