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International Standards


Introducing ASTM D523 - Industrial Physics

ASTM D523 is a global ASTM standard test method to measure the specular gloss of nonmetallic samples.  

This ASTM method shows you how to take a direct measurement of specular gloss using a glossmeter. Specular gloss testing relates to the capacity of a surface to reflect light. Simply put, it’s a way of making a visual observation of how shiny a surface is, at a specified angle.

Any specular reflectance measurement also depends on the surface refractive index of the specimen. You’ll find that the gloss rating changes as the surface refractive index changes. To help with accuracy, it’s customary to compare the specular reflectance of two specimens with similar surface refractive indices, when obtaining visual gloss ratings. 

When you’re gloss testing it’s also helpful to take into account other visual aspects of surface appearance. This includes the distinctness of reflected images, any reflection haze and the texture. If you’d like to learn more about these aspects then read up on ASTM test method E430, which includes techniques for measuring distinctness-of-image gloss and reflection haze. Or check out ASTM test method D4039 for an alternative procedure for measuring reflection haze. 

The ASTM D523 approach

The ASTM D523 test method covers the measurement of the specular gloss of nonmetallic specimens for glossmeter geometries of 60, 20, and 85°. 

You need to take your specular gloss measurements on a flat, homogeneous and clean surface. You can take measurements on a small surface, but a larger one is preferable so you can use more than one data point. This will give you confidence that the sample’s surface is homogeneous and you’ll get a representative result. 

ASTM D523 testing equipment

So, how can Industrial Physics improve your ASTM D523 testing?  

Glossmeter – Sologloss & Polygloss  

Our portable precision glossmeters are for production and laboratory settings. It is just what you need for glossmeter testing of automotive parts, paints and coatings.  

This reliable glossmeter has a large memory capability; it will hold up to 2,000 readings with adjustable gloss limits. It features a visual and acoustic alarm and a calibration gloss standard integrated in a protective holder.   

We ensured the quality of our glossmeter by taking thousands of readings on certified substrates to test stability, reliability, and durability – so you can be sure it will meet your needs.

Our specialist paint testing brand ‘TQC Sheen’ makes two glossmeter models, both of which support your ASTM C584 testing: first up is the highly accurate Polygloss glossmeter, for angles of 20°, 60° and 85°. The second accurate gloss testing device is the Sologloss glossmeter, with a 60° measuring angle for any surface - from mat to glossy.  

Your global test and inspection partner for ASTM D523