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ASTM UPDATE! DR10 Tube Deposit Rater (Thermal Oxidation Stability of Aviation Turbine Fuels) and SP10 Smoke Point

New ASTM D1655-15 Standard Specification for Aviation Turbine Fuels has been published and now includes the AD Systems DR10 ITR (Interferometry Technique) Heater Tube Deposit Rater according to ASTM D3241-14b and the AD Systems SP10 Automated Smoke Point Analyzer according to ASTM D1322.

DR10 TUBE DEPOSIT RATER (Thermal Oxidation Stability of Aviation Turbine Fuels)

An ASTM D02 ballot was submitted to authorize new tube rating techniques. The ballot received zero negative votes and the new D3241-14b was approved. The DR10 Tube Deposit Rater (Thermal Oxidation Stability of Aviation Turbine Fuels) is now part of ASTM D3241-14b, Annex 2. Annex 2 provides for the use of the ITR technique (Interferometry Tube Rating) which is the technique used by the DR10.

During the same meeting, Sub Committee D02.0J, which is responsible for Jet Fuel Specifications (ASTM D1655 and D7566), proposed a ballot to modify the pass/fail limits for thermal stability testing. At the time, only the VTR visual tube rating was allowed to evaluate the oxidation deposit. The ballot passed and the two methods were updated to include pass/fail limits for the thermal stability test in D1655 as follows:

In addition to the “3 color code and the no peacock or abnormal deposit”, an 85 nm maximum deposit thickness are noted with a new note K. Note K will be as follows: “The ITR and the ETR techniques are the preferred techniques to evaluate the Jet Fuel Thermal Oxidation deposit.”

This implies that the ITR in Annex 2 becomes a primary or “referee” technique to the VTR visual tube rating technique. The ballot has been approved and has been included in the new ASTM D1655-15 Method. The new D1655-15, Jet A and Jet A-1 fuel specification is available from the ASTM website.

More information on the DR10, including Video Demonstration.


Subcommittee D02.0J made additional changes related to smoke point measurement in terms of the test method and jet fuel specifications.

Regarding the test method, ASTM D1322, the ballot will be proposed to report the smoke point with a resolution of 0.1 mm in D02 Main Committee. There will be no difference between the manual/visual procedure and the automated procedure, the SP10.

Currently in the manual/visual procedure, the operator has to calculate the mean value of the three readings. The new method will not allow any rounding and the operator will report the smoke point with 0.1 mm resolution. This decision was made because, according to ASTM practices, a result cannot be rounded twice. This was the case with the current method. The result was rounded to the nearest 0.5 mm before reporting and then, when it was compared to the 18 mm specification, it was rounded to the nearest 1 mm. For example, with three visual readings of 17.0, 17.5 and 17.5, the 17.3 mm mean value was rounded up to 17.5 mm and reported in D1655 as an 18 mm Smoke Point. With the proposed ballot, this will no longer be permitted. Test Method D1322 will be updated. The Standard Specification for Aviation Turbine Fuels D1655 will also be modified. The smoke point limits of 18 and 25 mm will be changed to 18.0 mm and 25.0 mm limits respectively. Consequently a 17.9 mm smoke point will be a “fail” value. In addition to this modification, a note will be added mentioning that the automated procedure, the SP10, will be the referee procedure.

For more detailed information, please refer to the presentation given by AD Systems Director, Didier Pigeon in D02.0J.

The representatives of EI (Energy Institute) and MOD (Ministry of Defence – Def Stan) who attended the ASTM D02.0J meeting stated during the discussion that they will make exactly the same changes for the jet fuel thermal stability testing and the smoke point testing. Additionally, like the ASTM D1655 and D7566 specifications, the Def Stan 91-91 will be updated and published in the coming weeks. Consequently, the two main jet fuel specifications used worldwide, will implicitly recommend the use of the DR10 and the SP10.

More information on the SP10, including Video Demonstration.

It is crucial for instrument manufacturers that each marketed instrument is described in an official test method. This is the reason why AD Systems is very active in standardization organizations such as ASTM and EI (Energy Institute in charge of IP test methods). As of today, all AD Systems instruments are part of one or several international test methods.

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