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ASTM D3238-95(2015)

ASTM D3238-95(2015)

Standard Test Method for Calculation of Carbon Distribution and Structural Group Analysis of Petroleum Oils by the n-d-M Method

2017-06-21 /Historical
Superseeded by:
Significance and Use:

4.1 The carbon distribution and ring content serve to express the gross composition of the heavier fractions of petroleum. These data can be used as an adjunct to the bulk properties in monitoring the manufacture of lubricating oil base stocks by distillation, solvent refining or hydrogenation, or both, and in comparing the composition of stocks from different crude sources. Furthermore, the data can often be correlated with critical product performance properties.


1.1 This test method covers the calculation of the carbon distribution and ring content (Note 1) of olefin-free petroleum oils from measurements of refractive index, density, and molecular weight (n-d-M).2 This test method should not be applied to oils whose compositions are outside the following ranges:

1.1.1 In terms of carbon distribution—up to 75 % carbon atoms in ring structure; percentage in aromatic rings not larger than 1.5 times the percentage in naphthenic rings.

1.1.2 In terms of ring content—up to four rings per molecule with not more than half of them aromatic. A correction must be applied for oils containing significant quantities of sulfur.

Note 1: The composition of complex petroleum fractions is often expressed in terms of the proportions of aromatic rings (RA), naphthene rings (RN), and paraffin chains (CP) that would comprise a hypothetical mean molecule. Alternatively, the composition may be expressed in terms of a carbon distribution, that is, the percentage of the total number of carbon atoms that are present in aromatic ring structures (% CA), naphthene ring structures (% CN), and paraffin chains (% Cp ).

1.2 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard. The values in parentheses are for information only.

1.3 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.

carbon distribution; density; molecular weight; petroleum oils ; refractive index; ring content;
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