Proposed Standard Addresses Bio-Friendly Hydraulic Fluids

Proposed ASTM Biodegradable Hydraulic Fluid Standard Will Make It Easier to Be Green.

Biodegradable hydraulic fluids are being specified with increasing frequency by governmental and industrial entities. A proposed new ASTM International standard, WK31234, Specification for Biodegradable, Low Aquatic Toxicity Hydraulic Fluids, intends to make it easier to ensure that proper hydraulic fluids are being used at environmentally sensitive job sites.

“By explicitly demanding conformity to this specification, the responsibility for environmental compatibility is with the lubricant supplier who cites this specification on his technical data sheet,” explained ASTM member Patrick Laemmle, CEO, Panolin International Inc.  

The fluids to be covered by ASTM WK31234 are used in industrial and mobile hydraulic equipment. Biodegradable fluids have been found to perform different from traditional mineral oils, creating a need for separate performance classifications.

Laemmle said that manufacturers of pumps, valves, cylinders, hoses and seals could all make use of ASTM WK31234. In addition, Laemmle noted that it should be useful to operators and end users of both stationary and mobile hydraulic equipment. The proposed standard could also be used for government purposes. 

ASTM WK31234 is being developed by Subcommittee D02.N0.03 on ECO-Evaluated Fluids, part of ASTM Committee D02 on Petroleum Products, Liquid Fuels and Lubricants. Laemmle said that all interested parties, particularly original equipment manufacturers, are welcome to participate in the ongoing standards development activities of D02.N0.03.
ASTM welcomes participation in the development of its standards. Become a member at

The next ASTM Committee D02 meeting will be held June 21-25, 2015, in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
 The contact for technical inquiries to the subcommittee is Patrick Laemmle, Panolin America Inc., Ventura, Calif. Call him at (805) 676-1193 or email [email protected].

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