ASTM D7899 - 13

    Standard Test Method for Measuring the Merit of Dispersancy of In-Service Engine Oils with Blotter Spot Method

    Active Standard ASTM D7899 | Developed by Subcommittee: D02.96.02

    Book of Standards Volume: 05.04


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    Significance and Use

    5.1 Dispersancy is the property that allows oil to suspend and carry away pollutants of diverse sources such as soot from combustion, metallic particles from wear, corrosion of mechanical parts, and insoluble products resulting from the aging of the oil.

    5.2 When poured on a specific filter paper, oil that is properly dispersing soot and other insolubles produces an evenly graduated spot. The distribution of the different zones (Fig. 1) will reflect the status of oil dispersancy.

    5.3 While the oil spreads out on the filter paper, the oil carries contaminants, and due to the lamination phenomenon of the oil film, the particles of same size deposit on the paper on the same concentric zones.

    5.4 This test method provides a simple technique for condition monitoring of the dispersancy property of in-service lubricants.

    5.5 An oil that is properly dispersing soot and other insolubles produces an evenly graduated blotter (see Fig. 2—Spot 1). A ring of light debris on the outer circumference of the circular spot also indicates that the oil has retained its dispersancy properties.

    5.6 A blotter indicating a high soot load, but even graduation, suggests the oil is still fit for service, but should be watched closely for degradation (see Fig. 2—Spot 2).

    5.7 When dispersancy begins to fail, the insolubles begin to form a dense ring on the exterior of the absorbing oil drop as in Fig. 2—Spot 3. A brown or yellow stain on the blotter spot indicates oxidation.

    5.8 Fig. 2—Spot 4 indicates the characteristic dense black dot and sharp periphery that indicates sludge and the loss of dispersancy as the particles have settled in the center and the oil has wicked outward.

    5.9 From a maintenance perspective, when the ring begins to form around the exterior of the oil blotter, it is time to look at scheduling a drain. If the black dot is allowed to form, the situation is problematic because the undispersed portion of soot that has deposited upon surfaces will not be removed by the oil change. Often, several changes made at frequent intervals will be required to effectively scour the engine clean. Also, if dispersancy performance degrades at an unusually rapid pace, a more extensive review of combustion and ring performance should be undertaken.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method covers a procedure for determination of the merit of dispersancy of diesel crankcase engine oils as well as other types of engine oils where pollutants of diverse sources such as soot from combustion, metallic particles from wear, corrosion of mechanical parts, and insoluble products resulting from the oxidation of the oil may contaminate the lubricant.

    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.

    Note 1It is not the intent of this test method to establish or recommend normal, cautionary, warning, or alert limits for any machinery. Such limits should be established in conjunction with advice and guidance from the machinery manufacturer and maintenance group.


    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

    D7418 Practice for Set-Up and Operation of Fourier Transform Infrared (FT-IR) Spectrometers for In-Service Oil Condition Monitoring


    ICS Code

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

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code


    Referencing This Standard

    DOI: 10.1520/D7899

    ASTM International is a member of CrossRef.

    Citation Format

    ASTM D7899-13, Standard Test Method for Measuring the Merit of Dispersancy of In-Service Engine Oils with Blotter Spot Method, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2013, www.astm.org

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