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TAPPI T 525 Brightness (Diffuse or ISO)






Diffuse brightness of paper, paperboard and pulp (d/0)
– ultraviolet level C


TAPPI T 525 is used for the determination of the brightness of white, near-white, and naturally colored pulp, paper, and paperboard. Brightness is a commonly used industry term for the numerical value of the reflectance factor of a sample with respect to blue light of specific spectral and geometric characteristics. This method requires an instrument employing diffuse illumination and 0° viewing geometry.

This method is applicable to all naturally-colored pulps, and papers and board made therefrom. The measurement is not suitable for paper or paperboard containing added coloring matter (such as yellow or green dyestuff) which appreciably absorbs light in that part of the spectrum extending from about 400 to 500 nm. This brightness method is not applicable to colored papers.

Pulps to be tested shall be made into handsheets prepared according to TAPPI T 218 “Forming Handsheets for Reflectance Tests of Pulp (Büchner Funnel Procedure).”


Diffuse reflectance is measured in the wavelength range of 400-520 nm with an effective wavelength of 457 nm by using a suitable filter set or an equivalent device for modifying the spectral response and an instrument having diffuse illumination and perpendicular observation geometry. The measurements are made in terms of absolute reflectance factors.


The method provides a simple, single-number index useful for comparing similar white materials; however, colored materials are better identified by using a standardized three-dimensional color space [see TAPPI T 524 “Color of Paper and Paperboard (45/0 Geometry)” and T 527 “Color of Paper and Paperboard (d/0 Geometry)”].

Because the instrument geometry of this method is different from that of TAPPI T 452 “Brightness of Pulp, Paper and Paperboard (Directional Reflectance at 457 nm),” there is no simple relationship between the two brightness scales.

Specularly reflected light (gloss) is excluded from the measurement of diffuse brightness by the use of a gloss trap (specular reflectance absorber).


Please note:
SGS-IPS cannot sell or otherwise provide standards, specifications, or test procedures to third parties.