ASTM E259 - 06(2011)

    Standard Practice for Preparation of Pressed Powder White Reflectance Factor Transfer Standards for Hemispherical and Bi-Directional Geometries

    Active Standard ASTM E259 | Developed by Subcommittee: E12.02

    Book of Standards Volume: 06.01


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    Significance and Use

    All commercial reflectometers measure relative reflectance. The instrument reading is the reflectance factor, the ratio of the light reflected by a reference specimen to that reflected by a test specimen. That ratio is dependent on specific instrument parameters.

    National standardizing laboratories and some research laboratories measure reflectance on instruments calibrated from basic principles, thereby establishing a scale of absolute reflectance as described in CIE Publication No. 44 (2). These measurements are sufficiently difficult that they are usually left to laboratories that specialize in them.

    A standard that has been measured on an absolute scale could be used to transfer that scale to a reflectometer. While such procedures exist, the constraints placed on the mechanical properties restrict the suitability of some optical properties, especially those properties related to the geometric distribution of the reflected light. Thus, reflectance factor standards which are sufficiently rugged and able to be cleaned, depart considerably from the perfect diffuser in the geometric distribution of reflected radiance.

    The geometric distribution of reflected radiance from a pressed powder plaque is sufficiently diffuse to provide a dependable calibration of a directional-hemispherical reflectometer. Although pressed powder standards are subject to contamination and breakage, the directional-hemispherical reflectance factor of pressed powder standards can be sufficiently reproducible from specimen to specimen made from a given lot of powder, so as to allow one to assign absolute reflectance factor values to all the powder in a lot.

    This practice describes how to prepare white reflectance factor standards from a powder in a manner that allows a standardizing laboratory to assign the absolute scale of reflectance to the plaque.


    Note—The collar and receptacle should be securely held in place before pressing the powder.

    FIG. 1 Example Powder Press

    1. Scope

    1.1 This practice covers procedures for preparing pressed powder transfer standards. These standards can be used in the near-ultraviolet, visible and near-infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum. Procedures for calibrating the reflectance factor of materials on an absolute basis are contained in CIE Publication No. 44 (2). Pressed powder standards are used as transfer standards for such calibrations because they have a high reflectance factor that is nearly constant with wavelength, and because the geometric distribution of reflected flux resembles that from the perfect reflecting diffuser.

    1.2 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard. The values given in parentheses are for information only.

    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

    E284 Terminology of Appearance


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 17.180.20 (Colours and measurement of light)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 41115316(Reflectometers)


    DOI: 10.1520/E0259-06R11

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