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From Promising to Practical: How Standards Help Bring New Materials to the Market

Published

Author(s)

Stephen W. Freiman

Abstract

Let us make a bold statement to begin with. Basedupon numerous conversations with individuals in industry and elsewhere, it is our conclusion that For new materials, standards are not a barrier to trade. In this paper, we use the word standard generic in the narrow context of material property test method standards. We do not consider product specification standards. Experience suggests that neithr the existence nor the lack of materials test standards enable one country to influence sales of new materials or impedes trade in some way. Indeed, standards sometimes lag behind the introduction of new materials to the market-place. What then, is the importance of standards? We recognize several key advantages in having standards. The road for a new material from the research laboratory to commercial application may be smoothed by standards. As a new, improved material is introduced to the marketplace as an alternative to similar materials, data generated by standard methods can facilitate the acceptance of the new material. More radical changes occur when innovative materials and products are introduced for which there are neither precedents nor standards. The path from the research laboratory to the commercial sector is often strewn with pitfalls of data inconsistency that cause confusion, inefficiency, and added costs. Recognition of the problem usually occurs when an innovative material has matured to the point that multiple sources or users are involved. With recognition of the problem comes a commitment to standardization, but the standardization process itself can be time consuming and frustrating and could even delay commercialization. The ability to make common measurements on the same materials at various places on the globe is critical to world commerce due to the increasing globalization of markets. We must have consensus based standards and specifications. Both users and suppliers of materials around the world need the assuracne that the property of the material obtained in one country was obtained in the same way as in another. For new materials in emerging markets such standards are particularly important. In this paper, we will attempt to provide specific examples where standards really made a difference for the entry of new materials into the marketplace.
Proceedings Title
Standards in the Global Economy: Past, Present, and Future | | Proceedings of the NIST Centennial Standards Symposium | NIST
Conference Dates
March 7-8, 2001
Conference Title
NIST Centennial Standards Symposium

Keywords

Standards

Citation

Freiman, S. (2002), From Promising to Practical: How Standards Help Bring New Materials to the Market, Standards in the Global Economy: Past, Present, and Future | | Proceedings of the NIST Centennial Standards Symposium | NIST (Accessed June 13, 2024)

Issues

If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact reflib@nist.gov.

Created January 1, 2002, Updated February 19, 2017