ASTM E1866 - 97(2013)

    Standard Guide for Establishing Spectrophotometer Performance Tests

    Active Standard ASTM E1866 | Developed by Subcommittee: E13.03

    Book of Standards Volume: 03.06


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    Significance and Use

    4.1 If ASTM Committee E13 has not specified an appropriate test procedure for a specific type of spectrophotometer, or if the sample specified by a Committee E13 procedure is incompatible with the intended spectrophotometer operation, then this guide can be used to develop practical performance tests.

    4.1.1 For spectrophotometers which are equipped with permanent or semi-permanent sampling accessories, the test sample specified in a Committee E13 practice may not be compatible with the spectrophotometer configuration. For example, for FT-MIR instruments equipped with transmittance or IRS flow cells, tests based on polystyrene films are impractical. In such cases, these guidelines suggest means by which the recommended test procedures can be modified so as to be performed on a compatible test material.

    4.1.2 For spectrophotometers used in process measurements, the choice of test materials may be limited due to process contamination and safety considerations. These guidelines suggest means of developing performance tests based on materials which are compatible with the intended use of the spectrophotometer.

    4.2 Tests developed using these guidelines are intended to allow the user to compare the performance of a spectrophotometer on any given day with prior performance. The tests are intended to uncover malfunctions or other changes in instrument operation, but they are not designed to diagnose or quantitatively assess the malfunction or change. The tests are not intended for the comparison of spectrophotometers of different manufacture.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This guide covers basic procedures that can be used to develop spectrophotometer performance tests. The guide is intended to be applicable to spectrophotometers operating in the ultraviolet, visible, near-infrared and mid-infrared regions.

    1.2 This guide is not intended as a replacement for specific practices such as Practices E275, E925, E932, E958, E1421, or E1683 that exist for measuring performance of specific types of spectrophotometers. Instead, this guide is intended to provide guidelines in how similar practices should be developed when specific practices do not exist for a particular spectrophotometer type, or when specific practices are not applicable due to sampling or safety concerns. This guide can be used to develop performance tests for on-line process spectrophotometers.

    1.3 This guide describes univariate level zero and level one tests, and multivariate level A and level B tests which can be implemented to measure spectrophotometer performance. These tests are designed to be used as rapid, routine checks of spectrophotometer performance. They are designed to uncover malfunctions or other changes in instrument operation, but do not specifically diagnose or quantitatively assess the malfunction or change. The tests are not intended for the comparison of spectrophotometers of different manufacture.

    1.4 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    E131 Terminology Relating to Molecular Spectroscopy

    E275 Practice for Describing and Measuring Performance of Ultraviolet and Visible Spectrophotometers

    E925 Practice for Monitoring the Calibration of Ultraviolet-Visible Spectrophotometers whose Spectral Bandwidth does not Exceed 2 nm

    E932 Practice for Describing and Measuring Performance of Dispersive Infrared Spectrometers

    E958 Practice for Measuring Practical Spectral Bandwidth of Ultraviolet-Visible Spectrophotometers

    E1421 Practice for Describing and Measuring Performance of Fourier Transform Mid-Infrared (FT-MIR) Spectrometers: Level Zero and Level One Tests

    E1655 Practices for Infrared Multivariate Quantitative Analysis

    E1683 Practice for Testing the Performance of Scanning Raman Spectrometers


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 17.180.30 (Optical measuring instruments); 71.040.50 (Physicochemical methods of analysis)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code


    DOI: 10.1520/E1866-97R13

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