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ASTM D589-97(2002)

ASTM D589-97(2002)

Standard Test Method for Opacity of Paper (15°Diffuse Illuminant A, 89% Reflectance Backing and Paper Backing)

2010-12-31 /Historical
Superseeded by:
Significance and Use:

Opacity is a fundamental optical property of paper as a whole, yet the measurement of opacity is empirical. The opacity of the sheet is influenced by the amount and kind of filler, degree of bleaching of the fibers, coating, and the like. The utility of bond, writing, and book papers may be enhanced by a high opacity.

The determination of opacity is of vital importance to both the manufacturer and the consumer. When white pigment is added to a sheet, it scatters more light, and thus increases opacity; however, it is also possible to increase opacity of a sheet by adding dark pigment or dye which absorbs light. This being so, it is of value to the manufacturer, in meeting an opacity specification, to be able to predict whether a sheet which does not have desired opacity can be brought up to specification by raising or, alternatively, lowering the reflectivity within permissible limits. To the consumer, opacity measurements are used to evaluate some of the characteristics of appearance. The user is interested in the comparison of samples under identical conditions. When comparisons are made, one sample with another, very small differences can be identified visually. For this reason, small measured differences between similar samples represent actual differences in appearance.


1.1 This test method covers the determination of the opacity of paper.

1.2 Two different types of "white" backing are specified, leading to two different opacity values, in accordance with Section 3.

1.3 This test method employs 15° diffuse geometry, Illuminant A/2 and 89 % reflectance backing or paper backing. For the measurement of opacity with d/0 geometry, Illuminant C/2 and paper backing (see TAPPI T 519).

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.

absorption coefficient; absorption power; contrast ratio; opacity (89 % reflectance backing); opacity meter; opacity (paper backing); paper; printing opacity; scattering power
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