ASTM D156 - 12

    Standard Test Method for Saybolt Color of Petroleum Products (Saybolt Chromometer Method)

    Active Standard ASTM D156 | Developed by Subcommittee: D02.05

    Book of Standards Volume: 05.01


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    Significance and Use

    5.1 Determination of the color of petroleum products is used mainly for manufacturing control purposes and is an important quality characteristic since color is readily observed by the user of the product. In some cases the color may serve as an indication of the degree of refinement of the material. When the color range of a particular product is known, a variation outside the established range can indicate possible contamination with another product. However, color is not always a reliable guide to product quality and should not be used indiscriminately in product specifications.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method covers the determination of the color of refined oils such as undyed motor and aviation gasoline, jet propulsion fuels, naphthas and kerosine, and, in addition, petroleum waxes and pharmaceutical white oils.

    Note 1For determining the color of petroleum products darker than Saybolt Color − 16, see Test Method D1500.

    1.2 This test method reports results specific to this test method and recorded as, “Saybolt Color units.”

    1.3 The values stated in inch-pound units or in SI units and which are not in parentheses are to be regarded as the standard. The values given in parentheses are for information only.

    Note 2Oil tubes and apparatus used in this test method have traditionally been marked in inches, (the tube is required to be etched with 1/8 in. divisions.) The Saybolt Color Numbers are aligned with inch, 1/2 in., 1/4 in., and 1/8 in. changes in the depth of oil. These fractional inch changes do not readily correspond to SI equivalents and in view of the preponderance of apparatus already in use and marked in inches, the inch/pound unit is regarded as the standard. However the test method does use SI units of length when the length is not directly related to divisions on the oil tube and Saybolt Color Numbers. The test method uses SI units for temperature.

    1.4 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    D938 Test Method for Congealing Point of Petroleum Waxes, Including Petrolatum

    D1500 Test Method for ASTM Color of Petroleum Products (ASTM Color Scale)

    D4057 Practice for Manual Sampling of Petroleum and Petroleum Products


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 75.080 (Petroleum products in general)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 15101500(Petroleum and distillates)


    DOI: 10.1520/D0156-12

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