Vapor pressure testing of volatile liquids such as crude oil, petroleum, and gasoline is critically important from both a safety and product performance standpoint. Vapor pressure analyzers can pinpoint the effects of additives, give product performance indications, and measure a liquid’s tendency to vapor lock under particular environmental conditions. One of the more commonly used tests, Reid vapor pressure, represents a quick, simple method for measuring the volatility of petroleum products and crude oils. Some of these systems incorporate compact bombs, or test cylinders, that are easier to use but give identical test results. Systems are available that perform a wide range of tests, including ASTM D323, D1267, D6378, D5191 (the mini-method), IP69, and ISO 3077, and combinations of several of these methods. Interesting features to look for include testing of up to three separate sample streams on one instrument and piston-based operation that eliminates the need for a vacuum pump.
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