Standard Active Last Updated: Jul 02, 2019
ASTM D6481-14(2019)

Standard Test Method for Determination of Phosphorus, Sulfur, Calcium, and Zinc in Lubrication Oils by Energy Dispersive X-ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy

Significance and Use

3.1 Some oils are formulated with organo-metallic additives, which act, for example, as detergents, antioxidants, and antiwear agents. Some of these additives contain one or more of these elements: calcium, phosphorus, sulfur, and zinc. This test method provides a means of determining the concentrations of these elements, which in turn provides an indication of the additive content of these oils.

3.2 Several additive elements and their compounds are added to the lubricating oils to give beneficial performance (Table 2).

3.3 This test method is primarily intended to be used at a manufacturing location for monitoring of additive elements in lubricating oils. It can also be used in central and research laboratories.


1.1 This test method covers the quantitative determination of additive elements in unused lubricating oils, as shown in Table 1.

1.2 This test method is limited to the use of energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (EDXRF) spectrometers employing an X-ray tube for excitation in conjunction with the ability to separate the signals of adjacent elements.

1.3 This test method uses interelement correction factors calculated from empirical calibration data.

1.4 This test method is not suitable for the determination of magnesium and copper at the concentrations present in lubricating oils.

1.5 This test method excludes lubricating oils that contain chlorine or barium as an additive element.

1.6 This test method can be used by persons who are not skilled in X-ray spectrometry. It is intended to be used as a routine test method for production control analysis.

1.7 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 to use.

1.8 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: 05.03
Developed by Subcommittee: D02.03
Pages: 5
DOI: 10.1520/D6481-14R19
ICS Code: 75.100