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ASTM or Military Standards

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#1 GRockwell


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Posted 19 April 2011 - 02:13 PM


I was thinking about buying the ASTM volume 15.10, to have all of the ASTM crate standards (about 300$$). But then realized that there are standards available from the government for the same crates for free, but haven't been updated since the 80's. My question is, do you think that it's worth it to spend the money to get the ASTM standards? Are they any better?

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 04:02 PM

The answer is kinda' yes and no.

The technical data in the ASTM standards is between substantially similar to exactly similar to that of the older mil-specs. The original ASTM D6251 was developed directly from the PPP-B-601 and has probably had less than a couple hundred words changed since then. The other ASTM crating specs have similarly been created directly from the mil specs. Recently, there have been changes to the ASTM standards that reflect requirements for ISPM eradication. Otherwise they're about apples-to-apples all the way down to the graphics being cut-and-pasted from the originals.

Situations where you may want the ASTM standards are if you have an RFQ for a container and/or packaging that calls out ASTM specifically. In this case, you may need to know what they say. The caveat here though is that they are all very difficult to read and interpret. Since the ASTM specs were not engineered from scratch but are mostly updates from the government specs, they both have the same challenges when it comes to interpretations and conflicts.

Another benefit to the ASTM book is that you have most everything in one place and the print quality is better. You can also choose between the printed book or the CD.

Back to the flip side... if you go to the Packing and Crating Standards page here at WCO you can find copies of most of the standards that you'll need and many of them have been retyped and cleaned up as well as indexed to the Table of Contents.

As a take away, maybe check out the mil spec standards here first. If you have problems understanding them (as a great many people do) then you may not want to bother spending the money with ASTM.


Jeff Duck

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