ASTM D6438 - 05(2010)

    Standard Test Method for Acetone, Methyl Acetate, and Parachlorobenzotrifluoride Content of Paints, and Coatings by Solid Phase Microextraction-Gas Chromatography

    Active Standard ASTM D6438 | Developed by Subcommittee: D01.21

    Book of Standards Volume: 06.01


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    Significance and Use

    In order to calculate the volatile organic content (VOC) of paints containing EPA exempt solvents, it is necessary to know the acetone, methyl acetate, or parachlorobenzotrifluoride content. This gas chromatographic test method provides a simple and direct way for measuring these solvents. Each analyte is measured with respect to a unique internal standard. For acetone, the internal standard used is acetone-d6, for methyl acetate it is methyl acetate-d3, and for PCBTF it is metachlorobenzotrifluoride (MCBTF). These unique analyte/internal standard pairs behave very nearly as single solvents with respect to evaporation rate and adsorption rate onto a coated silica fiber (SPME) but are separable on a gas chromatograph (GC) capillary column. The only critical analytical technique required for successfully performing this test method is the ability of an analyst to weigh a paint sample and internal standard, corresponding to the analyte of interest, into a septum capped vial. After weighing, solvent evaporation has no effect on the final value of the determination. Since whole paint is not injected into the gas chromatograph, the analytical system is never compromised.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method is for the determination of acetone, methyl acetate, or parachlorobenzotrifluoride (PCBTF), or combination of any of the three, in paints and coatings, by solid phase microextraction (SPME) headspace sampling, and subsequent injection into a gas chromatograph. It has been evaluated for cellulose nitrate, acrylic, and urethane solvent-borne systems. The established working range of this test method is: acetone, 28 to 90 %; methyl acetate, 12 to 22 %; parachlorobenzotrifluoride, 10 to 17 %. There is no reason to believe that it will not work outside these ranges. A minor modification of this test method would make it suitable for the analysis of the same analytes in water-borne coatings (see Note 1).

    Note 1—Water-borne paints are internally standardized and diluted with water followed by addition of solid sodium chloride.

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

    1.3 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

    D3925 Practice for Sampling Liquid Paints and Related Pigmented Coatings

    D6133 Test Method for Acetone, p-Chlorobenzotrifluoride, Methyl Acetate or t-Butyl Acetate Content of Solventborne and Waterborne Paints, Coatings, Resins, and Raw Materials by Direct Injection Into a Gas Chromatograph

    E180 Practice for Determining the Precision of ASTM Methods for Analysis and Testing of Industrial and Specialty Chemicals


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 87.060.30 (Solvents)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 31211500(Paints and primers); 46181533(Protective coats)


    Referencing This Standard

    DOI: 10.1520/D6438-05R10

    ASTM International is a member of CrossRef.

    Citation Format

    ASTM D6438-05(2010), Standard Test Method for Acetone, Methyl Acetate, and Parachlorobenzotrifluoride Content of Paints, and Coatings by Solid Phase Microextraction-Gas Chromatography, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2010, www.astm.org

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