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    ASTM D6074 - 15

    Standard Guide for Characterizing Hydrocarbon Lubricant Base Oils

    Active Standard ASTM D6074 | Developed by Subcommittee: D02.P0

    Book of Standards Volume: 05.02


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    Significance and Use

    4.1 Refinery and re-refinery feedstock and the processes to which the feed is subject determine the composition of the base stock produced. Once produced, other potential sources of variation include storage, transportation and blending. It follows that lubricating base oils will be of variable chemical composition. For this reason, characterization criteria for hydrocarbon lubricant base oils are frequently chosen from properties such as those listed in Table 1 and/or Table 2. If specification limits are established, they are usually related to the intended use of the base oil.

    4.2 The consistent performance of hydrocarbon lubricant base oils is a critical factor in a wide variety of applications such as engine oils, industrial lubricants, and metalworking fluids. In addition, in many of these applications humans are exposed to the base oils as a component of a formulated product such that health or safety considerations may need to be addressed. This guide suggests a compilation of properties and potential contaminants that are understood by those knowledgeable in the manufacture and use of hydrocarbon lubricants to be significant in some or all applications. A discussion of each of the suggested properties and potential contaminants is provided in Appendix X2, with each listed alphabetically within four categories.

    4.3 The test methods, base oil properties, and potential contaminants suggested are those that would likely be useful in many common situations, although it is recognized that there are specific applications and situations that could have different requirements. Performance testing related to a specific application may serve as the basis for acceptability.

    4.4 Issues such as frequency of testing and the specifics of how the test results are to be applied are not addressed in detail. It is the responsibility of the buyer and seller to determine and agree upon the implementation of this guide. This guide serves as a basis for that discussion.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This guide suggests physical, chemical, and toxicological test methods for characterizing hydrocarbon lubricant base oils derived from various refining processes including re-refining used oils and refining crude oil. This guide does not contain limits nor does it purport to cover all tests which could be employed; rather, it represents the first step in better describing important parameters of lubricant base oils affecting lubricant performance and safe handling. Tests have been identified to characterize the composition and performance of base oils in addition to verifying their consistency. Undesirable components have also been identified with a range of typical levels. These are not limits. It is the responsibility of the buyer and seller to determine and agree upon the implementation of this guide.

    1.2 This guide applies only to base oils and not to finished lubricants.

    1.3 Base oils containing detectable levels of esters, animal fats, vegetable oils, or other materials used as, or blended into, lubricants are not covered by this guide.

    1.4 This guide is relevant to base oils composed of hydrocarbons and intended for use in formulating products including automotive and industrial lubricants. Although not intended to cover all base oil viscosity grades, this guide does cover the majority of viscosities that would be used in both automotive and industrial oil formulations. These base oils would typically have a viscosity of approximately 2 mm2/s to 40 mm2/s (cSt) at 100 °C (50 SUS to 3740 SUS at 100 °F).

    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

    D91 Test Method for Precipitation Number of Lubricating Oils

    D92 Test Method for Flash and Fire Points by Cleveland Open Cup Tester

    D93 Test Methods for Flash Point by Pensky-Martens Closed Cup Tester

    D97 Test Method for Pour Point of Petroleum Products

    D130 Test Method for Corrosiveness to Copper from Petroleum Products by Copper Strip Test

    D189 Test Method for Conradson Carbon Residue of Petroleum Products

    D287 Test Method for API Gravity of Crude Petroleum and Petroleum Products (Hydrometer Method)

    D341 Practice for Viscosity-Temperature Charts for Liquid Petroleum Products

    D445 Test Method for Kinematic Viscosity of Transparent and Opaque Liquids (and Calculation of Dynamic Viscosity)

    D524 Test Method for Ramsbottom Carbon Residue of Petroleum Products

    D664 Test Method for Acid Number of Petroleum Products by Potentiometric Titration

    D974 Test Method for Acid and Base Number by Color-Indicator Titration

    D1298 Test Method for Density, Relative Density, or API Gravity of Crude Petroleum and Liquid Petroleum Products by Hydrometer Method

    D1401 Test Method for Water Separability of Petroleum Oils and Synthetic Fluids

    D1500 Test Method for ASTM Color of Petroleum Products (ASTM Color Scale)

    D2007 Test Method for Characteristic Groups in Rubber Extender and Processing Oils and Other Petroleum-Derived Oils by the Clay-Gel Absorption Chromatographic Method

    D2161 Practice for Conversion of Kinematic Viscosity to Saybolt Universal Viscosity or to Saybolt Furol Viscosity

    D2270 Practice for Calculating Viscosity Index from Kinematic Viscosity at 40 and 100C

    D2501 Test Method for Calculation of Viscosity-Gravity Constant (VGC) of Petroleum Oils

    D2622 Test Method for Sulfur in Petroleum Products by Wavelength Dispersive X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometry

    D2887 Test Method for Boiling Range Distribution of Petroleum Fractions by Gas Chromatography

    D2896 Test Method for Base Number of Petroleum Products by Potentiometric Perchloric Acid Titration

    D3120 Test Method for Trace Quantities of Sulfur in Light Liquid Petroleum Hydrocarbons by Oxidative Microcoulometry

    D3339 Test Method for Acid Number of Petroleum Products by Semi-Micro Color Indicator Titration

    D3828 Test Methods for Flash Point by Small Scale Closed Cup Tester

    D4052 Test Method for Density, Relative Density, and API Gravity of Liquids by Digital Density Meter

    D4057 Practice for Manual Sampling of Petroleum and Petroleum Products

    D4059 Test Method for Analysis of Polychlorinated Biphenyls in Insulating Liquids by Gas Chromatography

    D4175 Terminology Relating to Petroleum, Petroleum Products, and Lubricants

    D4177 Practice for Automatic Sampling of Petroleum and Petroleum Products

    D4291 Test Method for Trace Ethylene Glycol in Used Engine Oil

    D4294 Test Method for Sulfur in Petroleum and Petroleum Products by Energy Dispersive X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometry

    D4530 Test Method for Determination of Carbon Residue (Micro Method)

    D4628 Test Method for Analysis of Barium, Calcium, Magnesium, and Zinc in Unused Lubricating Oils by Atomic Absorption Spectrometry

    D4629 Test Method for Trace Nitrogen in Liquid Petroleum Hydrocarbons by Syringe/Inlet Oxidative Combustion and Chemiluminescence Detection

    D4739 Test Method for Base Number Determination by Potentiometric Hydrochloric Acid Titration

    D4927 Test Methods for Elemental Analysis of Lubricant and Additive Components--Barium, Calcium, Phosphorus, Sulfur, and Zinc by Wavelength-Dispersive X-Ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy

    D4929 Test Methods for Determination of Organic Chloride Content in Crude Oil

    D4951 Test Method for Determination of Additive Elements in Lubricating Oils by Inductively Coupled Plasma Atomic Emission Spectrometry

    D5185 Test Method for Multielement Determination of Used and Unused Lubricating Oils and Base Oils by Inductively Coupled Plasma Atomic Emission Spectrometry (ICP-AES)

    D5293 Test Method for Apparent Viscosity of Engine Oils and Base Stocks Between 10C and 35C Using Cold-Cranking Simulator

    D5453 Test Method for Determination of Total Sulfur in Light Hydrocarbons, Spark Ignition Engine Fuel, Diesel Engine Fuel, and Engine Oil by Ultraviolet Fluorescence

    D5762 Test Method for Nitrogen in Petroleum and Petroleum Products by Boat-Inlet Chemiluminescence

    D5800 Test Method for Evaporation Loss of Lubricating Oils by the Noack Method

    D5949 Test Method for Pour Point of Petroleum Products (Automatic Pressure Pulsing Method)

    D5950 Test Method for Pour Point of Petroleum Products (Automatic Tilt Method)

    D5984 Test Method for Semi-Quantitative Field Test Method for Base Number in New and Used Lubricants by Color-Indicator Titration

    D5985 Test Method for Pour Point of Petroleum Products (Rotational Method)

    D6160 Test Method for Determination of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) in Waste Materials by Gas Chromatography

    D6304 Test Method for Determination of Water in Petroleum Products, Lubricating Oils, and Additives by Coulometric Karl Fischer Titration

    D6375 Test Method for Evaporation Loss of Lubricating Oils by Thermogravimetric Analyzer (TGA) Noack Method

    D6417 Test Method for Estimation of Engine Oil Volatility by Capillary Gas Chromatography

    D6443 Test Method for Determination of Calcium, Chlorine, Copper, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Sulfur, and Zinc in Unused Lubricating Oils and Additives by Wavelength Dispersive X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometry (Mathematical Correction Procedure)

    D6481 Test Method for Determination of Phosphorus, Sulfur, Calcium, and Zinc in Lubrication Oils by Energy Dispersive X-ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy

    D6749 Test Method for Pour Point of Petroleum Products (Automatic Air Pressure Method)

    D6822 Test Method for Density, Relative Density, and API Gravity of Crude Petroleum and Liquid Petroleum Products by Thermohydrometer Method

    D6892 Test Method for Pour Point of Petroleum Products (Robotic Tilt Method)

    D7042 Test Method for Dynamic Viscosity and Density of Liquids by Stabinger Viscometer (and the Calculation of Kinematic Viscosity)

    D7094 Test Method for Flash Point by Modified Continuously Closed Cup (MCCCFP) Tester

    D7095 Test Method for Rapid Determination of Corrosiveness to Copper from Petroleum Products Using a Disposable Copper Foil Strip

    D7279 Test Method for Kinematic Viscosity of Transparent and Opaque Liquids by Automated Houillon Viscometer

    D7346 Test Method for No Flow Point and Pour Point of Petroleum Products

    D7419 Test Method for Determination of Total Aromatics and Total Saturates in Lube Basestocks by High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) with Refractive Index Detection

    D7500 Test Method for Determination of Boiling Range Distribution of Distillates and Lubricating Base Oils--in Boiling Range from 100 C to 735 C by Gas Chromatography

    D7751 Test Method for Determination of Additive Elements in Lubricating Oils by EDXRF Analysis

    D7777 Test Method for Density, Relative Density, or API Gravity of Liquid Petroleum by Portable Digital Density Meter

    E1687 Test Method for Determining Carcinogenic Potential of Virgin Base Oils in Metalworking Fluids


    ICS Code

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

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 15120000(Lubricants and oils and greases and anticorrosives)


    Referencing This Standard

    DOI: 10.1520/D6074-15

    ASTM International is a member of CrossRef.

    Citation Format

    ASTM D6074-15, Standard Guide for Characterizing Hydrocarbon Lubricant Base Oils, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2015, www.astm.org

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