The Importance of the ASME

For over 130 years, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers has set standards and codes for all kinds of mechanical devices. When you see a specification for metal, it might read like ASME SB-637. This means the material passes certain standards needed for a specific application. Why is this organization important? Here are some reasons why.

What is This Organization?

The ASME promotes many kinds of engineering applications. This includes products, education, and development engineering. They are not for profit and offer engineering, education, and training. Even though they focus on issues in North America, they have a worldwide presence. In fact, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers is in 158 countries with a total membership over 130,000. Here are some of the things they do:

  • Research and development
  • Lobbying
  • Set engineering standards (like ASME SB-637 for metal alloys)
  • Outreach programs

The engineering society started back in 1880. Four men named Holley, Sweet, Worthington, and Forney started the organization to set standards for steam boilers. They are one of the oldest standard setting organizations in the United States today. Here are some of the materials they cover:

  • Pipelines
  • Elevators
  • Power plants
  • Plumbing
  • Nuclear power components


Every year they give out the ASME Medal for exceptional achievement in the field of engineering. Besides the coveted gold medal, the recipient also receives a fifteen thousand dollar cash award. They also issue several other respected awards each year.

The ASME standards are mandatory only when required by law. Otherwise, complying is a voluntary decision. When a company chooses to follow standards like ASME SB-637, it means they are committed to quality and giving their customers the best possible products. When you do business with a company offering superior products, it’s important to check for industry specifications you trust and respect.

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