Who sets the standard?

Standards organizations, bodies, standards developing organization (SDO) or standards setting organization (SSO) are organizations whose primary activities are developing, coordinating and producing technical standards intended to address the needs of some relatively wide base of affected adopters.

ASTM International: American Society for Testing and Materials
ASTM International is a globally recognized leader for developing international standards. Currently, there are at least 12,000 ASTM standards that are used throughout the world. These standards are used to improve product quality and enhance safety in the products consumers are purchasing.


SAE International: Society of Automotive Engineers
SAE is a U.S. based, global association of more than 138,000 engineers and technical experts with a primary focus in the aerospace, automotive, and commercial-vehicle industries. The SAE core proficiencies are life-long learning, and voluntary consensus standards development.


AISI: American Iron and Steel Institute
The AISI is an association of North American steel producers. It has been in existence for over a century, making it the oldest trade association in the U.S. This organization advocates for public policies that support competitive domestic manufacturing while providing high-quality products to a wide range of customers. One of the goals of the AISI is to increase the market for North American Steel in both traditional and innovative applications.


ANSI: American National Standards Institute
This institution is known as the voice of the U.S. standards and conformity assessment system. They oversee the creation, promulgation, and use of thousands of guidelines that directly impact business in nearly every sector. They have guidelines ranging anywhere from acoustical devices to construction equipment, and from dairy and livestock production to energy distribution. They also are active in accreditation programs that assess conformance standards and management systems.


ASME: American Society of Mechanical Engineers
ASME standards provide manufacturers with guidelines and tolerances that their bolts must conform to.  Some types of bolts, such as hex cap screws used in the automotive industry, require very tight tolerances, whereas other construction grade fasteners have looser tolerances. All of these tolerances are defined by the specifications in the ASME and are crucial for the manufacturing process.


IFI: Industrial Fasteners Institute
The IFI is an Ohio-based trade and standards organization and publisher. Established in 1931, the primary focus of the IFI is to represent the interests of North American mechanical fastener manufactures. Their standards are frequently used as a design guide by mechanical engineers, machinists, and other manufacturers of machine screws, bolts, nuts, and other engineered fasteners.

In regard to fasteners, the IFI does not create their own standards but they do manage fastener standards. They are responsible for creating technical information and writings which are featured in their IFI handbook, but their main function is to support, protect and represent fastener manufacturers.


ICC: International Code Council
The International Code Council is a member-focused association. It is dedicated to developing model codes and standards used in the design, build and compliance process to construct safe, sustainable, affordable and resilient structures. Most U.S. communities and many global markets choose the International Codes.


UL: United Labratories
UL helps advance the building products industry’s drive to achieve both safety and innovation with flexible, customized service options for reliable, cost-effective product testing and certification.


ISO: International Organization of Standards
ISO is an independent, non-governmental international organization with a membership of 161 national standards bodies. Through its members, it brings together experts to share knowledge and develop voluntary, consensus-based, market relevant International Standards that support innovation and provide solutions to global challenges.


DIN: German Institute for Standardization
DIN Standards are the results of work at national, European and/or international level. Anyone can submit a proposal for a new standard. Once accepted, the standards project is carried out according to set rules of procedure by the relevant DIN Standards Committee. As it relates to fasteners, DIN standards are usually for parts in metric sizes.


JIS: Japanese Industrial Standards
JIS specifies the standards used for industrial activities in Japan. The standardization process is coordinated by the Japanese Industrial Standards Committee and published through the Japanese Standards Association. JIS standards are common for fasteners being sold into the automotive industry.


COLA / LARR: Los Angeles Research Report
While not exactly a standards organization, here in Los Angeles the Department of Building and Safety reviews and approves the use of building, electrical, mechanical products within the City of Los Angeles. If the product is approved, a letter is issued that has a Research Report Number. LARR numbers require renewal every two years. During plan check, an engineer may ask for the LARR number to be specified for a product. For building plan check, fasteners are the most common products to require an LARR.


RCSC: Research Council on Structural Connections
The RCSC is a non-profit, volunteer organization, comprised of over 85 leading experts in the fields of structural steel connection design, engineering, fabrication, erection and bolting. Previous, current, and future research projects funded by the RCSC serve to provide safety, reliability, and standard practice for the steel construction industry throughout the world.


MS: Military Standard
A United States defense standard, often called a military standard, "MIL-STD", "MIL-SPEC", or (informally) "MilSpecs", is used to help achieve standardization objectives by the U.S. Department of Defense. Standardization is beneficial in achieving interoperability, ensuring products meet certain requirements, commonality, reliability, total cost of ownership, compatibility with logistics systems, and similar defense-related objectives.

AN: Air Force-Navy Aeronautical
Like MS, or "MIL-SPEC", AN is applied to fasteners and other parts that meet a specified standard put forth by the Air Force and Navy, generally regarding items used in aeronautical manufacturing. With some items, MS and AN parts share the same item numbers, but that is not always the case. If you have a question about which fasteners meet either of these standards, please contact us.

NAS: National Aero Space
The National Aerospace Standards (NAS) are voluntary standards developed by the aerospace industry. Subject matter experts from member companies participate in committees and working groups to develop and maintain the NAS library, which contains over 1400 documents. These standards cover a wide variety of subject areas including, but not limited to: NAS bolts, rivets, washers, screws, nut plates, pins, knobs, etc.


Need a fastener or part meeting these standards?
Contact us for help.