The Status of Conversion to Uniform Global Testing Standards for Plastics in the U.S. 960702

In late 1992, to respond to the growing needs of the automotive industry and other industry sectors for comparable data, the Society of the Plastics Industry's (SPI) Polymeric Materials Producers Division (PMPD) recommended that its member companies convert to ISO/IEC test methods. Recognizing the confusion created by a lack of focused effort within the plastics industry, an ad hoc ISO communications committee was formed in November 1993 to help SPI lead an industry-wide effort to educate the U.S. plastics industry on the need for conversion to ISO/IEC test standards from current practices. The purpose of this strategic move was to provide assistance in addressing the challenge facing the industry on how to ensure access to the emerging international marketplace without overlooking the needs of customers whose business perspective remained firmly within domestic horizons. Under the auspices of this committee, an industry-focused roundtable discussion was held during NPE '94. A formal white paper was issued with a call for uniform global testing standards to provide a better understanding of the merits and challenges of adopting a single set of global test standards for plastics in North America. As a continuation of this educational effort, a technical primer has been prepared to help the industry understand the differences between ISO/IEC test methods and current U.S. practices, as well as what steps would be involved in the conversion. This paper will discuss the status of this conversion by North American-based resin suppliers, the major issues that are being addressed, and the challenges that have to be overcome.


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