ASTM D2983 - 17

    Standard Test Method for Low-Temperature Viscosity of Automatic Transmission Fluids, Hydraulic Fluids, and Lubricants using a Rotational Viscometer

    Active Standard ASTM D2983 | Developed by Subcommittee: D02.07

    Book of Standards Volume: 05.01


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    Significance and Use

    5.1 The low-temperature, low-shear-rate viscosity of automatic transmission fluids, gear oils, torque and tractor fluids, and industrial and automotive hydraulic oils (see Appendix X4) are of considerable importance to the proper operation of many mechanical devices. Measurement of the viscometric properties of these oils and fluids at low temperatures is often used to specify their acceptance for service. This test method is used in a number of specifications.

    5.2 Initially this test method was developed to determine whether an automatic transmission fluid (ATF) would meet OEM low temperature performance criterion originally defined using a particular model viscometer.6 The viscosity range covered in the original ATF performance correlation studies was from less than 1000 mPa·s to more than 60 000 mPa·s. The success of the ATF correlation and the development of this test method has over time been applied to other fluids and lubricants such as gear oils, hydraulic fluids, and so forth.

    5.3 This test method describes how to measure apparent viscosity directly without the errors associated with earlier techniques using extrapolation of experimental viscometric data obtained at higher temperatures.

    Note 1: Low temperature viscosity values obtained by either interpolation or extrapolation of oils may be subject to errors caused by gelation and other forms of non-Newtonian response to spindle speed and torque.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method covers the use of rotational viscometers with an appropriate torque range and specific spindle for the determination of the low-shear-rate viscosity of automatic transmission fluids, gear oils, hydraulic fluids, and some lubricants. This test method covers the viscosity range of 300 mPa·s to 900 000 mPa·s

    1.2 This test method was previously titled “Low-Temperature Viscosity of Lubricants Measured by Brookfield Viscometer.” In the lubricant industry, D2983 test results have often been referred to as “Brookfield2 Viscosity” which implies a viscosity determined by this method.

    1.3 This test method contains three procedures: Procedure A is used when only an air bath is used to cool samples in preparation for viscosity measurement. Procedure B is used when a mechanically refrigerated programmable liquid bath is used to cool samples in preparation for viscosity measurement. Procedure C is used when a mechanically refrigerated constant temperature liquid bath is used to cool samples by means of a simulated air cell (SimAir)3 Cell in preparation for viscosity measurement.

    1.4 The range of viscosity used to generate the precision data for this test method was from 300 mPa·s to 170 000 mPa·s at test temperatures from –12 °C to –40 °C. The ILS also included viscosities greater than 500 000 mPa·s and temperatures down to –55 °C and are included in Appendix X5. Appendix X4 lists another interlaboratory study that specifically targeted hydraulic fluid ranging from 500 mPa·s to 1700 mPa·s.

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

    1.5.1 The test method uses the SI unit, milliPascal-second (mPa·s), as the unit of viscosity. (1 cP = 1 mPa·s).

    1.6 WARNING—Mercury has been designated by many regulatory agencies as a hazardous material that can cause central nervous system, kidney and liver damage. Mercury, or its vapor, may be hazardous to health and corrosive to materials. Caution should be taken when handling mercury and mercury containing products. See the applicable product Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for details and EPA’s website—http://www.epa.gov/mercury/faq.htm—for additional information. Users should be aware that selling mercury and/or mercury containing products into your state or country may be prohibited by law.

    1.7 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.

    1.8 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.


    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

    D341 Practice for Viscosity-Temperature Charts for Liquid Petroleum Products

    D4175 Terminology Relating to Petroleum Products, Liquid Fuels, and Lubricants

    D5133 Test Method for Low Temperature, Low Shear Rate, Viscosity/Temperature Dependence of Lubricating Oils Using a Temperature-Scanning Technique

    D7962 Practice for Determination of Minimum Immersion Depth and Assessment of Temperature Sensor Measurement Drift

    E1 Specification for ASTM Liquid-in-Glass Thermometers

    E1137 Specification for Industrial Platinum Resistance Thermometers

    E2877 Guide for Digital Contact Thermometers

    ISO Standard

    ISO 17025


    ICS Code

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

    Referencing This Standard
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    DOI: 10.1520/D2983-17

    Citation Format

    ASTM D2983-17, Standard Test Method for Low-Temperature Viscosity of Automatic Transmission Fluids, Hydraulic Fluids, and Lubricants using a Rotational Viscometer, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2017, www.astm.org

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