ASTM D566 - 20

    Standard Test Method for Dropping Point of Lubricating Grease

    Active Standard ASTM D566 | Developed by Subcommittee: D02.G0.03

    Book of Standards Volume: 05.01


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    Significance and Use

    5.1 Historically, the dropping point was the temperature at which the grease passed from a semisolid to a liquid state under the conditions of test. This change in state is typical of greases containing thickeners of conventional soap types. Greases containing thickeners other than conventional soaps can, without a change in state, separate oil. This test method is useful to assist in identifying the grease as to type and for establishing and maintaining bench marks for quality control. The results are considered to have only limited significance with respect to service performance of conventional soap thickeners as dropping point is a static test. Above 200 °C, the dropping point has no correlation with the maximum upper operating temperature of the grease.

    Note 1: Historical cooperative testing on conventional soap-thickened greases indicated ( RR:D02-1164) that in general, dropping points by Test Method D566 and Test Method D2265 were in agreement. In cases where results differ, there is no known significance. However, agreement between producer and consumer as to the test method used is advisable.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method covers the determination of the dropping point of lubricating grease.

    1.2 This test method is not recommended for use at bath temperatures above 288 °C. For higher temperatures Test Method D2265 should be used.

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

    1.4 WARNING—The dropping point does not have any bearing on the performance of the grease.

    1.5 WARNING—This test method uses mercury-filled thermometers. Mercury has been designated by many regulatory agencies as a hazardous substance that can cause serious medical issues. Mercury, or its vapor, has been demonstrated to be hazardous to health and corrosive to materials. Use Caution when handling mercury and mercury-containing products. See the applicable product Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for additional information. The potential exists that selling mercury or mercury-containing products, or both, is prohibited by local or national law. Users must determine legality of sales in their location. The responsible subcommittee, D02.G.3, continues to explore alternatives to eventually replace the mercury thermometers.

    1.6 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. For specific hazard statements, see 6.4 and 8.1.

    1.7 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

    D217 Test Methods for Cone Penetration of Lubricating Grease

    D235 Specification for Mineral Spirits (Petroleum Spirits) (Hydrocarbon Dry Cleaning Solvent)

    D2265 Test Method for Dropping Point of Lubricating Grease Over Wide Temperature Range

    E1 Specification for ASTMLiquid-in-Glass Thermometers


    ICS Code

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

    Referencing This Standard
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    DOI: 10.1520/D0566-20

    Citation Format

    ASTM D566-20, Standard Test Method for Dropping Point of Lubricating Grease, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2020, www.astm.org

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