Understanding Standards

A Primer on Programs and Purpose

From JPCL, February 2017


How does a method, material, or practice ultimately become the accepted standard? This feature delves into the different types of standards that exist in the coatings industry, as well as what various standards-setting bodies have on deck with new publications and updates....

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Tagged categories: AAMA; Accelerated laboratory testing; Air quality; Allen Zielnik; Architectural coatings; ASTM; Atlas Material Testing; Certifications and standards; Coatings; Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); EPA; Good Technical Practice; Government; Green Seal; ISO; Laboratory testing; Master Painters Institute (MPI); NACE; Performance testing; Salt spray cabinets; SCAQMD; SSPC

Comment from Sheldon Wolfe, (3/17/2017, 10:23 AM)

Standards are valuable for many reasons, and we couldn't do our work without them. They not only provide a way to compare products but they also greatly reduce the length of specifications. Incorporating a standard brings everything in that standard into a specification. If we had to write out everything in every standard, a single specification might be hundreds of pages long, and a project manual would fill a moving van. Although necessary, standards don't always make sense. As Allen notes, standards don't necessarily apply directly to real-world performance. They often are arbitrary and have little to do with what is required for satisfactory performance. Is the compressive strength specified by a standard based on what is required? ASTM C579 specifies a method for testing compressive strength, but who decides what that strength should be? You must know your standards, but you also must have faith in them. http://bit.ly/1E2ZCrz

Comment from Allen Zielnik, (3/17/2017, 5:04 PM)

Thank you for you comment, Sheldon. Yes, standards are very important or we have chaos. Can you imagine requiring a separate browser for every website? But, and this is important, standards often are designed to provide only a common method of evaluation or comparison. Many assume that standards somehow "guarantee" some performance; in some cases this is fairly true, such as the AAMA 2404-2406 standards. But in other cases the relationship between performance in a particular test and it's relation to actual field performance (under a variety of conditions) is either unclear or missing.

Comment from JOSE HUERTAS, (4/3/2017, 10:02 AM)

Allen, It is a great article : technical, useful, valuable, so on. congratulations.

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