Standard Active Last Updated: Feb 09, 2022 Track Document
ASTM D2878-21

Standard Test Method for Estimating Apparent Vapor Pressures and Molecular Weights of Lubricating Oils

Standard Test Method for Estimating Apparent Vapor Pressures and Molecular Weights of Lubricating Oils D2878-21 ASTM|D2878-21|en-US Standard Test Method for Estimating Apparent Vapor Pressures and Molecular Weights of Lubricating Oils Standard new BOS Vol. 05.01 Committee D02
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Significance and Use

5.1 The vapor pressure of a substance as determined by measurement of evaporation reflects a property of the bulk sample. Little weight is given by the procedure to the presence of low concentrations of volatile impurities.

5.2 Vapor pressure, per se, is a thermodynamic property that is dependent only upon composition and temperature for stable systems. In the present method, composition changes occur during the course of the test so that the contribution of minor amounts of volatile impurities is minimized.


1.1 This test method covers a calculation procedure for converting data obtained by Test Method D972 to apparent vapor pressures and molecular weights. It has been demonstrated to be applicable to petroleum-based and synthetic ester lubricating oils,2 at temperatures of 395 K to 535 K (250 °F to 500 °F). However, its applicability to lubricating greases has not been established.

Note 1: Most lubricants boil over a fairly wide temperature range, a fact recognized in discussion of their vapor pressures. For example, the apparent vapor pressure over the range 0 % to 0.1 % evaporated may be as much as 100 times that over the range 4.9 % to 5.0 % evaporated.

1.2 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard. In cases in which materials, products, or equipment are available in inch-pound units only, SI units are omitted.

1.3 WARNING—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.

1.4 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 or regulatory limitations prior to use. For specific warning statements, see 6.2, 7.1, 8.2, and Annex A2.

1.5 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.

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Book of Standards Volume: 05.01
Developed by Subcommittee: D02.L0.07
Pages: 6
DOI: 10.1520/D2878-21
ICS Code: 75.100