ASTM Redline Standards

Constantly-advancing technology and new leading practices represent the fluidity of industry. As knowledge develops, standardization advances alongside it, since all standards are reviewed and either revised, reaffirmed, or withdrawn over a periodic process. With these continuous updates, professionals who depend on the knowledge shared within standards documents need to keep up to date with the dynamic environment. This blog is often a valued resource when it comes to standardization, as we discuss the various changes that take place with many new standards.

However, sometimes people want more than simply knowing the changes. Some people, as they depend on these documents to enhance their organization’s activities, want to actually see where the changes occurred in the standard document itself. In meeting this purpose, redline versions of standards serve as informative visual aids.

ASTM International, an ANSI-accredited standards developing organization, is responsible for the publication of over 12,000 standards offering guidelines and specifications that support the spectrum of industry, covering things like general materials testing to subjects like forensics classification and even supporting consumer products like bicycle helmets. Also, since these documents are subject to periodic revision, ASTM redline standards are useful for an assortment of professionals.

Traditionally, redline standards, owing due to their name, characteristically are marked by red lines, which strike through text in the standard document to mark removals from the previous edition. ASTM redline standards, however, do not quite share this trait, as red text in ASTM standards is allocated to references to other standards and similar use cases within the documents. Therefore, ASTM redline standards contain strikethrough text with lines of the same color as the words themselves. For most of the text, this is black; where referenced standards have been replaced or specific sections are referenced, the strikethrough lines are red. Where text has been added to the new edition of a standard, it is underlined.

For example, in the redline version of ASTM A123/A123M-17: Standard Specification For Zinc (Hot-Dip Galvanized) Coatings On Iron And Steel Products, it is noted that minor roughness that does not interfere with the “product such as particulates of dross (Fe/Zn solid particles) in the coating that appear like pimples” should not be grounds for rejection, which is an adjustment from the 2015 edition of the same standard. The previous edition simply said “product” in this section, or, in the redline version of the 2017 edition, “product.”

You can find actual red lines in this standard where a reference to Table 1 was removed from the 2015 edition: Table 1

This is just one example of the thousands of ASTM redline standards that clearly demonstrate the changes between editions of ASTM standards.

ASTM Redline Standards are available on the ANSI Webstore. These come with both a redline copy of the ASTM standard, as well as an original copy of the revised standard.

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