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University of Wollongong Australia

Physics: Australian & International Standards

What are Standards?

Trade and industry are bound by official specifications in areas such as construction requirements, codes of practice, methods of testing or terminology.

Standards are used to provide uniformity, reliability and safety for all parties concerned. They are "living" documents – up to 15% of them change every year. This is why standards have current, draft, withdrawn and historical versions. Many organisations issue standards, including trade associations and government departments.

Standards are identifiable by a unique document code, number and year (e.g. AS 1816.1-2007).

Australian standards

The SAI Global database provides full-text access to Australian standards as well as options for accessing Australian Standards for which SAI does not own the copyright, and International Standards.

Locate the standard you wish to view in SAI Global using Quick Search or Power Search (Advanced).  You can also browse by Subject.

On the Search Results screen, one of the following view options will be displayed:

  • View Document – Click on this option to view the document online or download a PDF.
  • Request Unlock  – When you select this option an email with details of your request will be sent to the Library. Student requests will need the support of an academic supervisor.
  • Buy – This indicates that the document is not available via the Library's subscription service.
    Email the Library with details of your request. Student requests will need the support of an academic supervisor.


  • Downloaded PDFs expire after five days.
  • License is for two simultaneous users. (A message will appear in the top right hand corner of the screen if all licenses are in use. Try again later).
  • To optimise access, it is essential to click on 'Subscription Logout' after use.

The following ASTM standards are available on the Techstreet platform:


  • To download standards on this site you will need to have FileOpen installed on your device.
  • If you are using Chrome you will need to disable the Chrome PDF viewer.
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International standards

International Standards are sometimes adopted by Standards Australia, found in SAI Global. This means that the Australian adoptions can be used instead of the International versions. Some of these Australian adoptions have been modified, or altered to suit Australian conditions, but most are identical equivalents to their International versions. 

Before your select Request Unlock to access an International Standard, check if there is an Australian equivalent as follows:

  • Select the international equivs link on the left menu.
  • Enter the International number in the Standard no. search box.
  • Select the "Using International Standard's number" button.
  • Click Search.

The Search Results screen will display any equivalent Australian Standards and identify whether they are identical, equivalent, not equivalent or modified.

  • Access to standards published by IEEE
  • Select standards from the Browse drop-down list to view a list of standards available from IEEE. 


  • Search or Browse to find the standard you wish to view.
  • Click Add to Cart.
  • Click Checkout ( UOW Library has a subscription so price will display as $0.00).
  • Click Download.
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