ASTM D1601 - 12

    Standard Test Method for Dilute Solution Viscosity of Ethylene Polymers

    Active Standard ASTM D1601 | Developed by Subcommittee: D20.70

    Book of Standards Volume: 08.01


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    Significance and Use

    4.1 The knowledge of dilute solution viscosity serves as an additional tool in characterizing ethylene polymers. Viscosity data alone may be of limited value in predicting the processing behavior of the polymer. However, when used in conjunction with other flow and physical property values, the solution viscosity of ethylene polymers may contribute to their characterizations.

    4.2 Satisfactory correlation between solution viscosity and certain other properties is possible from polymers of a single manufacturing process. The solution viscosity test is not sensitive to some molecular configurational patterns that may occur among polymers from different manufacturing processes. Hence, its correlation with other properties of polymers produced by different processes, by even one manufacturer, may be limited.

    4.3 The viscosity of polymer solutions may be drastically affected by the presence of known or unknown additives in the sample. The use of solution viscosity may be of questionable value where ethylene polymers are known or suspected to contain colorants, carbon black, low molecular weight hydrocarbons, fillers, or other additives.

    4.4 The measurement of dilute solution viscosity of ethylene polymers presents problems not ordinarily encountered in viscosimetry. Ethylene polymers are not soluble at room temperature in any known solvent. Some of the higher density materials are insoluble below 100°C. Extreme care must be exercised in transferring the solution to the viscometer for the test if the correct solution concentration is to be maintained. This test has no significance unless the sample is completely soluble.

    4.5 The solution viscosity is a function of the root-mean-square size of the polymer molecules in solution. It is known that the solvent selected and the temperature of the determination have an effect on the root-mean-square size of the particles. Hence, where a viscometer, solvent, or temperature other than specified is used, data may not be comparable to that obtained by this procedure.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method covers the determination of the dilute solution viscosity of ethylene polymers at 135°C. It is applicable to a reasonably wide spectrum of ethylene polymers having densities from 0.910 to 0.970 g/cm2. Directions are given for the determination of relative viscosity (viscosity ratio), inherent viscosity (logarithmic viscosity number), and intrinsic viscosity (limiting viscosity number) (see Appendix X4).

    1.2 The values as stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard.

    1.3 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.

    Note 1This test method is technically equivalent to ISO 1628-3.
    Note 2Appendix X1-Appendix X3 contain material from the previous version of Test Method D1601 and are included for information only.


    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

    D86 Test Method for Distillation of Petroleum Products at Atmospheric Pressure

    D445 Test Method for Kinematic Viscosity of Transparent and Opaque Liquids (and Calculation of Dynamic Viscosity)

    D883 Terminology Relating to Plastics

    D1600 Terminology for Abbreviated Terms Relating to Plastics

    D4020 Specification for Ultra-High-Molecular-Weight Polyethylene Molding and Extrusion Materials

    E1 Specification for ASTM Liquid-in-Glass Thermometers

    ISO Standards

    ISO1628-3 Plastics--Determination of Viscosity Number and Limiting Viscosity Number--Part 3: Polyethylenes and Polypropylenes


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 83.080.20 (Thermoplastic materials)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 13111016(Polyethylene)


    Referencing This Standard

    DOI: 10.1520/D1601-12

    ASTM International is a member of CrossRef.

    Citation Format

    ASTM D1601-12, Standard Test Method for Dilute Solution Viscosity of Ethylene Polymers, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2012, www.astm.org

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