Standardization News

ASTM International and Critical Materials Institute Enter into MOU

MOU outlines a framework for coordination and development of ASTM critical materials standards

On July 22, ASTM International and the Critical Materials Institute entered into a memorandum of understanding and member agreement that will pave the way for the ongoing development of critical materials standards across a range of industry areas. The MOU was signed by Debra L. Covey, associate laboratory director, Ames Laboratory, and Katharine Morgan, vice president, technical committee operations, ASTM International.

The MOU will benefit members of both ASTM and CMI who are developing ASTM standards in the realm of critical materials as well as those who will use the resulting standards.

CMI, run by the Ames Laboratory at Iowa State University, is a U.S. Department of Energy Innovation Hub whose mission is to assure supply chains of materials critical to clean energy technologies, enabling innovation in U.S. manufacturing and enhancing U.S. energy security. The goals of CMI are:

  • Diversifying the supply of critical materials;
  • Developing substitute materials;
  • Developing tools and techniques for recycling critical materials; and
  • Forecasting materials needs to avoid future shortages.

"We are excited to be collaborating with ASTM," says Alexander King, director, CMI. "We think that there are great opportunities to improve the efficiency with which we use the available rare earth supplies through the creation of appropriate standards, and this is one of the shortest paths to aligning supply with demand."

ASTM International Committee F40 on Declarable Substances in Materials is primarily responsible for ASTM rare earth materials standands, through its Subcommittee F40.04. However, many other ASTM International committees develop standards that have potential connections to critical materials, including:

  • A05 on Metallic-Coated Iron and Steel Products;
  • B01 on Electrical Conductors;
  • B02 on Nonferrous Metals and Alloys;
  • C26 on Nuclear Fuel Cycle;
  • D01 on Paint and Related Coatings, Materials and Applications;
  • D19 on Water;
  • D22 on Air Quality;
  • E01 on Analytical Chemistry for Metals, Ores and Related Materials;
  • E10 on Nuclear Technology and Applications; and
  • E30 on Forensic Sciences.

Under the MOU and member agreement, ASTM International will participate in the CMI Affiliates Program as an observing member. This will provide ASTM with an opportunity to interact with key stakeholders for critical materials and to educate them about ASTM and the value of standardization. CMI has agreed to join and participate in the ASTM process and to provide technical data and expertise to ASTM technical committees that develop critical materials standards.

"ASTM is very energized about this MOU," says Morgan. "Connecting with innovation hubs like CMI helps ASTM technical committees identify the very latest in technology and research developments so that committee members can incorporate the results of these findings in their work."

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Issue Month: 
November/December
Issue Year: 
2014