ASTM D6378 - 18

    Standard Test Method for Determination of Vapor Pressure (VPX) of Petroleum Products, Hydrocarbons, and Hydrocarbon-Oxygenate Mixtures (Triple Expansion Method)

    Active Standard ASTM D6378 | Developed by Subcommittee: D02.08

    Book of Standards Volume: 05.03


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    Significance and Use

    5.1 Vapor pressure is a very important physical property of volatile liquids for shipping and storage.

    5.2 The vapor pressure of gasoline and gasoline-oxygenate blends is regulated by various government agencies.

    5.3 Specifications for volatile petroleum products generally include vapor pressure limits to ensure products of suitable volatility performance.

    5.4 In this test method, an air saturation procedure prior to the measurement is not required, thus eliminating losses of high volatile compounds during this step. This test method is faster and minimizes potential errors from improper air saturation. This test method permits VPX determinations in the field.

    5.5 This test method can be applied in online applications in which an air saturation procedure prior to the measurement cannot be performed.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method covers the use of automated vapor pressure instruments to determine the vapor pressure exerted in vacuum by volatile, liquid petroleum products, hydrocarbons, and hydrocarbon-oxygenate mixtures including ethanol blends up to 85 % (volume fraction). This test method is suitable for testing samples with boiling points above 0 °C (32 °F) that exert a vapor pressure between 7 kPa and 150 kPa (1.0 psi and 21 psi) at 37.8 °C (100 °F) at a vapor-to-liquid ratio of 4:1. The liquid sample volume size required for analysis is dependent upon the vapor-to-liquid ratio chosen (see Note 1) and the measuring chamber volume capacity of the instrument (see 6.1.1 and Note 5).

    Note 1: The test method is suitable for the determination of the vapor pressure of volatile, liquid petroleum products at temperatures from 0 °C to 100 °C at vapor to liquid ratios of 4:1 to 1:1 (X = 4 to 1) and pressures up to 500 kPa (70 psi), but the precision statement (see Section 16) may not be applicable.

    Note 2: The precision (see Section 16) using 1 L containers was determined in a 2003 interlaboratory study (ILS);2 the precision using 250 mL containers was determined in a 2016 ILS.3

    1.2 This test method also covers the use of automated vapor pressure instruments to determine the vapor pressure exerted in vacuum by aviation turbine fuels. This test method is suitable for testing aviation turbine fuel samples with boiling points above 0 °C (32 °F) that exert a vapor pressure between 0 kPa and 110 kPa (0 psi and 15.5 psi) at a vapor-to-liquid ratio of 4:1, in the temperature range from 25 °C to 100 °C (77 °F to 212 °F).

    Note 3: The precision (see Section 16) for aviation turbine fuels using 100 mL containers was determined in a 2007 ILS.4

    1.3 The vapor pressure (VPX) determined by this test method at a vapor-liquid ratio of 4:1 (X = 4) of gasoline and gasoline-oxygenate blends at 37.8 °C can be correlated to the dry vapor pressure equivalent (DVPE) value determined by Test Method D5191 (see 16.3). This condition does not apply when the sample is aviation turbine fuel.

    1.4 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.

    1.5 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 warning statements, see 7.2 – 7.8.

    1.6 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

    D323 Test Method for Vapor Pressure of Petroleum Products (Reid Method)

    D2892 Test Method for Distillation of Crude Petroleum (15-Theoretical Plate Column)

    D4057 Practice for Manual Sampling of Petroleum and Petroleum Products

    D4177 Practice for Automatic Sampling of Petroleum and Petroleum Products

    D4953 Test Method for Vapor Pressure of Gasoline and Gasoline-Oxygenate Blends (Dry Method)

    D5191 Test Method for Vapor Pressure of Petroleum Products (Mini Method)

    D5842 Practice for Sampling and Handling of Fuels for Volatility Measurement

    D5854 Practice for Mixing and Handling of Liquid Samples of Petroleum and Petroleum Products

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

    D6300 Practice for Determination of Precision and Bias Data for Use in Test Methods for Petroleum Products and Lubricants

    D6708 Practice for Statistical Assessment and Improvement of Expected Agreement Between Two Test Methods that Purport to Measure the Same Property of a Material


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 75.080 (Petroleum products in general)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 15101500(Petroleum and distillates)


    Referencing This Standard
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    DOI: 10.1520/D6378-18

    Citation Format

    ASTM D6378-18, Standard Test Method for Determination of Vapor Pressure (VPX) of Petroleum Products, Hydrocarbons, and Hydrocarbon-Oxygenate Mixtures (Triple Expansion Method), ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2018, www.astm.org

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