ASTM D2879 - 10

    Standard Test Method for Vapor Pressure-Temperature Relationship and Initial Decomposition Temperature of Liquids by Isoteniscope

    Active Standard ASTM D2879 | Developed by Subcommittee: D02.L0.07

    Book of Standards Volume: 05.01


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    Significance and Use

    The vapor pressure of a substance as determined by isoteniscope reflects a property of the sample as received including most volatile components, but excluding dissolved fixed gases such as air. Vapor pressure, per se, is a thermodynamic property which is dependent only upon composition and temperature for stable systems. The isoteniscope method is designed to minimize composition changes which may occur during the course of measurement.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method covers the determination of the vapor pressure of pure liquids, the vapor pressure exerted by mixtures in a closed vessel at 40 ± 5 % ullage, and the initial thermal decomposition temperature of pure and mixed liquids. It is applicable to liquids that are compatible with borosilicate glass and that have a vapor pressure between 133 Pa (1.0 torr) and 101.3 kPa (760 torr) at the selected test temperatures. The test method is suitable for use over the range from ambient to 748 K. The temperature range may be extended to include temperatures below ambient provided a suitable constant-temperature bath for such temperatures is used.

    Note 1—The isoteniscope is a constant-volume apparatus and results obtained with it on other than pure liquids differ from those obtained in a constant-pressure distillation.

    1.2 Most petroleum products boil over a fairly wide temperature range, and this fact shall be recognized in discussion of their vapor pressures. Even an ideal mixture following Raoult's law will show a progressive decrease in vapor pressure as the lighter component is removed, and this is vastly accentuated in complex mixtures such as lubricating oils containing traces of dewaxing solvents, etc. Such a mixture may well exert a pressure in a closed vessel of as much as 100 times that calculated from its average composition, and it is the closed vessel which is simulated by the isoteniscope. For measurement of the apparent vapor pressure in open systems, Test Method D2878, is recommended.

    1.3 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard. The values in parentheses are for information only.

    1.4 WARNINGMercury has been designated by many regulatory agencies as a hazardous material that can cause central nervous system, kidney and liver damage. Mercury, or its vapor, may be hazardous to health and corrosive to materials. Caution should be taken when handling mercury and mercury containing products. See the applicable product Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for details and EPAs websitehttp://www.epa.gov/mercury/faq.htmfor additional information. Users should be aware that selling mercury or mercury containing products into your state or country may be prohibited by law.

    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 statements, see 6.10, 6.12, and Annex A2.


    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

    D2878 Test Method for Estimating Apparent Vapor Pressures and Molecular Weights of Lubricating Oils

    E230 Specification and Temperature-Electromotive Force (EMF) Tables for Standardized Thermocouples


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 75.100 (Lubricants, industrial oils and related products)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code


    Referencing This Standard

    DOI: 10.1520/D2879-10

    ASTM International is a member of CrossRef.

    Citation Format

    ASTM D2879-10, Standard Test Method for Vapor Pressure-Temperature Relationship and Initial Decomposition Temperature of Liquids by Isoteniscope, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2010, www.astm.org

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