What are standards?
We give little thought to goods and services we use in our every day life. When you purchase items, such as printer ink cartridges, printing paper, printers, etc. - these products all meet specific standards. For example the ASTM Standard D 780 TEST METHOD FOR PRINTING INK PERMEATION OF PAPER (CASTOR OIL TEST)
See box below for a sample page of an ASTM standard (view of page 1 of ASTM Standard D 780).
A standard is "a recognized unit of comparison by which the correctness of others can be determined." Another definition is "a set of characteristics or qualities that describes features of a product, process, or service." from ANSI course "Why Standards Matter?"
Why Standards Matter?
Tutorial from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) course
Use magnifying glass on pdf to enlarge the ASTM page sample