Standard Withdrawn, No replacement   Last Updated: Jan 10, 2020
ASTM D6056-96(2011)

Standard Test Method for Determining Concentration of Airborne Single-Crystal Ceramic Whiskers in the Workplace Environment by Transmission Electron Microscopy (Withdrawn 2020)

Significance and Use

The SCCW may be present in the workplace atmosphere where these materials are manufactured, processed, transported, or used. This test method can be used to monitor airborne concentrations of fibers in these environments. It may be employed as part of a personal or area monitoring strategy.

This test method is based on morphology, elemental composition, and crystal structure. The analysis technique has the ability to positively identify SCCW.

Note 1—This test method assumes that the analyst is familiar with the operation of TEM/EDS instrumentation and the interpretation of data obtained using these techniques.

This test method is applicable for the measurement of the total population of SCCW fibers including fibers with diameters 0.1 μm.

Results from the use of this test method shall be reported along with 95 % confidence limits for the samples being studied. Individual laboratories shall determine their intralaboratory coefficient of variation and use it for reporting 95 % confidence limits (2,5,6).


1.1 This test method covers the sampling methods and analysis techniques used to assess the airborne concentration and size distribution of single-crystal ceramic whiskers (SCCW), such as silicon carbide and silicon nitride, which may occur in and around the workplace where these materials are manufactured, processed, transported, or used. This test method is based on the filtration of a known quantity of air through a filter. The filter is subsequently evaluated with a transmission electron microscope (TEM) for the number of fibers meeting appropriately selected morphological and compositional criteria. This test method has the ability to distinguish among different types of fibers based on energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) analysis and selected area electron diffraction (SAED) analysis. This test method may be appropriate for other man-made mineral fibers (MMMF).

1.2 This test method is applicable to the quantitation of fibers on a collection filter that are greater than 0.5 μm in length, less than 3 μm in width, and have an aspect ratio equal to or greater than 5:1 (1). The data are directly convertible to a statement of concentration per unit volume of air sampled. This test method is limited by the amount of coincident interference particles.

1.3 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard. The values given in parentheses are for information only.

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

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