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What is the difference between ASTM and ANSI?

When it comes to standards organizations, two prominent names that often come up are ASTM and ANSI. Both of these organizations play an essential role in setting technical standards for various industries. However, there are significant differences between ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) and ANSI (American National Standards Institute). In this article, we will explore these differences in detail.

ASTM: Setting Standards for Materials

ASTM International, previously known as the American Society for Testing and Materials, focuses primarily on developing and publishing voluntary consensus standards for materials, products, systems, and services. Their standards cover a wide range of industries, including construction, petroleum, metals, plastics, textiles, and more.

What sets ASTM apart is its robust and transparent standard development process. Experts from various industries collaborate to create and update ASTM standards through a consensus-based approach. These standards help ensure quality, safety, and reliability in the products and materials used worldwide.

ANSI: A Broad Spectrum of Standards

The American National Standards Institute, commonly referred to as ANSI, is involved in developing national standards across numerous fields. ANSI serves as the coordinator of the U.S. voluntary standardization system, bringing together private-sector organizations, government agencies, and other stakeholders.

Unlike ASTM, which focuses primarily on materials and products, ANSI covers a broader spectrum of standards. Their areas of focus include technology, engineering, safety, energy, telecommunications, environmental protection, and more.

Key Distinctions

While both ASTM and ANSI contribute significantly to the standardization process, there are a few key distinctions worth mentioning:

1. Scope:

ASTM focuses on materials, products, and systems, whereas ANSI encompasses a broader range of fields, including services, personnel, processes, and more.

2. Consensus Process:

ASTM requires consensus among its members to approve or revise standards, ensuring that all interested parties have an equal voice in the decision-making process. ANSI also follows a consensus-based approach but represents a wider range of stakeholders beyond the ASTM membership.

3. Recognition:

ASTM standards are internationally recognized and used by numerous industries worldwide. ANSI standards, on the other hand, are primarily adopted at the national level, serving as a foundation for international standardization efforts.


In summary, ASTM and ANSI are two leading organizations involved in setting technical standards. While ASTM focuses on materials and products, ANSI covers a broader spectrum of fields. These organizations play a crucial role in ensuring quality, safety, and reliability across various industries, but their areas of focus and standardization processes differ in noteworthy ways.


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