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Top 5 Temperature Calibration Tips that You Should Know

Anyone who has been in the calibration business for long knows that experience is priceless. Time has a way of teaching you what works and what doesn’t. When things are working right, the calibration lab may not be a very exciting place, but it does mean you did your job. So, here are a few tips and tricks you can use to keep things up and running:

Tip #1: Calibration baths usually deliver the best results

The traditional approach to temperature calibration is to send temperature probes and thermometers to a calibration laboratory. There the temperature instruments are placed in calibration baths and compared to higher-accuracy temperature standards whose values are traceable to national or international standards (i.e. NIST-traceable). This method produces excellent results, can be used with almost any thermometer and can accommodate a high degree of throughput.

Calibration baths provide a very stable and uniform temperature environment. Stability refers to temperatures remaining constant over time and uniformity refers to the sameness of temperature vertically and horizontally throughout the working region of the calibration bath.

Tip #2: Boost productivity with multiple calibration baths

One reason a temperature calibration bath is so stable is the bath fluid prevents the temperature from changing rapidly. This has an unwanted side effect of slowing the rate baths change to the next temperature test point. One way to boost productivity is to use more than one bath so that you always are ready for the next cardinal temperature.

Tip #3: Protect your investment with a Triple Point of Water Cell

If you have invested in an SPRT or a secondary reference thermometer for better accuracy, the last thing you want is to lose all of that accuracy because of an accident that you don’t even know about. Accidents can happen when you least expect them to and they can often happen in shipping before you ever take possession of your thermometer. The best way to be sure that your investment is protected is by checking it regularly in a triple point of water cell and comparing the result to your calibration report. The best practice is to keep a chart on the thermometer in a spreadsheet like Excel and watch for any sudden jumps in the reading at the triple point of water (0.010 °C).

Tip #4: Minimize the number of tools you take onsite

If you perform onsite calibrations, time and space are a premium and the last thing you need is to spend most of your time hauling equipment around. Try to use the fewest instruments necessary for the job. For example, the process version of the Field Metrology Well is a dry-block calibrator that has all of the electronics you need built right in for measuring RTDs, thermocouples, and thermal switches. It is also a documenting 4-20 ma loop calibrator. You won’t need a computer to automate and document the calibration either. It’s built right in!

Tip #5: Boost calibrator accuracy with a platinum resistance thermometer (PRT)

The convenience of a handheld dry-well is very appealing but sometimes you need a little more accuracy. A great way to improve the accuracy of any dry-well is to use a platinum resistance temperature standard for your known temperature instead of the calibrator display. The best dry-block calibrators can directly read PRT standards to improve their display accuracy. A good example is the Field Metrology Well process version.

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Source: Temperature calibration: Tips and tricks from the real world