Advanced science.  Applied technology.


Coolant Testing Laboratory

Automotive coolant, or antifreeze, fulfills the vital role of carrying heat away from internal combustion engines so they can operate efficiently. Coolants are typically ethylene glycol-based concentrates diluted with water, providing boiling and freeze protection for the engine and cooling system. In a circulating cooling system, the flow pathways, radiator and pump are comprised of a variety of metals susceptible to corrosion, wear, cavitation and fouling or plugging from deposits or precipitates caused by incompatible chemistries. The coolant testing laboratory at Southwest Research Institute evaluates coolant formulas to ensure they resist harmful impacts without compromising heat transfer function.

Engine Coolant Testing Services

jars of green coolant in a row under going ASTM D3306 coolant testing

SwRI has the capability to perform ASTM D1384 and to test up to 12 coolant samples in triplicate simultaneously.

Physical and chemical property requirements along with performance criteria for concentrate and predilute coolants are described in ASTM D3306, the standard specification for glycol base engine coolant for automobile and light-duty service. Coolants used in heavy-duty service are tested under ASTM D6210. SwRI’s coolant testing lab routinely runs 14 benchtop and rig tests comprising ASTM D3306 and related D6210 tests.

ASTM D3306 Coolant Testing

SwRI performs the following ASTM D3306 light-duty coolant specification tests.

D5931 – Relative Density

D1121 – Reserve Alkalinity

D1177 – Freezing Point

D1882 – Effect on Automotive Finish

D1120 – Boiling Point

D1384 – Corrosion in Glassware

D1119 – Ash Content

D2570 – Simulated Service

D1287 – pH

D4340 – Corrosion of Cast Aluminum Alloys

D5827 – Chloride by Ion Chromatography

D1881 – Foaming

D1123 – Water Content

D2809 – Cavitation-Erosion

ASTM D6210 Coolant Testing

Man in blue lab coat adjusting dials on ASTM D2570 simulated service rig

SwRI is home to five ASTM D2570 Simulated Service rigs to ensure testing availability for our clients.

man in blue lab coat adjusting SwRI-designed and built ASTM D2809 cavitation rig

This fully automated and process-controlled ASTM D2809 Cavitation Rig was built and designed by SwRI to evaluate coolant compatibility with aluminum automotive water pumps.

SwRI offers heavy-duty ASTM 6210 coolant testing, which includes the 14 tests under ASTM D3306 in addition to procedures related to concentrations of nitrite and molybdate.

Related Coolant Testing Services

SwRI offers other analytical solutions and services related to coolants and heat transfer fluids, such as thermal conductivity (ASTM D7896) and specific heat capacity testing (ASTM E1269). We perform ASTM D7583, the on-engine John Deere Engine Coolant Cavitation Test. Related testing includes:

  • ASTM D8485 – Corrosion Test for Electric Vehicle Coolants
  • ASTM E202M – Glycol Content
  • FTM 2540C – Dissolved Solids in Coolant
  • ASTM D7896 – Thermal Conductivity
  • ASTM E1269 – Specific Heat Capacity
  • ASTM D7583 – John Deere Cavitation Test
  • ASTM D7304 Determination of Denatonium Ion in Engine Coolant by HPLC

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