ASTM D5383 - 02(2010)

    Standard Practice for Visual Determination of the Lightfastness of Art Materials by Art Technologists

    Active Standard ASTM D5383 | Developed by Subcommittee: D01.57

    Book of Standards Volume: 06.02


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    Significance and Use

    Artists have available to them a wide variety of art materials such as markers, colored pencils, pastels, colored inks and airbrush colors. Many of these materials are manufactured for temporary artwork and may contain pigments and dyes that fade in a relatively short time. Product labels and manufacturers' literature do not always supply the information necessary to distinguish products that are stable to light from those that are not. This practice makes it possible to check the general lightfastness of coloring materials to be used in works of art; however, Test Methods D4303 must be used if color measuring instruments and appropriate lightfastness testing apparatus are available. This practice may also be used to evaluate other types of colored materials for lightfastness.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This practice covers a method for exposing specimens of colored art materials indoors to sunlight coming through a closed window. A card containing eight Blue Wool References is exposed simultaneously. Blue Wool References 3, 6, and 7, are used as controls in determining when to remove test specimens from exposure and rate them. Test specimens are rated by assigning each specimen the number of the Blue Wool Reference that shows the same amount of color change.

    1.2 This practice may be used to indicate art materials that will change color within a few months or years in normal indoor exposure and those that will remain unchanged for a period of years. It is not rigorous enough to verify that materials will remain unchanged for more than fifty years in a home or office environment. A major consideration in developing this method was to keep it simple and short enough to be preformed without instrumentation in a comparatively short length of time.

    1.3 This practice shall only be used to evaluate the lightfastness of art materials not conforming to Specifications D4302, D5098 or D5067 and when it is not feasible to use Test Methods D4303. Practice D5398, which is a simpler method, may be used by artists to evaluate the lightfastness of their own materials.

    1.4 This practice is not suitable for evaluating materials with a high oil content such as artists' oil, resin oil or alkyd paints.

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

    1.6 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

    D4302 Specification for Artists Oil, Resin-Oil, and Alkyd Paints

    D4303 Test Methods for Lightfastness of Colorants Used in Artists Materials

    D5067 Specification for Artists Watercolor Paints

    D5098 Specification for Artists Acrylic Dispersion Paints

    D5398 Practice for Visual Evaluation of the Lightfastness of Art Materials by the User

    E284 Terminology of Appearance

    Other Standards

    BritishStandard1006 Group B Methods for Colour Fastness of Textiles and Leathers British Standard 1006 can be obtained from British Standards Institute (BSI), 389 Chiswick High Rd., London W4 4AL, U.K., http://www.bsi-global.com.


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 97.195 (Items of art and handicraft)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code


    DOI: 10.1520/D5383-02R10

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