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    ASTM D4176 - 21a

    Standard Test Method for Free Water and Particulate Contamination in Distillate Fuels (Visual Inspection Procedures)

    Active Standard ASTM D4176 | Developed by Subcommittee: D02.14

    Book of Standards Volume: 05.01

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    Significance and Use

    5.1 It has long been the practice to include in fuel specifications a requirement that the fuel be clear and bright and free of visible particulate matter (see Note 1). However, there has been no standard method for making this determination so that practices have differed. This test method provides standard procedures for the test.

    Note 1: Clean and bright is sometimes used in place of clear and bright. The meaning is identical.

    5.2 Procedure 1 provides a rapid pass/fail method for contamination in a distillate fuel. Procedure 2 provides a gross numerical rating of haze appearance, primarily as a communication tool. Other test methods, including Test Methods D2276, D2709, and D4860, permit quantitative determinations of contaminants. No relationship has been established between Procedure 2 and these quantitative methods.

    5.2.1 Test Method D8148 has established a correlating relationship with Procedure 2 appearance rating numbers by reporting a correlating instrument haze rating (IHR) based upon its spectroscopically determined haze clarity index (HCI). Supporting data can be found in RR:D02-1876.5

    5.3 Limited laboratory evaluations of samples that have failed this clear and bright test indicate that an experienced tester can detect as little as 40 ppm of free water in the fuel.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method covers two procedures for estimating the presence of suspended free water and solid particulate contamination in distillate fuels having distillation end points below 400 °C and an ASTM color of 5 or less.

    1.1.1 Both procedures can be used as field tests at storage temperatures, or as laboratory tests at controlled temperatures.

    1.1.2 Procedure 1 provides a rapid pass/fail method for contamination. Procedure 2 provides a gross numerical rating of haze appearance.

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

    ASTM Standards

    D1500 Test Method for ASTM Color of Petroleum Products (ASTM Color Scale)

    D2276 Test Method for Particulate Contaminant in Aviation Fuel by Line Sampling

    D2709 Test Method for Water and Sediment in Middle Distillate Fuels by Centrifuge

    D4057 Practice for Manual Sampling of Petroleum and Petroleum Products

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


    D4860 Test Method for Free Water and Particulate Contamination in Middle Distillate Fuels (Clear and Bright Numerical Rating)

    D8148 Test Method for Spectroscopic Determination of Haze in Fuels

    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 75.160.20 (Liquid fuels)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 15101500(Petroleum and distillates)

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

    DOI: 10.1520/D4176-21A

    Citation Format

    ASTM D4176-21a, Standard Test Method for Free Water and Particulate Contamination in Distillate Fuels (Visual Inspection Procedures), ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2021, www.astm.org

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