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Reference equipment - calibration and

checks

October 2015

Copyright National Association of Testing Authorities, Australia 2013


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Reference equipment - calibration and checks

Reference equipment - calibration and checks


For NATAs policies on metrological traceability and equipment please refer to
NATA Policy 11 Policy on Metrological Traceability and Policy Circular 12 NATA
Policy on equipment assurance, in-house calibration and equipment verification.
The recommended calibration and checking intervals as presented in this table
is to be used in conjunction with the guidance on establishing an equipment
assurance program as found in the informative annex of Policy Circular 12.

October 2015

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Reference equipment - calibration and checks

General equipment table for reference use


Item of equipment
Accelerometers
Reference
Acoustic calibrators
including Pistonphones
and sound sources
Acoustic attenuators
Alignment telescopes
Anemometers
Angle gauges
Reference
Working
Attenuators

Autocollimators
Balances

Calibration Checking General comments and example


interval
interval reference standards
(years)
(months)
5
24

Intercomparison.
AS/IEC 60942

Intercompare

12

Check 2 rations

12

Frequency Response
Check two ratios. Resistance and
return loss

5
6
1
4 then 8
subsequent
2 then 4
subsequent
3

6
3
12

6
1
Each
weighing
Analogue band pass
filters (sound & vibration)
Octave and fractional
2
Barometers
Fortin
Initial

October 2015

The Calibration of Weights and


Balances EC Morris and KMK Fen
Service. Where the facility can
demonstrate that the balance is used
in a suitable environment (e.g. dust
free, chemical free) AND results of
user checks consistently demonstrate
good performance and ability, this
requirement may be waived.
Repeatability check.
NATA Technical Note 13.
One point check.
NATA Technical Note 13.
Zero point check.

AS/NZA 4476, IEC 1260.

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Reference equipment - calibration and checks

Aneroid
Bridges - manual
balance
Callipers

60

One point check with transfer


instrument. NATA Technical Note 8.

12

Check against laboratory standards.


AS 1984
Zero point, correct closure of jaws.

1
5

2
On use

Capacitors

Colorimetric Integrating when


spheres
reflectivity
< 0.85
Comparators
3
(dimensional)
Cold reference
junctions (ACJC)
Current shunts
5
DC Voltage references 1 to 2

12

Intercompare
When reflectivity falls below 0.85 or
10 years which ever occurs first,
replace paint or coating.

12

Check against reference thermometer


or comparison at ice point.

3 to 6
Dimensional Measuring
Machines
Precision scales
Geometric tests
Micrometer heads
Coordinate Measuring
Machines (CMMs)

10
5
3
2
6

Dividing Heads and


rotary tables
Extensometer
calibrators
Electrical instruments
Digital multimeters
(DMM), and other types
of meters which measure
electrical parameters
such as volts, resistance,
current, capacitance,
power, etc

5 then 10
subsequent
5

October 2015

Intermediate volumetric check (e.g.


ball bar).

AS 2328 and AS 1545

Calibrate over all ranges and


parameters of use including
calibration across frequency (Hz) of
use.

6
Analogue meters (see
above)

Interval dependent on required


uncertainty.
Intercompare

Compare with meters of similar


resolution.

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Reference equipment - calibration and checks

Data loggers/chart
recorders (see above)

Compare with meters of similar


resolution.

Check at two points over the range.

Environmentally
controlled enclosures
including
Incubators,
Ovens,
Furnaces,
Conditioning enclosures
(ageing),
Refrigerators and
freezers,
water baths
Temperature
1

On use
36

Humidity

Spatial uniformity, IEC 60068-1;


60068-2-38; 60068-2-39; AS 2853
over 3 points in the working range
Monitor temperature at at least one
point
Temperature distribution in the
working zone at 3 temperatures over
the operational range.

1
12

Spatial uniformity of temperature


Monitor level

On use

Check operation of the lamps


Monitor level

CO2
On use
Infra Red, Ultraviolet and 1
Visible
Pressure / Vacuum
1
Extensometer
5
calibrators
Digital signal analysers 5
(sound & vibration)
12
Flowmeters
Differential Pressure
2
meters, orifice meters,
venturi meters and
Anubar
Electronic Thermal, Mass 1
Flow
Laminar flow meters
Sonic Nozzle
Reference 0.1%

October 2015

Flow or dimensional calibration plus


inspection for wear and damage.
Pressure to be calibrated as
appropriate.
Where high temperature or corrosive
gases are monitored a shorter interval
is recommended.
Inspect for damage or contamination

Inspect and clean

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Reference equipment - calibration and checks

Working 0.5%
Soap Film
Positive Displacement
Meters
Provers

6
2
2

Inspect and clean

Rotary meter
2
Rotameters Variable area 2
meters
Turbine meters
2

6
3

Thermometer ice points and pressure


readout checks for stability
Inspect for contamination or damage
Visual inspection for damage to float
edges or ball float for pitting
Inspect for contamination or damage
of turbine blades

Turbine meters (Pelton


Wheel/Miniature)
Vortex shedding

1
2

Wet test meters

Before
use

Gauge blocks
Reference
Haze standards
Plastic
Glass
Height setting
micrometers and riser
blocks
Hydrometers
Reference
Working glass
Working metal
Hygrometers
(Assmann and sling
psychrometers)

Thermohygrographs
(hair)

4 then 8
subsequent

Inspect for contamination of the bluff


body
Set water level before use

AS 1457

5
10
3 then 6
subsequent

5
1
6 months

AS 2026

5
6

Compare thermometers at room


temperature with wick dry.
AS 2001.1 Appendix C

Weekly

Check against a calibrated


psychrometer.

Electronic types (e.g.


1
digital psychrometer)
Digital psychrometers
3
(not electrical impedance
sensors)

October 2015

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Reference equipment - calibration and checks

6
Electrical impedance
humidity probes
Dew or frost point
hygrometers
Impedance matching
networks (Acoustics)

Check against a calibrated


thermometer at ambient temperature.
Can be 2 yearly if used only under
ambient conditions.

2
5
12

Inductors

5
12

Instrument and ratio


transformers

Length bars
Reference
Working
Levels (precision)

Visual check

10

Instrument transformer 5
test sets

Laser Power/energy
meters

12

Intercompare
Instrument transformers may be
extended to 20 years with annual
intercomparisons
Compare with a transformer or other
known error device.
For CT sets every second calibration
may be substituted by a test using the
NMI/NATA adjustable error current
transformer

4 then 8
subsequent
2 then 4
subsequent
4

AS 1457
AS 1457

12
Linear scales
(precision)
Load cells

12 monthly single point check for


electronic levels

5 then 10
subsequent
2

AS 2193
On day of If amplification is variable perform
use
shunt calibration check.

Luminance meters and


Illuminance meters
Digital
1
Analogue
2
Manometers
Reference and Working, 10
liquid
(mercury based)
36

October 2015

Check the cleanliness of the fluid.

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Reference equipment - calibration and checks

Reference and Working, 3


liquid
(liquid other than
mercury)
18
Electronic
Masses
Reference integral
stainless steel or nickel
chromium alloy
Working - stainless steel,
nickel chromium alloy
Working - other alloy and
iron Class III
Mass comparators
Metals Temperature
reference
Freezing fixed point
Micrometers

1
3 then 6
subsequent

Verifying Authorities request 3 then 5


subsequent

3
2
6

5
5
1

Micrometer setting
gauges
Microphones
(measuring)

3 then 6
subsequent
2
3

Microphone amplifiers

12

Network Analysers
Neutral density filters
Noise analysers
Integrated in firmware

1
10

Optical flats

3 then 6
subsequent
3 then 6
subsequent
5
Initial
6
24

Optical parallels
Optical projectors
Orifice plates
Oscilloscopes

October 2015

Check the cleanliness of the fluid.

Initial

Repeatability checks at full, half and


minimum scale

Calibration every 5 years.


AS 2102
Zero, one point (against gauge block)
and condition of anvils.

Or whenever a 1 dB change is
detected
Check frequency response and
sensitivity
Check frequency response and meter
accuracy

No requirement where the analyser


has already been type approved.
Initial calibration required where
instrument has not been type
approved, or where firmware changes
are made.

Visual check for wear and damage


Time base and voltage scale
accuracy.
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Reference equipment - calibration and checks

Photodetectors
Silicon cells
Others

3
5
12
6

Photometric Integrating when


spheres
reflectivity
< 0.75
Photometric test plate
for luminance
Ceramic or enamel
Others
All
Pitch diameter
reference discs
Polygons (precision)
Verification plates for
plate readers
Polilight (Or light
source used with
specific wavelength
filters)
Potentiometers
Laboratory type
Process Instrument
Calibrators

Linearity and and spectral


Or when filter transmittances change
significantly.
Check spectral response with colour
filters.
Check linearity of response.
When reflectivity falls below 0.75 or
10 years which ever occurs first,
replace paint or coating. Annual check
of reflectivity.

10
5
36
4 then 8
subsequent
5 then 10
subsequent
10

Visual inspection

See photometric test plates.


On use

Checked against reference material.

12

Check standard cell.


Initial calibration should include an
ACJC check at typical field use
ambient temperatures

12

Spin-rate

12

Spin-rate
In addition to AS 1349, facilities may
also use methods detailed in the
Metrology Society of Australia
publications MSA 1 and MSA 2
AS 1349 for Bourdon tube types

5
1

Pressure balances
Dead weight testers with 3
accuracy < 0.01%
Dead weight testers with 5
accuracy > 0.01%
Pressure equipment

Test gauges used for


calibration of industrial
gauges

October 2015

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Reference equipment - calibration and checks

Industrial gauges not


subject to shock loading
Industrial gauges subject
to shock loading.
Digital pressure gauges
Pressure transducers
Pressure transmitters
Calibrators
Quartz control plates
Disappearing filament
pyrometers
Radiation
thermometers including
visible and infrared
pyrometers

AS 1349 for Bourdon tube types

6 months

AS 1349 for Bourdon tube types

1
1
1
1
Initial
3
2

12
Black body sources

Pyrgeometers
Pyrheliometers
Reference
Working
Quartz control plates
Radioactive reference
material
Neutron, X-rays, Gamma
Radioactive reference
material
Neutron, X-rays, Gamma
Radiometers (Thermal)

3
3
6
Initial

12

5
2 or after
100 tests

12

Reference ballasts
5
Lighting tests
Refractometers
Reference glass filters, 10
spectrophotometry,
colourimetry, luminous
transmittance, neutral
density,
Reference tiles

October 2015

Initial test of target size dependence


should be performed
Initial calibration should include
sufficient points to confirm linearity
Check at one point in range or at ice
point
Either calibration of the measured
radiance temperature in a specified
waveband, or, calibration of the
monitor sensor together with
blackbody cavity uniformity
assessment.

Check against reference.


Visual check before use.

Against know radiant heat source

On use

Check against distilled water.

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Reference equipment - calibration and checks

Plastic and PTFE


Ceramic
Gloss - glass, ceramic
Reference Haze
standards
Plastic
Glass
Refractive index
standards
Liquid

Solid

3
10
10

5
10

5
Before
use

Check for contamination.

Before
use

Visual examination.

12

Intercompare

Intercompare
Check VSWR

Intercompare

12

Microscopic inspection

12

Microscopic inspection

12
Before
use

Visual inspection

Initial

Resistors
RF power meters

5
3

RF thermister mounts 3
and thermal converters
Rollers and balls
Roughness standards
Metal
Glass
Roundness standards
Screw check plugs for
ring gauges
Screw pitch reference
standards
Screw thread
measurement cylinders
and vee pieces
Secondary standard
dosimeters (Ionising
Radiation)
Setting cylinders

October 2015

4 then 8
subsequent
4
Initial
5 then 10
subsequent
3 then 6
subsequent
3 then 6
subsequent
Initial

3 then 6
subsequent

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Reference equipment - calibration and checks

Setting rings
Shunts

3 then 6
subsequent
5
12

Sine bars, centres and


tables
Squareness testers

Intercompare

3 then 6
subsequent
3 then 5
subsequent

Squares
Try squares

2 then 5
subsequent
Block squares
4 then 8
subsequent
Straightedges, steel/cast 3 then 6
iron
subsequent
Granite
4 then 8
subsequent
Standard lamps
Luminous flux, Luminous 5
intensity, Illuminance
Spectral radiance,
10
irradiance, relative
measurements
Spectral radiance,
5
irradiance, absolute
measurements
Distribution temperature 10
Surface plates
Cast iron
Granite

Or after 20 hours burning period,


whichever comes first.
Or after 50 hours burning period,
whichever comes first.

3 then 6
subsequent
4 then 8
subsequent

Signal generators

Sound level meter and


Noise dosimeters

Sound power source


Spectrophotometers
and
Spectroradiometers

Or after each 20 hours burning period,


whichever comes first.
Or after 50 hours burning period,
whichever comes first.

When used in isolation to provide


reference signals.
.
On use

Check against acoustic calibrator or


pistonphone.

Wavelength accuracy, bandpass,


absorbance, stray light error, linearity
of response, repeatability and
matching of cells.
A blank and at least 2 points on the
calibration curve must be checked.

On use

October 2015

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Reference equipment - calibration and checks

Spectrum and harmonic 1


analysers
Thermocouples
Base metal type,
2
sheathed

Base metal type, wire

Stored reels

10

Rare metal type

Dry block calibrators


Thermometers
Reference, liquidin
glass

Liquidinglass

Parameters to be calibrated
dependant on use.
For use up to 400C. For use from
400C to 1300 C the same
immersion depth must always be used
(or a greater depth of immersion).
Homogeneity must be assessed as
part of their recalibration.
o
For use up to 300 C. Replace if used
o
above 300 C.
Reel of wire 4 samples of wire from
end points and middle of reel.
3 years or after 100 hours above 500o
C whichever is sooner.
EA 10/13

10
Before
use

Before use check at ice point. NATA


Technical Note 19.

Check at ice point. NATA Technical


Note 19
OR
against reference thermometer at 1
point in range
Calibrate to Handbook of
Temperature Measurement Vol 2.

Check at ice point.

Check resistance at ice point.

Check at ice point.

Resistance
-40C to 250C
<-40C and >250C

5
2

Measuring instrument AC 5
Bridge type, Reference
and Working
Measuring instrument DC 2
Bridge type

October 2015

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Reference equipment - calibration and checks

Reference+, digital
indicating systems, with
or without a
temperature/humidity
sensor, hand held or
bench type, single and
multichannel

Initial

Calibrate against a reference


temperature measuring system. For
thermocouple type devices check
efficacy of automatic cold junction
compensation with the temperature
sensor at ice point.

Calibrate against a reference


measuring system.
Check at ice point.

6
Working Digital indicating 2
systems, with or without a
temperature sensor, hand
held or bench type, single
and multichannel.
(Includes temperature
loggers)
6

Time interval and


frequency standards
Caesium and Rubidium

Calibration regime dependent on type


and accuracy required. This may be
as frequently as daily if needed.
Calibration regime dependent on type
and accuracy required.

Other oscillators
Counters
GPS receivers
Torque
Standards beams and
masses
Transducers

Check against a reference device at


the temperature of use. If used at
more than one temperature, choose
the most critical temperature. Check
at ice point if the facility does not have
a reference device. (For data loggers
the reference device can not be
another data logger of the same type).

1
See Calibration Application Document
for GPS policy.
4 then 8
subsequent
1
6

In house cross check of overlapping


ranges

Transfer standards ACDC


1 to 5

October 2015

If only one is available. Interval


dependent on established history and
required uncertainty.

Page 15 of 18

Reference equipment - calibration and checks

6 to 12

4 to 8

12
12

Tricolorimeters
Vibration calibrators
Velocity transducers

Vibration calibrators
Voltage dividers
Volt ratio boxes

2
3
24

Check frequency response and


sensitivity

12

Intercompare

During
use

Monitor irradiance level.

120

Against reference oils.


ASTM D2162
Using quality oils against reference
tubes or using
reference oils.
ASTM D2162/D445; IP 71

2
5
5

Viscometers
Ultraviolet lamps
U-tube
Reference

Initial

Working

Initial

24
Others
Brookfield

Initial, then
every 2

Against reference oils.


Note: As well as the spindle number,
laboratories need to report the
temperature of the test and the
revolution per minute.
Against quality (ie. manufacturers)
oils.
Against reference oils.
Against reference oils.

1
Ferranti
Initial
Zahn
Initial
Watthour and VAR-hour
references
Electro-mechanical
2

3
12

3
Electronic

1 to 2
3

October 2015

Intercompare with appropriate level


digital instruments, compare adjacent
ranges and self-check.
If two are available. Interval
dependent on established history and
required uncertainty.
Intercompare
Check against calibrated colour filters
or surfaces.

Intercompare
Interval dependant on required
uncertainties and instrument history.
Intercompare

Page 16 of 18

Reference equipment - calibration and checks

REFERENCES
This section lists publications referenced in this document. The year of
publication is not included as it is expected that only current versions of the
references shall be used.
Australian Standards
AS 1349
AS 1457
AS 1545
AS 1984
AS 2001.1
AS 2026
AS 2102
AS 2193
AS 2328
AS 2360.1.5

AS 2853
AS 4476
AS IEC 60942
AS IEC 61672.1
AS IEC 61672.2

Bourdon tube pressure and vacuum gauges


Geometrical Product Specifications (GPS) - Length
standards - Gauge blocks
Methods for the calibration and grading of extensometers
Vernier callipers (metric series)
Methods of test for textiles - Conditioning procedures
Laboratory glassware - Density hydrometers
Micrometer callipers for external measurement
Calibration and classification of force-measuring systems
Micrometer heads - Metric series
Measurement of fluid flow in closed conduits - Pressure
differential methods - Measurement using orifice plates,
nozzles or Venturi meters - Pulsating flow, in particular
sinusoidal or square wave intermittent periodic-type
fluctuations
Enclosures - Temperature-controlled - Performance testing
and grading
AcousticsOctave-band and fractional-octave-band filters
Electroacoustics - Sound calibrators
Electroacoustics - Sound level meters - Specifications
Electroacoustics - Sound level meters - Pattern evaluation
tests

Other Standards
ASTM D445
ASTM D2162
EA-10/13
IEC 1260
IEC 60068-1
IEC 60068-2-38
IEC 60068-2-39

October 2015

Standard Test Method for Kinematic Viscosity of Transparent


and Opaque Liquids (and Calculation of Dynamic Viscosity)
Standard Practice for Basic Calibration of Master
Viscometers and Viscosity Oil Standards
EA Guidelines on the Calibration of Temperature Block
Calibrators
Electroacoustics - Octave Band and Fractional Octave Band
Environmental testing. Part 1: General and guidance;
Environmental testing - Part 2-38: Tests - Test Z/AD:
Composite temperature/humidity cyclic test;
Environmental testing - Part 2: Tests. Test Z/AMD:
Combined sequential cold, low air pressure, and damp heat
test;

Page 17 of 18

Reference equipment - calibration and checks

IP 71:
Kinematic Viscosity of Transparent & Opaque Liquids
ISO/IEC Guide 99 International vocabulary of metrology -- Basic and general
concepts and associated terms (VIM)
ISO/IEC 17025
General Requirements for the competence of calibration and
testing laboratories
NATA Publications
NATA Policy Circular 11
NATA Policy Circular 12

Policy on Metrological Traceability


NATA Policy on equipment assurance, in-house
calibration and equipment verification
NATA Technical Note 8 The in-situ calibration of Barometers
NATA Technical Note 13 User Checks of Balance Calibration
NATA Technical Note 19 Liquid-in-Glass Thermometers Selection, Use and
Calibration Checks
Other Publications
The Calibration of Weights and Balances EC Morris and KMK Fen
Calibration of Pressure Calibrators, Indicators and Transducers Metrology
Society of Australia MSA Test Method 1 - 2008
Calibration of Pressure Gauges Metrology Society of Australia MSA Test
Method 2 - 2008

Amendment Table
The table below provides a summary of changes made to the document with
this issue.
Section or
Clause

Amendment

Forward

Updated in accordance with Policy Circular 12

October 2015

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