Standard Historical Last Updated: Jun 13, 2011
ASTM D5531-05

Standard Guide for Preparation, Maintenance, and Distribution of Physical Product Standards for Color and Geometric Appearance of Coatings

Significance and Use

High quality physical product standards for color or appearance are the keystone of a successful color control program. Standards are often grouped into three major categories: product standards, intermediate production control standards, and instrument standards. This guide deals only with physical product standards. Some instrument-based color control programs use numerical standards, derived from instrumental measurements of a physical product standard.


This guide covers three levels of physical product standards (preparation, maintenance, and distribution) for color or geometric appearance, or both, of coatings commonly used in the coatings industry. Described here is terminology to describe each level, and techniques for generating and caring for standards. Product standards are the only standards by which products should be accepted or rejected for color or appearance. A master standard is generated from the concept color submitted by the customer. Duplicate master standards, when needed, are generated from the master standard. Working standards are generated from a duplicate master standard. They are used in the laboratory or on the production line to accept or reject the color or appearance of coatings. After initial generation, product standards must be maintained to ensure they remain valid. This guide considers the characteristics of product standards, factors to be considered in their creation, and factors to be considered in their replacement.


1.1 This guide covers three levels of physical product standards for color commonly used in the coatings industry, provides terminology to describe each level, and describes techniques for generating standards.

1.2 The values stated in SI 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: D01.26
Pages: 4
DOI: 10.1520/D5531-05
ICS Code: 87.020