PART A PETROLEUM LABORATORY REFERENCES
Specifications. A specification is a clear, concise, and accurate description of technical requirements. They
govern the quality requirements of products used by the military. Specifications are used to purchase petroleum
products from the manufacturer and to monitor the product after it has been purchased. Specific ASTM or
Federal Test Method Standard (FTMS) test methods are found in Section II and Section IV of the specification
The military services are responsible for determining the characteristics of a petroleum product. These
characteristics are then submitted to an appointed committee that is responsible for developing the
specification. The committee normally consists of members from:
Engine or equipment developers.
A petrol-chemical company.
Research and development (R&D) department of the service branch requesting the product.
The first step in developing a specification comes from a company refining the product which it feels meets the
requirements for the new piece of equipment. After the sample is developed, it must be isolated and a
representative amount sent to the R&D laboratory for processing.
Once the product has been tested and all the results are accumulated, the actual writing of the specification
is accomplished. It must include the requirements necessary to ensure that the product will perform as intended.
It will contain those tests that can be performed under normal field conditions.
Once this is completed, the proposed specification is submitted for approval to the Technical Section of the
Defense Fuel Supply Center (DFSC) or Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), who is responsible for the
standardization of military petroleum specifications.
After the specification is approved, it is assigned an alphabetical or numerical designation and is placed on
the "Reference List of Specifications and Standards."
Types of Specifications.
MIL - A military specification developed and used by military branches of the Department of Defense.
VV - A federal specification developed by an agency of the government and used by at least two federal
agencies, one of which is civilian. It is also used by the Department of Defense.
JAN - A joint Army and Navy specification. Used only by the Army and Navy.
Numbering System. The numbering system used to identify specifications is in three parts. The first being
the types MIL, VV, JAN.
The second part consists of a single letter from the first word of the nomenclature of the product as listed in the
title of the specification such as:
F (Fluid or Fuel).
G (Gasoline or Grease).
T (Turbine fuel).
The third part consists of a number of two or more digits assigned upon development. In some cases, the
number is followed by a letter indicating revisions, such as:
MIL-T-5624 (first writing).
MIL-T-5624A (first revision).
MIL-T-5624B (second revision).
Specification Format. The format generally consists of six main sections. Some specifications may have
more sections, but the following main sections are always listed.
Section I. Scope states the type of product.
Section II. Reference material and applicable documents.
Section III. Chemical and physical properties. Interpretation of the requirements must be 100 percent
accurate. No deviations are allowed. If a requirement is for a minimum degree, or percent, that means
the result must be at least what is listed; maximum limits must not be exceeded.
Section IV. Quality assurance provisions. This area covers sampling, inspections, and other special test
Section V. Preparation for delivery. This area covers marking and packaging for shipment.