Some ASTM Standards include ASTM A1 Standard Specification for Carbon Steel Rail, ASTM B1-01 Standard Specification for Hard-Drawn Copper Wire, ASTM C91 Cement Standards and Concrete Standards, and ASTM D86 Standard Test Method for Distillation of Petroleum Products at Atmospheric Pressure. These are just several of the thousands of ASTM standards that operate on a global scale as of 2015.
The American Society for Testing and Materials was founded in 1898 by a team of scientists and engineers led by Charles Benjamin Dudley. Initially, the group sought to create industry-approved standards related to the steel used for railroad work. As of 2015, its mandate has expanded significantly, and there are over 12,000 ASTM standards that improve products and allow consumers to make informed, responsible decisions. Some of the many areas covered by ASTM standards are metals, paints, petroleum, energy, medical services and advanced materials.
The organization's 30,000 drive the agenda and press for voluntary standards on an increasing amount of goods and services. ASTM is effective because it is comprised of both the providers and the users of those goods and services. Drawing upon that feedback, the group uses good science and engineering to improve performance.
ASTM is a unique partnership in that the private and public sectors collaborate openly in technical committees. Based on the feedback from the users and providers, these partners develop standards that are used and accepted worldwide.
As of 2015, ASTM International has its headquarters in West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. The group also has offices in Belgium, Canada, China, Mexico and Washington, D.C.