What You Need to Know about ASTM D975

What diesel fuel testing do you really need?

What is ASTM D975?

We’ve recently gotten a flood of inquiries regarding testing diesel fuel for ASTM D975, but there seems to be confusion on what ASTM D975 is and how it relates to monitoring the quality of diesel fuel. ASTM D975 is the Standard Specification for Diesel Fuel Oils. It is not one test, but rather, it is the specification that describes 13 tests and their acceptable limits, which a diesel fuel must meet at the time of delivery.

Does your fuel meet the requirements?

As a diesel fuel purchaser, you can send a sample to your laboratory to confirm the fuel meets all of the ASTM D975 requirements, but that is unnecessary. Instead, ask your fuel supplier for a Certificate of Analysis (COA) and save yourself thousands of dollars. Just be aware, ASTM D975 does reference a handful of tests that are applicable to monitor in fuels post-delivery, because several fuel properties change over time.

Could storage tanks be impacting your fuel?

If your operation uses bulk fuel storage tanks or you have fuel being stored long-term in standby generators, then we do recommend testing your fuel at least annually – but not for the full suite of ASTM D975 tests. We’ve identified two concerns for long-term diesel fuel storage:

  1. Has the fuel become contaminated?
    • Controlling contamination is the biggest challenge for fuel storage. Water and debris can enter the tank, leading to a variety of issues, including biological growth and injector damage. It’s less likely, but diesel fuel may come in contact with another fluid including oil, coolant or gasoline. These contaminates could change fuel properties, such as flash point, impact ignition quality and cause tank corrosion.
  2. Has there been a change in the fuel’s properties to withstand temperature extremes?
    • You want to be aware of how well your fuel can withstand temperature changes. If you live in an area where ambient temperatures drop significantly in winter months, you need to monitor your fuel’s cloud point and pour point to ensure the fuel will stay fluid and not clog filters. A fuel’s thermal stability is also a critical property to monitor. A fuel with poor thermal stability will experience asphaltene fall out as it is exposed to high crank-case temperatures. This can also lead to plugged filters and abrasive fuel system wear.

As a diesel fuel purchaser dependent on diesel fuel to run your operation, it’s important to know what is included in ASTM D975 and how it effects your diesel fuel quality and cleanliness.

Click here to read more detailed information on diesel fuel testing recommendations.

Proven Impact. Proven Uptime. Proven Savings.
Let us prove it to you.

Published February 27, 2018

A Closer Look at ISO Codes

As industry maintenance practices continue to evolve and maintenance professionals realize the substantial cost saving benefits of contamination control efforts and fluid cleanliness, we find ISO codes entering our daily conversations more often. Cleaner fluids translate to reduced wear and longer component life. ISO codes are simply a ‘shorthand’ method of quantifying fluid cleanliness.

Language of Cleanliness

Fluid analysis laboratories measure fluid cleanliness with specialized equipment that categorizes particles in the fluid by size and counts the number of particles per volume of the sample in each category or size range. The sample report shows the absolute number of particles equal to or larger than each of the following sizes: 4, 6, 10, 14, 21, 38, 70, and 100 microns.

That’s a total of 8 different numbers to describe fluid cleanliness, which makes it cumbersome to compare and discuss results.

Translating Codes: What Do They Mean?

The ISO 4406 standard simplifies that data by only looking at three size ranges (4, 6, and 14 microns). It further simplifies the data by assigning codes to correspond to a range of particle counts. For example, rather than saying there are 1,890 particles 4 microns or larger, the standard assigns a ‘code’ of 18 (which includes particles counts from 1300 to 2500). A similar code is assigned for the 6 and 14 micron size range. So now the fluid cleanliness is reduced to three numbers (or codes). For example, 18/15/13. That is a much easier way to include fluid cleanliness in our comparisons and discussions.

But, this also means that without a thorough understanding of what those codes mean, we can easily jump to poor conclusions. In a simple example, a change in ISO code from 18/15/13 to 19/15/13 might lead to the assumption that the number of particles between 4 and 6 microns has doubled (since each increase in ISO code doubles the upper and lower range of the previous code). Consider if the actual particle counts at 4 microns were 2485 initially and increased to 2510; the code assigned does indeed increase from 18 to 19, but the absolute particle count is nowhere close to doubling. Conversely, if the initial count was 1310 and the next sample increased to 2490, the number of particles has indeed nearly doubled, but the ISO code has remained at 18.

Understanding ISO Code Shorthand

ISO codes are a great way to simplify our comparisons and discussions on the important topic of fluid cleanliness. But having a thorough understanding of what that ‘shorthand’ notation means, can also save us from overlooking the more subtle picture of what is happening to our fluids.

Click here to read more information on ISO codes and fluid cleanliness.

Proven Impact. Proven Uptime. Proven Savings.
Let us prove it to you.

Published February 20, 2018

Learn How to Start Tracking Your Maintenance

So you’ve gotten your sample program set up just the way you like it. Your locations are in the system, your equipment is loaded, your kits are in-hand, your oil, coolant or diesel fuel samples have been pulled and tested. All is well and good but, that’s only half of what it takes to leverage a healthy preventive maintenance program.

Is Your Program Complete?

The other half of a successful, impactful and preventive maintenance program is making sure the right action is being taken as a result of the recommendations you receive in your reports.

  • Is your recommended maintenance getting done?
  • Are repairs happening when necessary?
  • Who’s doing the repairs?
  • How do you know if the issue was addressed?

Track Your Trends

We’ve developed a report that will allow you to answer those questions, and make sure you’re maximizing your program. With Maintenance Tracking, available within HORIZON®, you are able to see trending data over time, the results of your maintenance actions after each sample and visually see the results of your fluid analysis program. Moreover, anyone who receives reports will have all of this information, without any need for action from you. The feature is available in the Equipment Management tab in HORIZON. If you do not see this option, please contact customer service to update your account’s permissions.

Start Using Maintenance Tracking:

  • Learn how to run the Maintenance Tracking report out of HORIZON | A set of instructions has been created and gives you a step-by-step walkthrough of where to go in HORIZON to activate the feature and run the report.
  • Contact customer service | Our customer service representatives are trained on all the the features available in HORIZON and are available by phone 877.808.3750 from 7:30 a.m – 7 p.m. ET all business days or by email, custserv@eoilreports.com

It’s Never Too Late

It’s important to monitor all of your sample results, maintenance recommendations and to see if those recommendations are being carried out. It’s the best way to know if you are getting the most out of your investment and to ultimately save your equipment. And remember that it’s never too late to use this feature; whether you’ve just started your program, or have been testing with us for years, start taking advantage of this function today.

Proven Impact. Proven Uptime. Proven Savings.
Let us prove it to you.

Published February 13, 2018

Fluid Analysis: A Safe Bet

Unexpected Equipment Repairs

Equipment failing unexpectedly results in downtime, repairs and unsafe work conditions can occur. With sudden downtime comes the need for rushed repairs in order to get the equipment back up and running. When machine or equipment operators or maintenance technicians perform unexpected equipment repairs quickly and often times, in an unsafe manner, the risk of a serious injury increases.

So, choose predictive maintenance over corrective maintenance. 

Fluid Analysis: A Safe Bet

When you can predict equipment failure through oil, coolant or diesel fuel analysis, the risk of your operators and maintenance technicians injuring themselves decreases significantly. Downtime can be scheduled in advance, eliminating the need to rush to repair the equipment.

Your maintenance team keeps your equipment up and running so you can stay on schedule and keep your business on the road to success. So, keep your operators, maintenance technicians and other team members safe by eliminating the need for rushed repairs and participating in a fluid analysis program.



Proven Impact. Proven Uptime. Proven Savings.
Let us prove it to you.

Published February 6, 2018