ASTM E991 - 11

    Standard Practice for Color Measurement of Fluorescent Specimens Using the One-Monochromator Method

    Active Standard ASTM E991 | Developed by Subcommittee: E12.05

    Book of Standards Volume: 06.01


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    Significance and Use

    The most general method for obtaining CIE tristimulus values or, through their transformation, other coordinates for describing the colors of fluorescent objects is by the use of spectrometric data obtained under defined and controlled conditions of illumination and viewing. This practice describes the instrumental measurement requirements, calibration procedures, and material standards needed for measuring the total spectral radiance factors of fluorescent specimens illuminated by simulated daylight approximating CIE D65 and calculating total tristimulus values and total chromaticity coordinates for either the CIE 1931 or 1964 observers.

    The precise colorimetry of fluorescent specimens requires the spectral distribution of the instrument light source illuminating the specimen closely duplicate the colorimetric illuminant used for the calculation of tristimulus values, which is CIE D65 in this practice. The fundamental basis for this requirement follows from the defining property of a fluorescent specimen: instantaneous light emission resulting from electronic excitation by absorption of radiant energy (η) where the wavelengths of emission (λ) are as a rule longer than the excitation wavelengths (1). For a fluorescent specimen, the total spectral radiance factors used to calculate tristimulus values are the sum of two components an ordinary reflectance factor, β(λ)S, and a fluorescence factor, β(η,λ)F : β(λ) = β(λ)S + β(η,λ)F. Ordinary spectral reflectance factors are solely a function of the specimen's reflected radiance efficiency at the viewing wavelength (λ) and independent of the spectral distribution of the illumination. The values of the spectral fluorescent radiance factors at the viewing wavelength (λ) vary directly with the absolute spectral distribution of illumination within the excitation range (η), and consequently so will the total spectral radiance factors and derived colorimetric values. One-monochromator colorimetric spectrometers used in this practice are generally designed for the color measurement of ordinary (non-fluorescent) specimens and the precision with which they can measure the color of fluorescent specimens is directly dependent on how well the instrument illumination simulates CIE D65.

    CIE D65 is a virtual illuminant that numerically defines a standardized spectral illumination distribution for daylight and not a physical light source (2). There is no CIE recommendation for a standard source corresponding to CIE D65 nor is there a standardized method for rating the quality (or adequacy) of an instrument's simulation of CIE D65 for the general instrumental colorimetry of fluorescent specimens. The requirement that the instrument simulation of CIE D65 shall have a rating not worse than BB (CIELAB) as determined by the method of CIE Publication 51 has often been referenced. However, the method of CIE 51 is only suitable for ultraviolet-excited specimens evaluated for the CIE 1964 (10°) observer. The methods described in CIE 51 were developed for UV activated fluorescent whites and have not been proven to be applicable to visible-activated fluorescent specimens.

    Note 1—Aging of the instrument lamp will occur with normal usage resulting in changes in the spectral distribution and intensity of the illumination on the specimen over time. Measurement of the spectral distribution of the illumination at the sample port and evaluation of the adequacy of the CIE D65 simulation at regular intervals are recommended.

    Differences in the absolute spectral irradiance distribution on the specimen between instrument models can produce significant variation in the measured color values of fluorescent specimens and result in poor reproducibility (3). In order to adequately reproduce the spectral irradiance on the specimen required for maximum measurement reproducibility, it may be necessary for a single model of instrument to be specified for use by both buyer and seller.

    This practice is primarily for the instrumental color measurement of chromatic fluorescent specimens. While use of this practice for the color measurement of fluorescent whites is not precluded, other standards are more commonly used for measurement of these types of specimens (4,5,6) (see Test Methods D985, ISO 11475, ISO 2469, and TAPPI T 571).

    For geometrically sensitive fluorescent specimens angular tolerances on the axes and the angular aperture sizes must be well defined by the user to ensure adequate repeatability and reproducibility. Significant variation in measurement results for engineered surfaces and optical materials, for example retroreflective sheeting, can result from differences in the absolute axis angles of illumination and viewing and absolute size of the apertures between instruments (7). In order to replicate the measurement geometry, absolute angles and angular tolerances between instruments that is required for maximum measurement reproducibility, it may be necessary for a single model of instrument to be specified for use by both buyer and seller.

    Note 2—To ensure inter-instrument agreement in the measurement of specimens with intermediate gloss, for formulation, or retroreflective specimens, tight geometric tolerances are required of the instrument axis angles and the instrument aperture angles.

    Bidirectional (45:0 or 0:45) geometry is recommended for this practice.

    Hemispherical geometry using an integrating sphere is not recommended because of the spectral sphere error resulting from radiation emitted by the fluorescent specimen reflecting off the sphere wall and re-illuminating the specimen, thereby changing the spectral illuminance distribution on the specimen from that of the original instrument source (8).

    Note 3—The spectral sphere error associated with hemispherical geometry decreases as the ratio of the internal area of the sphere to the measurement area increases. When the spectral sphere error is negligible, results obtained using hemispherical geometry may for some specimens under specific measurement conditions approach those obtained using 45:0 geometry (9).

    This practice provides procedures for selecting the operating parameters of spectrometers used for providing data of the desired precision. It also provides for instrument calibration by means of artifact standards and selection of suitable specimens for obtaining precision in the measurements.

    Bispectral colorimetry using a bidirectional optical measuring system with a 45:0 or 0:45 illuminating and viewing geometry should be used when a high level of repeatability and reproducibility are required. The bispectral, or two-monochromator, method is the definitive method for the determination of the general radiation-transfer properties of fluorescent specimens. The bispectral method is accepted as the referee procedure for obtaining illuminant-independent photometric data on a fluorescent specimen that can be used to calculate its color for any desired illuminant and observer. The advantage of the bispectral method is that it avoids the inaccuracies associated with source simulation and various methods of approximation (10, 11) (see Practices E2152, E2153, and Test Method E2301).

    1. Scope

    1.1 This practice applies to the instrumental color measurement of fluorescent specimens excited by near ultraviolet and visible radiation that results in fluorescent emission within the visible range. It is not intended for other types of photoluminescent materials such as phosphorescent, chemiluminescent, or electroluminescent, nor is this practice intended for the measurement of the fluorescent properties for chemical analysis.

    1.2 This practice describes the instrumental measurement requirements, calibration procedures, and material standards needed for the color measurement of fluorescent specimens when illuminated by simulated daylight approximating CIE Standard Illuminant D65 (CIE D65).

    1.3 This practice is limited in scope to colorimetric spectrometers providing continuous broadband polychromatic illumination of the specimen and employing only a viewing monochromator for analyzing the radiation leaving the specimen.

    1.4 This practice can be used for calculating total tristimulus values and total chromaticity coordinates for fluorescent colors in the CIE Color System for either the CIE 1931 Standard Colorimetric Observer or the CIE 1964 Supplementary Standard Colorimetric Observer.

    1.5 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

    D985 Test Method for Brightness of Pulp, Paper, and Paperboard (Directional Reflectance at 457 nm)

    D2244 Practice for Calculation of Color Tolerances and Color Differences from Instrumentally Measured Color Coordinates

    E179 Guide for Selection of Geometric Conditions for Measurement of Reflection and Transmission Properties of Materials

    E284 Terminology of Appearance

    E308 Practice for Computing the Colors of Objects by Using the CIE System

    E691 Practice for Conducting an Interlaboratory Study to Determine the Precision of a Test Method

    E1164 Practice for Obtaining Spectrometric Data for Object-Color Evaluation

    E1247 Practice for Detecting Fluorescence in Object-Color Specimens by Spectrophotometry

    E1345 Practice for Reducing the Effect of Variability of Color Measurement by Use of Multiple Measurements

    E1767 Practice for Specifying the Geometries of Observation and Measurement to Characterize the Appearance of Materials

    E2152 Practice for Computing the Colors of Fluorescent Objects from Bispectral Photometric Data

    E2153 Practice for Obtaining Bispectral Photometric Data for Evaluation of Fluorescent Color

    E2214 Practice for Specifying and Verifying the Performance of Color-Measuring Instruments

    E2301 Test Method for Daytime Colorimetric Properties of Fluorescent Retroreflective Sheeting and Marking Materials for High Visibility Traffic Control and Personal Safety Applications Using 45:Normal Geometry

    ISO Standards

    ISO2469:1994 Paper, board and pulps -- Measurement of diffuse reflectance factor

    CIE Publications and Standards

    CIEPublicationNo.76 Intercomparison on Measurement of (Total) Spectral Radiance Factor of Luminescent Specimens

    TAPPI Standards

    T571om-03 Diffuse brightness of paper and paperboard (d/0)


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 17.180.20 (Colours and measurement of light)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 41115403(Spectrometers)


    DOI: 10.1520/E0991-11

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