ASTM-E1791 Standard Practice for Transfer Standards for Reflectance Factor for Near-Infrared Instruments Using Hemispherical Geometry

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Standard Practice for Transfer Standards for Reflectance Factor for Near-Infrared Instruments Using Hemispherical Geometry



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1.1 This practice covers procedures for the preparation and use of acceptable transfer standards for NIR spectrophotometers. Procedures for calibrating the reflectance factor of materials on an absolute basis are contained in CIE Publication No. 44 (9). Both the pressed powder samples and the sintered PTFE materials are used as transfer standards for such calibrations because they have very stable reflectance factors that are nearly constant with wavelength and because the distribution of flux resembles closely that from the perfect reflecting diffuser.

1.2 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard. The values given 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.

Significance and Use

Most commercial reflectometers and spectrophotometers with reflectance capability measure relative reflectance. The instrument reading is the ratio of the measured radiation reflected from the reference specimen to the measured radiation reflected by the test specimen. That ratio is dependent on specific instrument parameters.

National standardizing laboratories and some research laboratories measure reflectance on instruments calibrated from basic principles, thereby establishing a scale of absolute reflectance as described in CIE Publication No. 44 (5). These measurements are sufficiently difficult and of prohibitive cost that they are usually left to laboratories that specialize in them.

A standard that has been measured on an absolute scale could be used to transfer that scale to a reflectometer. While such procedures exist, the constraints placed on the mechanical properties restrict the suitability of some of the optical properties, especially those properties related to the geometric distribution of reflected radiation. Thus, reflectance factor standards that are sufficiently rugged or cleanable to use as permanent transfer standards, with the exception of the sintered PTFE standards, depart considerably from the perfect diffuser in the geometric distribution of reflected radiation.

The geometric distribution of reflected radiance from such standards is sufficiently diffuse that such a standard can provide a dependable calibration of a directional-hemispherical or certain directional-directional reflectometers. Although pressed powder standards are subject to contamination and breakage, the reflectance factor of pressed powder can be sufficiently reproducible from specimen to specimen from a given lot of powder to allow the assignment of absolute reflectance factor values to all of the powder in a lot.

Sintered PTFE materials exhibit sufficient reproducibility from within the same specimen after resurfacing or cleaning the specimen to allow the assignment of absolute reflectance factor values.

Preparation of packed powder reflectance standards is covered in Practice E 259. This practice describes the spectral and physical properties of these materials and of the sintered PTFE materials.


hemispherical optical measurement system; integrating sphere; materials standards; reflectance and reflectivity; Spectralon; transfer standards; ICS Number Code 37.020 (Optical equipment)

To find similar documents by ASTM Volume:

03.06 (Molecular Spectroscopy; Surface Analysis)

To find similar documents by classification:

37.020 (Optical equipment Including microscopes, telescopes, binoculars, optical materials, optical components and optical systems Ophthalmic equipment, see 11.040.70 Optical measuring instruments, see 17.180.30 Photographic equipment lenses, see 37.040.10)

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Document Number


Revision Level

1996 R21 EDITION



Publication Date

Sept. 10, 2021

Document Type


Page Count

4 pages

Committee Number