Standard – A set of technical definitions, instructions, rules, guidelines, or characteristics set forth to provide consistent and comparable results, including:
- Items manufactured uniformly, providing for interchangeability
- Tests and analyses conducted reliably, minimizing the uncertainty of the results
- Facilities designed and constructed for safe operation
In short, a standard is an agreed-upon way of doing things. Standards may or may not be voluntary. Some standards are adapted into law and become codes, for example the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code. You can take a look at a copy of this code in Room 161 (Standards Center) at Parks Library.
More information on the different types of standards is available from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
Consensus standards, such as those produced by ASTM International, are not required by law but help to ensure uniformity in products and practices. ASTM's 12,000+ standards broadly cover technical specifications for materials, applications, processes, properties and testing, and test methods.
Standards from ASTM International are available to ISU students online through:
If you do not find what you are looking for using ASTM Compass, contact your librarian or try the Library's in-depth standards guide: