NIST Seminar

N03-Selection, Calibration, and Use of Contact Thermometers

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March 20, 2018 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

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Karen Garrity
Dawn Cross

Selection, Calibration, and Use of Contact Thermometers – 2 days

Presenters:  Dawn Cross and Karen Garrity, NIST, Sensor Science Division, Thermodynamic Metrology Group


In this seminar, we will discuss contact thermometers commonly used in industry for applications that use platinum resistance thermometers, thermistors, and thermocouples.


Lecture topics covered will include:

  • Thermometer overview of each type, characteristics, and expected uncertainties;
  • Selecting a thermometer for a specific application;
  • Creating a calibration uncertainty budget and a temperature measurement uncertainty budget,
  • Selecting and using digital thermometers
  • Calibration techniques and measurement validation methods,
  • Alternatives to traditional calendar recall dates for recalibration,
  • Statistical process control and maintaining traceability to NIST,
  • The step-by-step development of a Scope of Accreditation (e.g. uncertainty budgets) for different temperature calibration services,
  • An assessor’s point of view during an on-site technical assessment, and
  • Proficiency tests for achieving accreditation.


Laboratory session will include:

  • Using digital thermometers
  • Using an ice melting to check the calibration status of your thermometer
  • Determining the uncertainty of a dry-well block calibrator
  • Exploring the measurement differences and uncertainties between digital thermometers

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