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The Proliferation of Standards in the Metals Industry

As the metals industry becomes less localized and parochial, the mode of conducting business has evolved from “handshake agreements” to a steady inundation of bureaucratic forms and contracts. The rise of multinational service centers and subsequent vertical integration has complicated the transactional process. If you add to this equation the heavy regulation involved with the pharmaceutical, petrochemical, and food and beverage industries reliance on stainless steel, you may begin to see the necessity for a uniform language in the metals industry. Look at your most recent Purchase Order and you will see a mosaic of acronyms representing certain, objective measurements that your company, or your vendor, must comply with in fulfilling the order. These standards allow companies in our industry to communicate in a mutual vernacular and allow us to certify to our customers that our products or services comply with commonly accepted measurements.

In Diamond Brite Metals’ most recent article, we issued a standards guide for acceptable finishes for architectural and commercial metals polishing. Our hope was to provide the industry with a comprehensive and authoritative guide that served as a basis for a uniform vocabulary for architectural and commercial metals polishing. In this article, we will provide an overview of the most pertinent standards that help guide our industry.

American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)

The ASME pertains to the distribution, manufacturing, and fabrication steps in the metals industry. A uniform code that covers everything from Bioengineering to Pharmaceuticals; the ASME is widely recognized as one of the preeminent standards. If your company distributes pipe, tube, or fittings or your shop manufacturers large tanks, hoppers, or vessels, the ASME will be instrumental in your processes. One of the most commonly cited codes from the ASME is the Bioprocessing Equipment (BPE) standard. This section of the ASME code not only covers distribution and manufacturing but also surface finishes that may be produced from architectural and commercial polishing.

American Society for Testing & Materials (ASTM)

The ASTM is one of the broadest codes standardizing a wide variety of industries from ceramics to toy manufacturing to non-ferrous metals. For the architectural and commercial polishing industry, the most pertinent standard is ASTM A480-A480M which covers flat-rolled stainless steel and heat-resisting steel plate, sheet, and strip. The standard also provides a definitional section which explains different surface finishes for flat-rolled products; particularly of use in the architectural and commercial polishing industry.

American Petroleum Institute (API)

As its name suggests, the API is the governing standard for the oil and gas industry. This industry’s leverage of the stainless steel supply chain (from distribution to manufacturing) makes it an invaluable resource for those companies that have to navigate the heavily regulated world of oil and gas. The API also produces a thorough guide for the required surface finishes on large storage tanks and pipe and tubing.

Diamond Brite Metals is the country’s most comprehensive architectural and commercial polishing facility. At Diamond Brite Metals, our quality management systems are routinely updated in accordance with ASME, ASTM, and API standards. Additionally, our management’s familiarity with these standards as they pertain to commercial and industrial polishing make Diamond Brite Metals an invaluable resource for traversing the dense requirements of these standards.

If you would like to consult with our management team on any specific standard as it pertains to polishing, please do not hesitate to contact Colton Karpus at For sales or an RFQ, please contact



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