Standard Historical Last Updated: Dec 14, 2021
ASTM D3900-17

Standard Test Methods for Rubber—Determination of Ethylene Units in Ethylene-Propylene Copolymers (EPM) and in Ethylene-Propylene-Diene Terpolymers (EPDM) by Infrared Spectrometry

Significance and Use

4.1 These test methods can be used for determining which EPDM polymers are evaluated in the different compounds in Test Methods D3568.

4.2 Differences in ethylene sequence distribution cause differences in crystallinity and green strength at the same ethylene content. Since these are important variables in EPM and EPDM processability and end-use properties, the ethylene content of the rubber should not be used as the sole measurement to determine the suitability of a particular rubber for an intended purpose.


1.1 These test methods cover the determination of the proportion of ethylene and propylene units in ethylene-propylene copolymers (EPM) and ethylene-propylenediene terpolymers (EPDM) over the range from 35 to 85 mass % ethylene. Four test methods are needed to encompass the variety of commercial polymers that contain additives or polymerized diene units that interfere with the various infrared peaks. Except when interferences are present, all four test methods should give similar results. The test methods appear in the following order:

1.1.1 Pressed Film Test Methods:



Test Method A—For EPM and EPDM between 35 and 70 mass % ethylene

9 – 14

Test Method B—For EPM and EPDM between 60 and 85 mass % ethylene, except for ethylene/propylene/1,4-hexadiene terpolymers

15 – 19

Test Method C—For all EPM and EPDM polymers between 35 and 85 mass % ethylene, using near infrared

20 – 24

1.1.2 Cast Film Test Methods:

Test Method D—For all EPM and EPDM polymers between 35 and 85 mass % ethylene, except for ethylene/propylene/1,4-hexadiene terpolymers

25 – 32

1.2 These test methods are not applicable to oil-extended EPDM unless the oil is first removed in accordance with Test Method D.

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 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.

1.5 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: 09.01
Developed by Subcommittee: D11.11
Pages: 11
DOI: 10.1520/D3900-17
ICS Code: 83.040.10