ASTM D1500 Color

(ASTM D 1500, ASTM D 6045, ISO 2049, IP 196)
Range: 0.5 – 8 units
Path Length: 33mm
Sometimes referred to as the “mineral oil color value”, the ASTM Color Scale is widely used for the grading of petroleum products such as lubricating oils, heating oils and diesel fuel oils. Mineral oils are constantly checked for color during processing in order to establish when they have been refined to the required grade. Color is also used as a means of confirming that the correct oil or fuel is being used for its intended use and that no contamination or degradation of quality has occurred.ASTM D1500 is a single number, one dimensional, color scale ranging from a pale straw through to a deep red in sixteen steps (0.5 – 8.0 units in increments of 0.5 units). Visual Comparators can achieve a resolution of 0.5 units, automatic Lovibond® PFX and PFXi instruments achieve a resolution of 0.1.To comply with specifications, a 33mm path length must be used.

ASTM D1500 superseded the 12-step D155 NPA (National Petroleum Association) scale in 1960.

Other petroleum products that do not fall within the scope of ASTM D1500 such as un-dyed gasoline, white spirit, petroleum wax and kerosene may be graded using the Saybolt test ASTM D156 or IP (Institute of Petroleum) 17.

For dyed aviation gasoline, refer to the Lovibond® color discs 4/78 and 4/79.

ASTM D1500 color discs 4/81 and 4/82 are also available for checking the color of F16 diesel fuel before on-loading. The discs are particularly important where fuel is taken onboard in isolated locations where there no laboratory facilities. The discs are used with the Comparator 2000 and a W680/OG/33mm cell and cover the ranges 1-5 (4/81) and 4/82 (0.5 – 4.5).

Color of Oil








EBC Comparator 3000


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