Standard Historical Last Updated: Oct 11, 2022
ASTM E1175-87(2015)

Standard Test Method for Determining Solar or Photopic Reflectance, Transmittance, and Absorptance of Materials Using a Large Diameter Integrating Sphere

Standard Test Method for Determining Solar or Photopic Reflectance, Transmittance, and Absorptance of Materials Using a Large Diameter Integrating Sphere
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Significance and Use

5.1 To overcome the inadequacies of conventional spectrophotometric measurement techniques when nonhomogeneous materials are measured, a large integrating sphere may be used.4,5 Since the beam employed in such spheres is large in comparison to the disparaties of the materials being tested, the nonisotropic nature of the specimen being measured is essentially averaged, or integrated out of the measurement, in a single experimental determination.

5.2 Solar and photopic optical properties may be measured either with monofunctional spheres individually tailored for the measurement of either transmittance5 or reflectance, or may be measured with a single multifunctional sphere that is employed to measure both transmittance and reflectance.4

5.3 A multifunctional sphere is used for making total solar transmittance measurements in both a directional-hemispherical and a directional-directional mode. The solar absorptance can be evaluated in a single measurement as one minus the sum of the directional hemispherical reflectance and transmittance. When a sample at the center of the sphere is supported by its rim, the sum of the reflectance and transmittance can be measured as a function of the angle of incidence. The solar absorptance is then one minus the measured absorptance plus transmittance.


1.1 This test method covers the measurement of the absolute total solar or photopic reflectance, transmittance, or absorptance of materials and surfaces. Although there are several applicable test methods employed for determining the optical properties of materials, they are generally useful only for flat, homogeneous, isotropic specimens. Materials that are patterned, textured, corrugated, or are of unusual size cannot be measured accurately using conventional spectrophotometric techniques, or require numerous measurements to obtain a relevant optical value. The purpose of this test method is to provide a means for making accurate optical property measurements of spatially nonuniform materials.

1.2 This test method is applicable to large specimens of materials having both specular and diffuse optical properties. It is particularly suited to the measurement of the reflectance of opaque materials and the reflectance and transmittance of semitransparent materials including corrugated fiber-reinforced plastic, composite transparent and translucent samples, heavily textured surfaces, and nonhomogeneous materials such as woven wood, window blinds, draperies, etc.

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. (For specific safety hazards, see Note 1.)

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Book of Standards Volume: 12.02
Developed by Subcommittee: E44.20
Pages: 4
DOI: 10.1520/E1175-87R15
ICS Code: 17.180.20