ASTM D287 - 12b

    Standard Test Method for API Gravity of Crude Petroleum and Petroleum Products (Hydrometer Method)

    Active Standard ASTM D287 | Developed by Subcommittee: D02.02

    Book of Standards Volume: 05.01


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    Significance and Use

    Accurate determination of the gravity of petroleum and its products is necessary for the conversion of measured volumes to volumes at the standard temperature of 60°F (15.56°C).

    This procedure is most suitable for determining the API gravity of low viscosity transparent liquids. This test method can also be used for viscous liquids by allowing sufficient time for the hydrometer to reach temperature equilibrium, and for opaque liquids by employing a suitable meniscus correction. Additionally for both transparent and opaque fluids the readings shall be corrected for the thermal glass expansion effect before correcting to the reference temperature.

    5.3 When used in connection with bulk oil measurements, volume correction errors are minimized by observing the hydrometer reading at a temperature as close to reference temperature as feasible.

    5.4 Gravity is a factor governing the quality of crude oils. However, the gravity of a petroleum product is an uncertain indication of its quality. Correlated with other properties, gravity can be used to give approximate hydrocarbon composition and heat of combustion.

    5.5 Gravity is an important quality indicator for automotive, aviation and marine fuels, where it affects storage, handling and combustion.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method covers the determination by means of a glass hydrometer in conjunction with a series of calculations of the API gravity of crude petroleum and petroleum products normally handled as liquids and having a Reid vapor pressure (Test Method D323) of 101.325 kPa (14.696 psi) or less. Gravities are determined at 60°F (15.56°C), or converted to values at 60°F, by means of Adjunct to D1250 Guide for Petroleum Measurement Tables (API MPMS Chapter 11.1). These tables are not applicable to nonhydrocarbons or essentially pure hydrocarbons such as the aromatics.

    1.2 The initial values obtained are uncorrected hydrometer readings and not density measurements. Values are measured on a hydrometer at either the reference temperature or at another convenient temperature, and readings corrected for the meniscus effect, the thermal glass expansion effect, alternate calibration temperature effects and to the reference temperature by means of volume correction tables.

    1.3 The hydrometer readings determined shall be recorded before performing any calculations. Then the calculations required in Section 9 shall be performed and documented before using the final result in a subsequent calculation procedure (measurement ticket calculation, meter factor calculation, or base prover volume determination).

    1.4 The values stated in inch-pound units are to be regarded as standard. The values given in parentheses are mathematical conversions to SI units that are provided for information only and are not considered standard.

    1.5 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. For specific warning statement, see 8.3.


    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

    D323 Test Method for Vapor Pressure of Petroleum Products (Reid Method)

    D1250 Guide for Use of the Petroleum Measurement Tables

    D1298 Test Method for Density, Relative Density, or API Gravity of Crude Petroleum and Liquid Petroleum Products by Hydrometer Method

    D6822 Test Method for Density, Relative Density, and API Gravity of Crude Petroleum and Liquid Petroleum Products by Thermohydrometer Method

    E1 Specification for ASTM Liquid-in-Glass Thermometers

    E100 Specification for ASTM Hydrometers


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 75.080 (Petroleum products in general)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 15101500(Petroleum and distillates)


    DOI: 10.1520/D0287-12B

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