ASTM versus AAR Steel Strapping
If you purchase the steel strapping for your organization then I am sure you are aware of these terms but for those that are not, ASTM stands for American Standard for Testing and Materials and AAR stands for American Association of Railroads.
What is the difference you ask and should I care????
Both are accredited organizations that are putting “their” stamp of approval “per say” on steel strapping products. This means that if something is ASTM approved that it meets their guidelines for recognizing quality, safety and reliability. If something is AAR approved then it has been tested and approved by the American Association of Railroads.
This is all fine to say but if you aren’t shipping products on a rail car then do you need AAR? Well it is true that some manufacturers of steel strapping products imply that an AAR designation is somehow a superior standard to ASTM D3953, and therefore should apply to all strap applications; but this in fact is completely false. The rules governing shipments by rail represent a totally different set of realities. Rail shipments are much more susceptible to handling damage than truck or ship and as such the railroads have devised their own set of rules, procedures and standards for products and their application in order to minimize shipping problems, customer claims and complaints and more specifically to clearly identify the source of problems. In the case of steel strapping, an approved AAR supplier is given a number which clearly identifies the manufacturer. It also can help isolate a manufacturing defect, if a load failure is suspected due to strap failure. If your application or product is intended for rail shipment then we strongly urge you to consult with a qualified representative of the rail company of your choice for the procedures and components they require under the Association of American Railroads standards.
Clute Packaging Systems Ltd. offers a complete range of both ASTM and AAR approved strapping products for your applications. ASTM or AAR? Your choice!
Go to our web site to find out more about steel strapping – http://www.clutepackaging.com/products/strapping/steel_strapping