Standard Historical Last Updated: Mar 02, 2021
ASTM D3960-98

Standard Practice for Determining Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Content of Paints and Related Coatings


1.1 This practice measures the volatile organic compound (VOC) content of solventborne and waterborne paints and related coatings as determined from the quantity of material released from a sample under specified bake conditions and subtracting exempt volatile compounds and water if present.

Note 1—The regulatory definition, under the control of the U.S. EPA, can change. To ensure currency, contact the local air pollution control agency.

1.2 This practice provides a guide to the selection of appropriate ASTM test methods for the determination of VOC content.

1.3 Certain organic compounds that may be released under the specified bake conditions are not classified as VOC as they do not participate in atmospheric photochemical reactions. Such nonphotochemically reactive compounds are referred to as exempt volatile compounds in this practice.

Note 2—A list of the current US EPA approved exempt volatile compounds is found in Appendix Appendix X3, paragraph X3.1.1.

1.4 VOC content is calculated as a function of (1) the volume of coating less water and exempt volatile compounds, and (2) the volume of coating solids, and (3) the weight of coating solids.

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Book of Standards Volume: 06.01
Developed by Subcommittee: D01.21
Pages: 6
DOI: 10.1520/D3960-98
ICS Code: 87.040