What is an ASTM Standard?

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What is an ASTM Standard? 

If you have ever worked in the steel industry or worked around metal, chances are you have come across an ASTM Standard. These standards are set forth to ensure the quality and consistency of each material. Keep reading below for an explanation of how to read an ASTM standard. 

What is an ASTM Standard? How do I read it? What do the numbers represent?

ASTM is originally known as the American Society for the International Association for Testing and Materials. This organization was created in the late 1800s by a group of engineers and scientists from the railroad industry. This organization sets forth over 13,0000 standards in industries such as iron and steel, plastics, nonferrous metals, construction, petroleum products, lubricants and fossil fuels, paints and coatings, textiles, rubber, electrical insulations and electric, water, and environmental technology, nuclear, solar, and geothermal, and medical. The main objective, to enhance health and safety and improve performance and quality. (ASTM.org) 


ASTM Designations:

Every ASTM standard is identified with a mandatory designation signified by a capital letter (A-H), a serial number ranging from 1-4 digits, a dash, and finally, the year the standard was issued. On occasion, some ASTM standards will have a capital “M” for metric or a year in parathesis (0000), indicating the year of last re-approval.  


A - Ferrous metals and products (steel)

 B - Nonferrous metals and products (coatings)

 C - Cementitious, ceramic, concrete, and masonry materials

 F - end-use materials and products (bolts)

 G - Corrosion, deterioration, weathering, durability, and degradation of materials and products


How to read an ASTM Standard: 

Example: A328/A328m-13a (2018)- Standard Specification for steel sheet piling. 

  • A - signifies a ferrous metal but does not classify as carbon steel, alloy, tool, stainless or cast-iron steel. 
  • 328- is a sequential number without any relationships to the metal’s properties. 
  • M - Si units (metric) 328/328M, both inch per pound and Si units. 
  • 13 – the year of adoption
  • A/B – second or third revision of the standard. 
  • (2018) – the year of last re- approval. 


What are the most common ASTM Standards at Alliance Steel?


  • A1011 - CSB, SS Gr. 36 - Gr. 55, HSLA Gr. 50 – Gr. 100
  • A1018 - CSB, SS Gr. 36 - Gr. 55, HSLA Gr. 50 – Gr. 100
  • A572 Gr. 50 – Gr. 60


More Information:

For more information on ASTM and ASTM Steel Standards- please visit ASTM.org.

Alliance Steel is a top flat-rolled steel supplier, coil processor, and material distributor dedicated to supporting various manufacturing needs across many industrial sectors. We have been a leader in flat-roll steel supply and coil processing leader for over 20 years.

In May 2020, we relocated to Gary, Indiana, strategically placing ourselves near significant highways, mills, and ports. There are also two additional sales locations in the Mid- South (Atlanta and Memphis).


Our temperature-controlled 300,000 square foot facility is equipped with full rail service, multiple slitters, including a heavy-gauge line, numerous fiber lasers, multi–blanking, cut to length, stretcher leveling, and metallurgical capabilities.

Alliance Steel is prepared to support your steel needs with an extensive inventory of flat-rolled sheet and coil products. In addition, we maintain a selection of hot rolled steel, hot rolled pickled and oiled, hot rolled pickled dry, cold-rolled steel, motor lam, all coated products steel products. For more information, please call 219-427-5400 or send us a contact form.