ASTM D4212 - 10

    Standard Test Method for Viscosity by Dip-Type Viscosity Cups

    Active Standard ASTM D4212 | Developed by Subcommittee: D01.24

    Book of Standards Volume: 06.01


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    Significance and Use

    Viscosity is a measure of the fluidity of a material. Viscosity data are useful in the determination of the ease of stirring, pumping, dip coating, or other flow-related properties of paints and related fluids.

    This type of cup is used to measure viscosity because it is easy to use, robust, and may be used in tanks, reservoirs, and reactors.

    There are other types of apparatus for measuring viscosity in the laboratory that provide better precision and bias, including the Ford viscosity cup (Test Method D1200), and the Brookfield viscometer (Test Methods D2196).

    Certain higher shear rate devices such as cone/plate viscometers (Test Method D4287) provide more information about sprayability, roll coatability, and other high-shear rate related properties of coatings.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method covers the determination of viscosity of paints, varnishes, lacquers, inks, and related liquid materials by dip-type viscosity cups. This test method is recommended for viscosity control work within one plant or laboratory and should be used to check compliance with specifications only when sufficient controls have been instituted to ensure adequate comparability of results.

    1.2 Viscosity cups are designed for testing of Newtonian and near-Newtonian liquids. If the test material is non-Newtonian, for example, shear-thinning or thixotropic, another method, such as Test Methods D2196, should be used. Under controlled conditions, comparisons of the viscosity of non-newtonian materials may be helpful, but viscosity determination methods using controlled shear rate or shear stress are preferred.

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

    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

    D1200 Test Method for Viscosity by Ford Viscosity Cup

    D2196 Test Methods for Rheological Properties of Non-Newtonian Materials by Rotational (Brookfield type) Viscometer

    D4287 Test Method for High-Shear Viscosity Using a Cone/Plate Viscometer

    E1 Specification for ASTM Liquid-in-Glass Thermometers


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 17.060 (Measurement of volume, mass, density, viscosity)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code


    DOI: 10.1520/D4212-10

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