Technological Innovation

What is ASTM vs ISO?

When it comes to technical standards, two organizations stand out: ASTM International and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Both play a significant role in establishing and maintaining standards across various industries. In this article, we will explore the key differences between ASTM and ISO.

The Role of ASTM

ASTM International, formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials, is an organization that develops and publishes voluntary consensus technical standards. Founded in 1898, ASTM has become a global leader in ensuring the quality and safety of products, services, and systems.

ASTM standards cover a wide range of fields, including aerospace, construction, energy, environmental protection, manufacturing, and many others. These industry-specific standards provide guidelines and test methods that help organizations ensure product quality, improve efficiency, and mitigate risks.

The Function of ISO

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is an independent, non-governmental international organization that develops and publishes standards. Established in 1947, ISO aims to facilitate international trade by harmonizing and aligning technical specifications from different countries.

ISO standards are more generic and cover a broad range of industries and sectors, including technology, manufacturing, healthcare, agriculture, and transportation. The organization's focus is on improving quality, reducing errors, and enhancing reliability in various processes and products.

Differences and Similarities

While both ASTM and ISO develop standards, there are some key differences between the two:

1. Scope: ASTM primarily focuses on specific industries and sectors, providing detailed technical requirements and testing procedures. ISO, on the other hand, covers a broader range of fields and offers more general guidelines.

2. Development Process: ASTM standards are developed by technical committees composed of industry experts, manufacturers, researchers, and other stakeholders. ISO standards undergo a similar process but involve the participation of national standards bodies from different countries.

3. Voluntary vs Mandatory: ASTM standards are voluntary, meaning that organizations can choose whether or not to comply with them. In contrast, ISO standards can be adopted as mandatory regulations by national governments to ensure uniformity and quality across borders.

Despite these differences, both ASTM and ISO share the common goal of establishing consensus-based standards that enhance safety, efficiency, and quality in industry practices.


ASTM International and ISO play crucial roles in the development of technical standards. While ASTM focuses on specific industries and provides detailed requirements, ISO covers a broader spectrum and aims to harmonize standards internationally. Both organizations contribute significantly to improving product quality, enhancing efficiency, and ensuring the safety and reliability of various processes.

Whether you need industry-specific guidelines or more general best practices, consulting ASTM and ISO standards can be the key to success in meeting quality and safety requirements.


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