Aviation | ASTM D4054 / SVM 3001 - Scanning Jet Fuel and Viscosity Borderline Temperature

For the evaluation of new aviation turbine fuels and fuel additives, viscosity and density at different temperatures as well as the temperature at which a defined viscosity is reached are important parameters for economic, ecologic and safety reasons. Anton Paar’s SVM 3001 delivers all these parameters from a single syringe.

Why measure viscosity?

Besides viscosity and density, jet fuels must fulfill a lot of specifications. Jet A/A-1 are the most common jet fuels all over the world. They are specified in ASTM D1655, Def Stan 91-91 and the JIG AFQRJOS (Avi-ation Fuel Quality Requirements For Jointly Operated Systems), whereat the latter is accepted nearly world-wide. According to these standards, jet fuel viscosity is specified at -20 °C, the density at 15 °C.
The so-called viscosity borderline temperature (VBT) is a safety relevant parameter. It indicates the temperature, at which a jet fuel has a maximum allowed viscosity. This is critical for the pumpability and sprayability of jet fuels for both turbine engines and APUs (auxiliary power units). Currently the Appendix of ASTM D1655 mentions a maximum viscosity of 12 mm²/s to ensure satisfactory low temperature operation.
ASTM D4054 is a standard practice for evaluation of new aviation turbine fuels and fuel additives which sets a clear framework for fuel and fuel additive producers. Including engine and aircraft manufacturers, this helps to cut cost and time, thus streamlining the process. The standard specifies viscosity vs. temperature at -40 °C (or freezing point plus 5 °C, whichever is higher), -20 °C, 25 °C, and 40 °C. Density vs. temperature is specified at -20 °C, 20 °C, and 60 °C.

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