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D3960 Standard Practice for Determining Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Content of Paints and Related Coatings

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Revision Date:
Updated On: September 06, 2005
Editorial Change:
1.1 This practice measures the volatile organic compound (VOC) content of solventborne and waterborne paints and related coatings as determined from the quantity of material released from a sample under specified bake conditions and subtracting exempt volatile compounds and water if present. Note 1—The regulatory definition, under the control of the U.S. EPA, can change. To ensure currency, contact the local air pollution control agency.

1.2 This practice provides a guide to the selection of appropriate ASTM test methods for the determination of VOC content.

1.3 Certain organic compounds that may be released under the specified bake conditions are not counted toward coating VOC content because they do not participate appreciably in atmospheric photochemical reactions. Such negligibly photochemically reactive compounds are referred to, as exempt volatile compounds in this practice. Note 2—Information on the US EPA definition of VOC and a list of the current US EPA approved exempt volatile compounds which have been used in coatings, are provided in .

1.4 VOC content is calculated as a function of (1) the volume of coating less water and exempt volatile compounds, and (2) the volume of coating solids, and (3) the weight of coating solids.

1.5 The values stated in either SI units or inch-pound units are to be regarded separately as standard. The values stated in each system may not be exact equivalents; therefore, each system shall be used independently of the other. Combining values from the two systems may result in non-conformance with the standard.

1.6 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.

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