ASTM D5398 - 97(2010)

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

    Active Standard ASTM D5398 | 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 for an artist to check the lightfastness of coloring materials to be used in works of art. It may also be used to test the lightfastness of other types of colored materials.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This practice covers a method for exposing specimens of colored art materials indoors to sunlight coming through a closed window. Any color change is compared to fading in a Blue Wool Reference and exposed simultaneously.

    1.2 This practice shall only be used by individuals to select materials with satisfactory lightfastness for their own use or to identify materials that require special protection from light. When test information is to be communicated to others, Test Methods D4303 or Practice D5383 must be used.

    1.3 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 performed without instrumentation in a comparatively short length of time.

    1.4 This practice is not suitable for evaluating the lightfastness of 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

    D4303 Test Methods for Lightfastness of Colorants Used in Artists Materials

    D5383 Practice for Visual Determination of the Lightfastness of Art Materials by Art Technologists

    E284 Terminology of Appearance


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 97.195 (Items of art and handicraft)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code


    DOI: 10.1520/D5398-97R10

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