Standard Historical Last Updated: Oct 13, 2011
ASTM D6058-96(2006)

Standard Practice for Determining Concentration of Airborne Single-Crystal Ceramic Whiskers in the Workplace Environment

Significance and Use

The SCCW may be present in the workplace atmosphere where these materials are manufactured, processed, transported, or used. The test methods discussed in this practice can be used to provide guidance when monitoring airborne concentrations of SCCW in these environments.

Because of their visibility limitations, a significant fraction of the very small thin fibers that are present in some samples may not be detected by PCM or SEM. Therefore, TEM is considered to be the reference technique for the analysis of airborne SCCW. The TEM must be used to determine both fiber count and morphology when samples are from previously uncharacterized workplaces or materials.

Although TEM is the reference technique, PCM or SEM are considered to be the primary screening methods for the analysis of airborne SCCW.

Parallel TEM measurements shall be carried out, at least initially, to provide an index or relative measure of the fraction of total fibers that are seen by PCM or SEM. Only in instances when this percentage has been shown to be at a high and reproducible level may the lower resolution techniques (that is, PCM or SEM) be relied on exclusively.


1.1 This practice is intended to assist individuals in the sampling and analysis of single-crystal ceramic whiskers (SCCW), such as silicon carbide and silicon nitride, in the workplace environment. It describes sampling and analytical techniques used to assess the airborne concentration and size distribution of SCCW, which may occur in and around the workplace where these materials are manufactured, processed, transported, or used.

1.2 The protocols currently in use for asbestos and other fibrous materials have been used as a guide in developing sampling and analytical procedures for characterizing fibers produced from the manufacture and use of SCCW. The sampling and analysis protocols described here have been written specifically for SCCW, however, they may be appropriate for other man-made mineral fibers (MMMF).

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

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: 11.07
Developed by Subcommittee: D22.04
Pages: 3
DOI: 10.1520/D6058-96R06
ICS Code: 13.040.30