ASTM G21 - 13

    Standard Practice for Determining Resistance of Synthetic Polymeric Materials to Fungi

    Active Standard ASTM G21 | Developed by Subcommittee: G03.04

    Book of Standards Volume: 14.04


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    ASTM G21

    Significance and Use

    4.1 The synthetic polymer portion of these materials is usually fungus-resistant in that it does not serve as a carbon source for the growth of fungi. It is generally the other components, such as plasticizers, cellulosics, lubricants, stabilizers, and colorants, that are responsible for fungus attack on plastic materials. To assess materials other than plastics, use of this test method should be agreed upon by all parties involved. It is important to establish the resistance to microbial attack under conditions favorable for such attack, namely, a temperature of 2 to 38°C (35 to 100°F) and a relative humidity of 60 to 100 %.

    4.2 The effects to be expected are as follows:

    4.2.1 Surface attack, discoloration, loss of transmission (optical), and

    4.2.2 Removal of susceptible plasticizers, modifiers, and lubricants, resulting in increased modulus (stiffness), changes in weight, dimensions, and other physical properties, and deterioration of electrical properties such as insulation resistance, dielectric constant, power factor, and dielectric strength.

    4.3 Often the changes in electrical properties are due principally to surface growth and its associated moisture and to pH changes caused by excreted metabolic products. Other effects include preferential growth caused by nonuniform dispersion of plasticizers, lubricants, and other processing additives. Attack on these materials often leaves ionized conducting paths. Pronounced physical changes are observed on products in film form or as coatings, where the ratio of surface to volume is high, and where nutrient materials such as plasticizers and lubricants continue to diffuse to the surface as they are utilized by the organisms.

    4.4 Since attack by organisms involves a large element of chance due to local accelerations and inhibitions, the order of reproducibility may be rather low. To ensure that estimates of behavior are not too optimistic, the greatest observed degree of deterioration should be reported.

    4.5 Conditioning of the specimens, such as exposure to leaching, weathering, heat treatment, etc., may have significant effects on the resistance to fungi. Determination of these effects is not covered in this practice.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This practice covers determination of the effect of fungi on the properties of synthetic polymeric materials in the form of molded and fabricated articles, tubes, rods, sheets, and film materials. Changes in optical, mechanical, and electrical properties may be determined by the applicable ASTM methods.

    1.2 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard. The inch-pound units 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

    D149 Test Method for Dielectric Breakdown Voltage and Dielectric Strength of Solid Electrical Insulating Materials at Commercial Power Frequencies

    D150 Test Methods for AC Loss Characteristics and Permittivity (Dielectric Constant) of Solid Electrical Insulation

    D257 Test Methods for DC Resistance or Conductance of Insulating Materials

    D495 Test Method for High-Voltage, Low-Current, Dry Arc Resistance of Solid Electrical Insulation

    D618 Practice for Conditioning Plastics for Testing

    D638 Test Method for Tensile Properties of Plastics

    D747 Test Method for Apparent Bending Modulus of Plastics by Means of a Cantilever Beam

    D785 Test Method for Rockwell Hardness of Plastics and Electrical Insulating Materials

    D882 Test Method for Tensile Properties of Thin Plastic Sheeting

    D1003 Test Method for Haze and Luminous Transmittance of Transparent Plastics

    D1708 Test Method for Tensile Properties of Plastics by Use of Microtensile Specimens

    E96/E96M Test Methods for Water Vapor Transmission of Materials

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

    Federal Standards

    FEDSTD191 Method 5204 Stiffness of Cloth, Directional; Self Weighted Cantilever Method Available from Standardization Documents Order Desk, DODSSP, Bldg. 4, Section D, 700 Robbins Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19111-5098, http://dodssp.daps.dla.mil.

    FEDSTD191 Method 5206 Stiffness of Cloth Drape and Flex; Cantilever Bending Method

    TAPPI Standard

    TestMethodT 451-CM Flexural Properties of Paper Available from Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry (TAPPI), 15 Technology Parkway South, Norcross, GA 30092, http://www.tappi.org.


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 83.080.01 (Plastics in general)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code


    DOI: 10.1520/G0021

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