What is temperature calibration?
|Temperature calibration refers to the calibration of any device used in a system that measures temperature. Most importantly, this usually means the temperature sensor, itself, which is typically a platinum resistance thermometer (PRT or PT-100), thermistor, or thermocouple. Readings from these thermometers are made by “thermometer readout” devices which measure their electrical outputs and convert them to temperature according to the International Temperature Scale of 1990 (ITS-90).
Thermometers are typically calibrated by placing them in a stable temperature environment (heat source) and comparing their output to that of a calibrated “reference thermometer” or “standard thermometer.” Fluke Calibration provides three general categories of heat sources: industrial heat sources (dry-well calibrators, Micro-Baths, etc.) for field use; fluid baths and thermocouple furnaces for laboratory use; and fixed-point cells for “primary” calibrations. Fluke Calibration also offers a variety of reference thermometers, including SPRTs, and thermometer readout instruments.
In addition, Fluke Calibration provides a variety of laboratory and field solutions for calibrating the electronics used in temperature measurement circuits.
Scale of 1990 »
Field, laboratory, and primary temperature calibration
|Field temperature calibration (or “industrial” or “portable” temperature calibration) applies to thermometers being tested outside of a laboratory environment, typically to accuracies ranging from 5 °C to 0.5 °C. Dry-wells, Metrology Wells, Micro-Baths, IR targets, and other portable heat sources provide stable temperatures, while portable thermometer readouts and thermometer standards can provide reference temperatures beyond that available directly from the heat source.||
Field temperature calibrators »
|Laboratory or secondary temperature calibration relates to the calibration of reference-grade PRT or PT-100, precision thermistors, and noble-metal thermocouples. Ultra-stable and uniform temperature baths and horizontal furnaces (for the high temperatures needed by thermocouples) are used along with SPRT reference thermometers and high-accuracy thermometer readouts. Such systems can provide calibration accuracies from 0.5 °C to 0.02 °C.||
Thermometer Readouts »
|Fixed-point or primary temperature calibration utilizes fixed-point cells, such as the Triple Point of Water, which provide extremely accurate and repeatable temperature when they are properly “realized,” typically in a laboratory setting. Such systems are used for calibrating SPRTs and noble-metal thermocouples and can be as accurate as 0.001 °C.||
Fixed-point cells »
Hart Scientific products and the Fluke Calibration brand
|In 2001, Fluke acquired Hart Scientific, located in American Fork, Utah. Temperature products continued to be sold under the Hart Scientific label until 2010 when Fluke introduced the Fluke Calibration brand, which includes the Hart Scientific products as well as electrical, RF, pressure, and flow calibration products. Today, some temperature products are manufactured at Fluke headquarters in Everett, Washington, while fixed-point and thermometry products continue to be manufactured in Utah. We continue to rely on the exceptional team of experts that previously made Hart Scientific the world’s leading brand for temperature calibration.|
Related reference materials
|Understanding Temperature Calibration Uncertainties »
Automating Temperature Calibrations »
Fluke Calibration’s Scope of Accreditation for Temperature Calibrations »
Establishment of a Primary Standards Laboratory »
Establishment of a Secondary Laboratory »
Infrared Temperature Calibration 101 »
Calibrating a temperature sensor can be a challenge, but is very doable with some know-how and the right products. The first step is to understand the thermometer being calibrated: What type of electrical signal does it output or is it entirely mechanical? What are its physical characteristics (size, shape, size and shape of sensor hidden inside the probe sheath, etc.)? Over what temperature range is it used? And what accuracies are relied on over those temperatures? Can it be calibrated in a laboratory or must it be calibrated in the field or even in-situ?
Related reference materials
Product Selection Guides
|Temperature calibration: Tips and tricks from the real world|
|Nobody offers a more complete line of temperature calibration equipment than Fluke Calibration. From ITS-90 fixed-point cells to handheld temperature sources—combined with easy to use and extremely precise thermometry systems—we can help provide the temperature calibration equipment you need to resolve your challenges in the lab or on the shop floor. Use the Quick Links at right or the descriptions below to explore our vast array of solutions.||
- The defining instruments of the ITS-90 (International Temperature Scale of 1990) are Standard Platinum Resistance Thermometers (SPRTs) and ITS-90 fixed-point cells. SPRTs are calibrated in fixed-point cells to provide the highest possible temperature accuracy. Primary standards offered by Fluke Calibration include: long-stem SPRTs; capsule SPRTs; triple point of water cells; metal fixed-point cells; maintenance baths and maintenance furnaces for fixed-point cells; standard resistors.
Fluke Calibration baths provide optimal temperature environments for secondary or comparison temperature calibrations. They offer unsurpassed stability and uniformity, a large working volume, and flexibility for performing thermometer calibration or calibrating a variety of temperature sensors. A world-class temperature controller and 30+ years of experience make these baths the choice of National Metrology Institutes (NMIs) and calibration laboratories worldwide. Fluke Calibration temperature baths include: compact, deep-well, hot, cold, resistor, and custom baths.
Industrial temperature calibrators are critical in many industrial processes. A temperature calibrator is used to correct inaccuracies in the thermometers and temperature sensors used for these processes. A temperature source with a calibrated reference sensor is required to provide a complete and meaningful calibration. Fluke Calibration provides a wide range of industrial and field temperature calibrators including: Metrology Wells, Field Metrology Wells, field dry-well calibrators, handheld dry-block calibrators, Micro-Baths, infrared calibrators, and thermocouple furnaces.
Fluke Calibration provides high-quality secondary platinum resistance thermometers (PRTs); industrial PRTs; high-temperature, fast-response, and other special-application PRTs; thermistor standards; secondary thermistor probes; type R and type S thermocouples. These probes may be used for temperature measuring, temperature calibration, temperature monitoring and temperature validation.
- Fluke Calibration precision digital thermometer readouts are designed specifically to measure temperature sensors for calibration. Because Fluke Calibration thermometer readouts are designed for thermometer calibration, they offer many advantages, especially accuracy and convenience. Fluke thermometer readouts include: Super-Thermometers; Black Stacks; Chub-E4; Tweeners; handheld readouts; and the DewK thermal-hygrometer for environmental monitoring.
- These bench multifunction calibrators source, simulate, and measure pressure, temperature, and electrical signals with exceptional precision. They can automate calibration procedures and maintain a wide range of temperature and pressure transmitters, multi-meters, pressure gauges, and more.
|Calibration software is available to automate all or part of many calibration processes, manage calibration and asset data, and perform other useful tasks as well. Fluke Calibration offers a variety of market leading software applications in each of its product disciplines.|
|Fluke Calibration's temperature calibration products are sold in the Europe/Middle-East and Africa through a network of distributors.
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