ASTM D8166 - 17

    Standard Test Method for Sizing and Counting Particulates in Light and Middle Distillate Fuels and Biodiesel Blend (B6 to B20) Using Continuous Flow and Bottle Sampler Automatic Particle Counters

    Active Standard ASTM D8166 | Developed by Subcommittee: D02.14

    Book of Standards Volume: 05.05


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    Significance and Use

    5.1 This test method is intended for use in the laboratory or in the field to evaluate the cleanliness of distillate fuels, and liquid biofuels, such as biodiesel and diesel blends. This specific test method and the precision statement applies to off-line analysis.

    Note 5: These APCs can be used for high pressure on-line applications as well, however the repeatability (r) and reproducibility (R) for on-line application was not established.

    5.2 An increase in particulate counts can indicate a change in the fuel condition caused for example by contamination during storage or transfer. Potential causes of particulates formation during storage could be “fuel-degradation products,” as described in Specification D975, Appendix X3.

    5.3 High levels of particles can cause filter blockages (especially when the particles are close in size to the filter porosity rating) and have a serious impact on the life of pumps, injectors, pistons, and other moving parts. Knowledge of particle size in relation to the metallurgy can provide vital information, especially if the hardness of particles is also known from other sources.

    5.4 This test method specifies a minimum requirement for reporting measurements in particle size bands (A1.2.1). Some specific applications may require measurements in other particle size bands. The particle count from the test should be carefully interpreted by the user as it can potentially over-state risk of abrasive damage or filter blocking due to counting water droplets as well as hard dirt particles.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method uses specific automatic particle counters (APCs) to count and measure the size of dispersed dirt particles, water droplets and other particulates, in light and middle distillate fuel, in the overall range from 4 µm(c) to 70 µm(c) and in the size bands 4 µm(c), 6 µm(c), 14 µm(c), and 30 µm(c).

    Note 1: ASTM specification fuels falling within the scope of this test method include Specifications: D975, D1655, D3699, D7467, MIL-DTL-83133, MIL-DTL-5624, and distillate grades of D396 and D2880.

    Note 2: For the purposes of this test method, water droplets are counted as particles, and agglomerated particles are detected and counted as a single larger particle. Dirt includes microbial particulates. Although the projected area of a particle is measured, this is expressed as the diameter of a circle for the purposes of this test method. The detector is unable to distinguish between dirt and water particles.

    Note 3: The notation (c), used with particle sizes, is used to denote that the apparatus has been calibrated in accordance with ISO 11171. As per calibration specification of ISO 11171, (c) notation is required to distinguish from previous calibration standard ISO 4402, where (c) was not used.

    Note 4: This test method may be used for particle sizes bands up to 70 µm(c), however the interim repeatability has only been determined for the size bands 4 µm(c), 6 µm(c), and 14 µm(c). All measurements are per millilitre.

    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

    D396 Specification for Fuel Oils

    D975 Specification for Diesel Fuel Oils

    D1655 Specification for Aviation Turbine Fuels

    D2880 Specification for Gas Turbine Fuel Oils

    D3699 Specification for Kerosine

    D4057 Practice for Manual Sampling of Petroleum and Petroleum Products

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

    D4177 Practice for Automatic Sampling of Petroleum and Petroleum Products

    D4306 Practice for Aviation Fuel Sample Containers for Tests Affected by Trace Contamination

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

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

    D7467 Specification for Diesel Fuel Oil, Biodiesel Blend (B6 to B20)

    D7619 Test Method for Sizing and Counting Particles in Light and Middle Distillate Fuels, by Automatic Particle Counter

    U.S. Dept. of Defense Specifications

    MIL-DTL-5624 Specification: Turbine Fuel, Aviation, Grades JP-4 (NATO F-40 and JP-5 (NATO F-44)

    MIL-DTL-83133

    ISO Standards

    ISO 11171 Hydraulic fluid powerCalibration of automatic particle counters for liquids

    ISO 12103

    ISO 4406 Hydraulic fluid powerFluidsMethod for coding level of contamination by solid particles

    Energy Institute

    IP 564 Determination of the level of cleanliness of aviation turbine fuel Laboratory automatic particle counter method

    IP 565 Determination of the level of cleanliness of aviation turbine fuel Portable automatic particle counter method


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 75.160.20 (Liquid fuels)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 15101700(Fuel Oils)


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

    DOI: 10.1520/D8166-17

    Citation Format

    ASTM D8166-17, Standard Test Method for Sizing and Counting Particulates in Light and Middle Distillate Fuels and Biodiesel Blend (B6 to B20) Using Continuous Flow and Bottle Sampler Automatic Particle Counters, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2017, www.astm.org

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