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Progressing from Visual to Automatic Colour Measurement
Product News

Progressing from Visual to Automatic Colour Measurement

Progressing from Visual to Automatic Colour Measurement
Product News

Progressing from Visual to Automatic Colour Measurement

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Traditionally, the Lovibond® team has been renowned for its supply of electronic (spectrophotometric) and visual (comparator method) instruments.  Colour graders who are used to the traditional comparator series sometimes find the upgrade to an electronic system daunting. The assurance of relying on physical colour difference is diminished. This transition has now been made easy.

The current series comprise: 

The EC 2000 Pt Co (range 0-500 at a resolution of 1 Pt-CO unit - ASTM D1209 Standard)

The EC 2000 Gardner (range 0-18 at a resolution of 0.1 Gardner units – ASTM D1544, D6166 Standard)

The EC 3000 ASTM Colour (range 0-8 at a resolution of 0.1 units – ASTM D1500, D6045 Standard) 

The EC 3000 Saybolt (range -16 - +30 at a resolution of 1 Saybolt unit – ASTM D156, D6045 Standard)

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The EC 2000 range provides users with a Two Field View visual representation in alignment with the popular Lovibond® Comparator 2000+ system widely used today. By contrast, the EC 3000 series replicates the visualization of the Lovibond® 3000 / AF Comparators with a 3-section field of view. Here the sample and two consecutive readings of the colour scale are viewed simultaneously, making it easier to achieve the optimum colour match.

With the EComparator series, viewers can view the colour difference with on-screen colour and on-screen numerical display. Touch screen technology makes the EComparator easily programmable with instinctive menus on screen. Users can set language, date and time, view preferences and create projects with individual tolerance settings. 

An on-screen warning system of “within tolerance” (green), “outside tolerance” (red) and “on border of tolerance” (amber) provides the user with immediate information on the sample. 

User friendly ergonomics and an intuitive interface guarantee new users can be quickly training and easily supported. Large data storage (>20,000) readings and USB connectivity ensure readings can be stored and shared easily and quickly. The EComparator Series enables immediate reporting from the Laboratory or on-site. 

Lovibond® accuracy and efficiency is apparent throughout. EComparators are supplied with Certified Glass and Liquid Reference Standards enabling quick and simple validation. The instruments are equipped with an integrated light shield to protect the sample from ambient light and a flexible path length and cell choice (glass or plastic) for flexibility of application. With robust casing and a small laboratory footprint, the EComparator Series is the ideal solution for users wishing to experience the benefits of immediate, accurate, electronic readings: the best of both worlds.

The Scales


Often referred to as Pt-Co, Platinum-Cobalt, Hazen, APHA Colour or True Color Units - all terms are interchangeable and equally valid. This scales is typically used to measure clear to dark amber liquids.

Originally defined by specified dilutions, it ranges from 0 at the light end of the scale to 500 at the darkest.

The scales is used extensively in the water industry but also for clear oils, chemicals and petrochemicals such as glycerine, plasticisers, solvents, carbon tetrachloride and petroleum spirits.

GARDNER COLOUR (ASTM D 1544, ASTM D 6166, AOCS Td 1a, MS 817 Part 10)

A single number, one dimensional, colour scale for grading the colour of similarly coloured liquids.

The scale ranges from a pale yellow to a red in shade and is described in terms of the values 1-18.

The scale is typically used to measure the colour of resins, varnishes, lacquers, drying oils, fatty acids, lecithin, sunflower oil and linseed oil.


The Saybolt Colour scale is used for grading light coloured petroleum products.  The colour range of the Saybolt-scale is similar to that of the Platinum-Cobalt/Hazen/APHA Colour (ASTM D 1209)/ TCU scale and is therefore employed for the measurement of water-clear, colourless to slightly yellowish products.

The faintest coloration is Saybolt-colour number +30, the strongest evaluable Saybolt coloration value is 

-16. This scale is popular for aviation fuels, kerosene, naphthas, white mineral oils, hydrocarbon solvents and petroleum waxes.

ASTM COLOR (ASTM D 1500, ASTM D 6045, ISO 2049, IP196)

ASTM D1500 is a single number, one dimensional, color scale ranging from a pale straw through to a deep red in sixteen steps (0.5 - 8.0 units in increments of 0.5 units).

Please note the Chinese Industrial Standard SH/T 0168 (0 to 25) is directly related to ASTM D1500 (0 to 8.0).

Sometimes referred to as the “mineral oil color value”, the ASTM Color Scale is widely used for the grading of petroleum products such as lubricating oils, heating oils and diesel fuel oils.