Standard Historical Last Updated: Dec 31, 2010 Track Document
ASTM D523-89(2008)

Standard Test Method for Specular Gloss

Standard Test Method for Specular Gloss D0523-89R08 ASTM|D0523-89R08|en-US Standard Test Method for Specular Gloss Standard new BOS Vol. 06.01 Committee E12
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Significance and Use

Gloss is associated with the capacity of a surface to reflect more light in some directions than in others. The directions associated with mirror (or specular) reflection normally have the highest reflectances. Measurements by this test method correlate with visual observations of surface shininess made at roughly the corresponding angles.

Measured gloss ratings by this test method are obtained by comparing the specular reflectance from the specimen to that from a black glass standard. Since specular reflectance depends also on the surface refractive index of the specimen, the measured gloss ratings change as the surface refractive index changes. In obtaining the visual gloss ratings, however, it is customary to compare the specular reflectances of two specimens having similar surface refractive indices. Since the instrumental ratings are affected more than the visual ratings by changes in surface refractive index, non-agreement between visual and instrumental gloss ratings can occur when high gloss specimen surfaces differing in refractive index are compared.

Other visual aspects of surface appearance, such as distinctness of reflected images, reflection haze, and texture, are frequently involved in the assessment of gloss (1), (6), (7). Test Method E 430 includes techniques for the measurement of both distinctness-of-image gloss and reflection haze. Test Method D 4039 provides an alternative procedure for measuring reflection haze.

Little information about the relation of numerical-to-perceptual intervals of specular gloss has been published. However, in many applications the gloss scales of this test method have provided discriminations between coated specimens that have agreed well with visual discriminations of gloss (10).

When specimens differing widely in perceived gloss or color, or both, are compared, nonlinearity may be encountered in the relationship between visual gloss difference ratings and instrumental gloss reading differences.


1.1 This test method covers the measurement of the specular gloss of nonmetallic specimens for glossmeter geometries of 60, 20, and 85° (1-7).

1.2 The values stated in inch-pound units are to be regarded as the standard. The values given in parentheses are for information only.

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 and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

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Book of Standards Volume: 06.01
Developed by Subcommittee: E12.03
Pages: 5
DOI: 10.1520/D0523-89R08
ICS Code: 83.140.01