ASTM Testing of Art Supplies

Colored pencils and pens are a staple school supply for students around the world and of all ages. However, not all pencils and pens are created equal in terms of quality, durability, and color performance. To ensure consistency and reliability,...

by | Aug 16, 2023

How ASTM Test Standards help to ensure consistency, safety, and quality of art supplies.

Manufacturers and consumers depend on laboratory testing methods like the ASTM D6901-15 standard to guarantee consistency, durability, and color performance.

At Contract Laboratory, we almost daily handle requests for ASTM testing. Specifically, ASTM D6901-15 focuses on testing and evaluating the quality of writing and drawing instruments. This standard prescribes testing procedures for assessing pencil crayons, colored pens, markers, and more, which is crucial for maintaining product quality across various brands and batches. It also sets a common standard for objective evaluation of these instruments. Manufacturers use the guidelines of ASTM D6901-15 to refine their products before launching them on the market.

ASTM Testing for Colored Pens and Pencils Guidelines:

1.1 “This specification sets requirements for the composition, performance, and labeling of artist’s colored pencils.

1.2 “It encompasses vehicles and additives, including requirements for identification, lightfastness, and consistency.

1.3 “We expose colored pencil specimens to natural daylight through window glass and simulated window glass-filtered daylight radiation to assess each pencil’s lightfastness rating.

1.4 “The standard adopts SI units as the primary measurement system, with values in parentheses provided for informational purposes.

1.5 “The development of this international standard adhered to the internationally recognized principles on standardization from the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

Color performance evaluation is a critical part of this standard. Testing for colorfastness and vibrancy over time ensures that the vivid colors of a child’s kindergarten art project will endure without fading. This results in pencils and pens that deliver long-lasting and bright color output.

Durability testing under the ASTM standard is also crucial. It ensures that pens and pencils can withstand real-world conditions like being jostled in backpacks, dropped on tile floors, or chewed on, simulating pressure and friction tests. This allows manufacturers to identify and rectify potential weaknesses in their products before they reach consumers.

In summary, the ASTM D6901-15 standard is vital for ensuring the performance of colored pencils and pens. Adhering to this standard, manufacturers guarantee their products meet industry benchmarks, providing users with reliable and vibrant instruments for their creative and academic pursuits.


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