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    ASTM D3278 - 21

    Standard Test Methods for Flash Point of Liquids by Small Scale Closed-Cup Apparatus

    Active Standard ASTM D3278 | Developed by Subcommittee: D01.21

    Book of Standards Volume: 06.01


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    Significance and Use

    5.1 Flash point measures the response of the test specimen to heat and ignition source under controlled laboratory conditions. It is only one of a number of properties that must be considered in assessing the overall flammability hazard of a material.

    5.2 Flash point is used in shipping and safety regulations by governmental regulatory agencies to define flammable and combustible materials and to classify them. Consult the particular regulation involved for precise definitions of these classes.

    5.3 Flash point can indicate the possible presence of highly volatile and flammable impurities or contaminants in a given liquid, such as the presence of residual solvents in solvent-refined drying oils.

    5.4 These equilibrium flash point test methods use a smaller specimen (2 mL) and a shorter test time (1 min) than traditional non-equilibrium test methods such as Test Method D56 and Test Methods D93.

    5.5 Test Methods D3828, Test Method D8174, and ISO 3679 are similar test methods and use the same apparatus.

    1. Scope

    1.1 These test methods cover procedures for determining whether a material does or does not flash at a specified temperature (flash/no flash Method A) or for determining the lowest finite temperature at which a material does flash (Method B), when using a small scale closed-cup apparatus. The test methods are applicable to paints, enamels, lacquers, varnishes, solvents, and related products having a flash point between 0 °C and 110 °C (32 °F and 230 °F) and viscosity lower than 15 000 mm2/s (cSt) at 25 °C (77 °F).

    Note 1: Tests at higher or lower temperatures are possible however the precision has not been determined.

    Note 2: More viscous materials can be tested in accordance with Annex A4.

    Note 3: Organic peroxides can be tested in accordance with Annex A5, which describes the applicable safety precautions.

    Note 4: The U.S. Department of Labor (OSHA, Hazard Communications), the U.S. Department of Transportation (RSPA), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have specified Test Methods D3278 as one of several acceptable methods for the determination of flash point of liquids in their regulations.

    1.2 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. The values given in parentheses after SI units are provided for information only and are not considered standard.

    1.3 This standard is used to measure and describe the response of materials, products, or assemblies to heat and flame under controlled conditions, but does not by itself incorporate all factors required for fire hazard or fire risk assessment of the materials, products, or assemblies under actual fire conditions.

    1.4 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, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

    1.5 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

    D56 Test Method for Flash Point by Tag Closed Cup Tester

    D93 Test Methods for Flash Point by Pensky-Martens Closed Cup Tester

    D3828 Test Methods for Flash Point by Small Scale Closed Cup Tester

    D3925 Practice for Sampling Liquid Paints and Related Pigmented Coatings

    D6299 Practice for Applying Statistical Quality Assurance and Control Charting Techniques to Evaluate Analytical Measurement System Performance

    D7236 Test Method for Flash Point by Small Scale Closed Cup Tester (Ramp Method)

    D8174 Test Method for Finite Flash Point Determination of Liquid Wastes by Small-Scale Closed Cup Tester

    E1137/E1137M Specification for Industrial Platinum Resistance Thermometers


    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 41116301(Flash point testers)


    Referencing This Standard
    Link Here
    Link to Active (This link will always route to the current Active version of the standard.)

    DOI: 10.1520/D3278-21

    Citation Format

    ASTM D3278-21, Standard Test Methods for Flash Point of Liquids by Small Scale Closed-Cup Apparatus, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2021, www.astm.org

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