What are the differences between ASTM, AASHTO, ACI and ANSI?

ASTM, AASHTO, ACI, ANSI etc. are organisations that develop international standards and are based in or originated in the United States (all of them have America in their full name). Not to mention, the specifications developed by each of them are known after their respective organizations. ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) is head quartered in the United States with offices in Latin America, Canada, Belgium and China. ASTM standards cover metals, paints, plastics, textiles, petroleum, construction, energy, environment, consumer products, medical services and devices, computerized systems, electronics etc. with main focus on manufacturing. AASHTO mainly covers material and testing standards for bridge and highway construction. When they cover common areas, most of the AASHTO standards will be same or similar to their counterparts in ASTM. Similarly ACI (American Concrete Institute) provides standards dealing primarily with concrete whereas ANSI (The American National Standards Institute) is the only representative from United States in the ISO (International Organization for Standardization).

Even though all of these standards start with America in their names, they form part of contract documents in projects across the world. For example the general notes of a project in the Middle East states “All the materials and workmanship shall be according to the AASHTO specifications and ASTM standards except where modified below, or in technical specifications and special provisions of bidding documents.”

Another section of the contract documents of the same project states;
“Bearings shall be designed in accordance with the latest edition of AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications, Section 14.7, as complemented or modified herein.”
“Bearings shall be constructed as specified in the latest edition of AASHTO LRFD Bridge Construction Specifications. Section 18. as complemented or modified herein.”
“Alternatively, the bearings may be designed and constructed in accordance with as EN 1337-5 Structural Bearings – Part 5: Pot Bearings, as complemented or modified herein.”

In addition, there are many more organisations, whose standards have found popularity in the US and other parts of the world. Please click here for the detailed list.

Visit the below link to have a clear idea about the distinct areas covered by various standards in the mechanical design segment.

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