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Significance and Use
4.1 This practice is commonly used by vehicle service personnel to determine the freezing point, in degrees Celsius or Fahrenheit, of aqueous solutions of commercial ethylene and propylene glycol-based coolant. A durable hand-held refractometer is available that reads the freezing point, directly, in degrees Celsius or Fahrenheit, when a few drops of engine coolant are properly placed on the temperature-compensated prism surface of the refractometer. This refractometer is for glycol and water solutions, and is not suitable for other coolant solutions.
4.2 The hand-held refractometer should be calibrated before use (see Section ).
4.3 Care must be taken to use the correct glycol freezing point scale for the glycol type being measured. Use of the wrong glycol scale can result in freezing point errors of 18 and more degrees Fahrenheit.
4.4 Ethylene glycol/propylene glycol mixtures will result in inaccurate freezing point measurements using either freezing point scale.
1.1 This test method covers the use of a portable refractometer for determining the approximate freezing protection provided by ethylene and propylene glycol-based coolant solutions as used in engine cooling systems and special applications.
Note 1: Some instruments have a supplementary freezing protection scale for methoxypropanol coolants. Others carry a supplemental scale calibrated in density or specific gravity readings of sulfuric acid solutions so that the refractometer can be used to determine the charged condition of lead acid storage batteries.
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 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.
1.4 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.
D1177 Test Method for Freezing Point of Aqueous Engine Coolants
E177 Practice for Use of the Terms Precision and Bias in ASTM Test Methods
E691 Practice for Conducting an Interlaboratory Study to Determine the Precision of a Test Method
ICS Number Code 17.180.30 (Optical measuring instruments)
|Link to Active (This link will always route to the current Active version of the standard.)|
ASTM D3321-19, Standard Test Method for Use of the Refractometer for Field Test Determination of the Freezing Point of Aqueous Engine Coolants, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2019, www.astm.orgBack to Top