ISO 7027

ISO 7027:1999 is an ISO standard for water quality that enables the determination of turbidity.[1] The ISO 7027 technique is used to determine the concentration of suspended particles in a sample of water by measuring the incident light scattered at right angles from the sample. The scattered light is captured by a photodiode, which produces an electronic signal that is converted to a turbidity.


  1. ^ ISO 7027:1999 - Water quality -- Determination of turbidity

Formazine (formazin) is a heterocyclic polymer produced by reaction of hexamethylenetetramine with hydrazine sulfate.

The hexamethylenetetramine tetrahedral cage-like structure, similar to adamantane, serves as molecular building block to form a tridimensional polymeric network.

Formazine is very poorly soluble in water and when directly synthesized in aqueous solution, by simply mixing its two highly soluble precursors, it forms small size colloidal particles. These organic colloids are responsible of the light scattering of the formazine suspensions in all the directions. Optical properties of colloidal suspensions depend on the suspended particles size and size distribution. Because formazine is a stable synthetic material with uniform particle size it is commonly used as a standard to calibrate turbidimeters and to control the reproducibility of their measurements. Formazin use was first proposed by Kingsbury et al. (1926) for the rapid standardization of turbidity measurements of albumin in urine. The unit is called Formazin Turbidity Unit (FTU). A suspension of 1.25 mg/L hydrazine sulfate and 12.5 mg/L hexamethylenetetramine in water has a turbidity of one FTU.In the United States environmental monitoring the turbidity standard unit is called Nephelometric Turbidity Units (NTU), while the international standard unit is called Formazin Nephelometric Unit (FNU). The most generally applicable unit is Formazin Turbidity Unit (FTU), although different measurement methods can give quite different values as reported in FTU.


A nephelometer is an instrument for measuring the concentration of suspended particulates in a liquid or gas colloid. A nephelometer measures suspended particulates by employing a light beam (source beam) and a light detector set to one side (often 90°) of the source beam. Particle density is then a function of the light reflected into the detector from the particles. To some extent, how much light reflects for a given density of particles is dependent upon properties of the particles such as their shape, color, and reflectivity. Nephelometers are calibrated to a known particulate, then use environmental factors (k-factors) to compensate lighter or darker colored dusts accordingly. K-factor is determined by the user by running the nephelometer next to an air sampling pump and comparing results. There are a wide variety of research-grade nephelometers on the market as well as open source varieties.


Turbidity is the cloudiness or haziness of a fluid caused by large numbers of individual particles that are generally invisible to the naked eye, similar to smoke in air. The measurement of turbidity is a key test of water quality.

Fluids can contain suspended solid matter consisting of particles of many different sizes. While some suspended material will be large enough and heavy enough to settle rapidly to the bottom of the container if a liquid sample is left to stand (the settable solids), very small particles will settle only very slowly or not at all if the sample is regularly agitated or the particles are colloidal. These small solid particles cause the liquid to appear turbid.

Turbidity (or haze) is also applied to transparent solids such as glass or plastic. In plastic production, haze is defined as the percentage of light that is deflected more than 2.5° from the incoming light direction.

ISO standards by standard number

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.