ASTM D5481 - 13

    Standard Test Method for Measuring Apparent Viscosity at High-Temperature and High-Shear Rate by Multicell Capillary Viscometer

    Active Standard ASTM D5481 | Developed by Subcommittee: D02.07

    Book of Standards Volume: 05.02


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    ASTM D5481

    Significance and Use

    5.1 Viscosity is an important property of fluid lubricants. The viscosity of all fluids varies with temperature. Many common petroleum lubricants are non-Newtonian: their viscosity also varies with shear rate. The usefulness of the viscosity of lubricants is greatest when the viscosity is measured at or near the conditions of shear rate and temperature that the lubricants will experience in service.

    5.2 The conditions of shear rate and temperature of this test method are thought to be representative of those in the bearing of automotive engines in severe service.

    5.3 Many equipment manufacturers and lubricant specifications require a minimum high-temperature high-shear viscosity at 150 °C and 106 s−1. The shear rate in capillary viscometers varies across the radius of the capillary. The apparent shear rate at the wall for this test method is increased to compensate for the variable shear rate.3

    5.4 This test was evaluated in an ASTM cooperative program.6

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method covers the laboratory determination of high-temperature high-shear (HTHS) viscosity of engine oils at a temperature of 150 °C using a multicell capillary viscometer containing pressure, temperature, and timing instrumentation. The shear rate for this test method corresponds to an apparent shear rate at the wall of 1.4 million reciprocal seconds (1.4 × 10 6 s−1).3 This shear rate has been found to decrease the discrepancy between this test method and other high-temperature high-shear test methods3 (Test Methods D4683 and D4741) used for engine oil specifications. Viscosities are determined directly from calibrations that have been established with Newtonian oils with nominal viscosities from 1.4 mPa·s to 5.0 mPa·s at 150 °C. The precision has only been determined for the viscosity range 1.45 mPa·s and 5.05 mPa·s at 150 °C for the materials listed in the precision section.

    1.2 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.

    1.2.1 The centiPoise (cP) is a non-SI metric unit of viscosity that is numerically equal to the milliPascal-second (mPa·s).

    1.2.2 Pounds per square inch (psi) is a non-SI unit of pressure that is approximately equal to 6.895 kPa. These units are provided for information only in 6.1.1, 7.3, 9.1.2.1, and the tables.

    1.3 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

    D4683 Test Method for Measuring Viscosity of New and Used Engine Oils at High Shear Rate and High Temperature by Tapered Bearing Simulator Viscometer at 150 C

    D4741 Test Method for Measuring Viscosity at High Temperature and High Shear Rate by Tapered-Plug Viscometer

    D6300 Practice for Determination of Precision and Bias Data for Use in Test Methods for Petroleum Products and Lubricants

    D6708 Practice for Statistical Assessment and Improvement of Expected Agreement Between Two Test Methods that Purport to Measure the Same Property of a Material


    ICS Code

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

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 41103312(Viscosimeters )


    DOI: 10.1520/D5481

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