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image003.jpg (17542 bytes)When we test antifreeze, it is a fairly labor-intensive process that takes approximately a week to complete. We provide nearly two dozen test results on this particular product, and not all are listed here. Those left out are: Type, Appearance, Color, %Ethylene Glycol, %Total Glycols, %Other Glycols, %Corrosion Inhibitor, Reserve Alkalinity, Ash Residue, Dilution Miscibility, and Settling. These test results allow us to evaluate the antifreeze performance in both the hot and cold weather extremes the NDOR motor vehicle fleet is exposed to throughout the year.

Pictured left is a Combined Apparatus for determining the Freezing Point of a 50/50 mixture of antifreeze and water. The chilling unit on the left provides a cooling coil that chills a methanol bath which contains a flask of antifreeze. A vacuum pump moves a coiled wire through the antifreeze solution to prevent it from freezing solid. The coldest temperature achieved during this test is the one recorded. (And to those that are curious, yes that is a windshield wiper vacuum pump from some car that would be a classic by now !)

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Freezer Unit. The Bituminous Lab lets us “borrow” this and use for a test called Pour Point.

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X-Ray Fluorescent Spectrometer. This is the most expensive and high-tech instrument in our lab, and it is used to test almost everything. It analyzes samples at the atomic level and will give us an elemental percentage of most the elements in the Periodical Table. For antifreeze, we use it to give us the parts per million of Silicate and Chloride.

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pH Meter. Used for testing the pH. The pH of concentrated and 50% aqueous antifreeze are both tested and recorded.

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Christian-Becker Unit. Used to test the Specific Gravity of both the concentrated and the 50% aqueous antifreeze.

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Boiling Point Apparatus. This test is performed on both concentrated and 50% aqueous antifreeze. Both are heated until they peak in temperature and the peak is the result recorded.

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% Water Apparatus. Similar setup as the Boiling Point test, but uses larger glassware along with a graduated trap for measuring water in the concentrated antifreeze sample.

This test takes several hours to complete. For those interested, the percentage of water in concentrated antifreeze is very minute, usually less than 0.2%.