ASTM E220 - 13

    Standard Test Method for Calibration of Thermocouples By Comparison Techniques

    Active Standard ASTM E220 | Developed by Subcommittee: E20.04

    Book of Standards Volume: 14.03


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    Significance and Use

    5.1 For users or manufacturers of thermocouples, this test method provides a means of verifying the emf-temperature characteristics of the material prior to use.

    5.2 This test method can be used to calibrate a thermocouple for use as a reference, or it can be used to calibrate thermocouples representing a batch of purchased, assembled thermocouples.

    5.3 This test method can be used for the verification of the conformance of thermocouple materials to temperature tolerances for specifications such as the tables in Specification E230 or other special specifications as required for commercial, military, or research applications.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method describes the principles, apparatus, and procedure for calibrating thermocouples by comparison with a reference thermometer. Calibrations are covered over temperature ranges appropriate to the individual types of thermocouples within an overall range from approximately −195 to 1700 °C (−320 to 3100 °F).

    1.2 In general, this test method is applicable to unused thermocouples. This test method does not apply to used thermocouples due to their potential material inhomogeneity—the effects of which cannot be identified or quantified by standard calibration techniques. Thermocouples with large-diameter thermoelements and sheathed thermocouples may require special care to control thermal conduction losses.

    1.3 In this test method, all values of temperature are based on the International Temperature Scale of 1990. See Guide E1594.

    1.4 This standard may involve hazardous materials, operations and equipment. 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 requirements 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

    E1 Specification for ASTM Liquid-in-Glass Thermometers

    E77 Test Method for Inspection and Verification of Thermometers

    E230 Specification and Temperature-Electromotive Force (EMF) Tables for Standardized Thermocouples

    E344 Terminology Relating to Thermometry and Hydrometry

    E452 Test Method for Calibration of Refractory Metal Thermocouples Using a Radiation Thermometer

    E563 Practice for Preparation and Use of an Ice-Point Bath as a Reference Temperature

    E644 Test Methods for Testing Industrial Resistance Thermometers

    E1129/E1129M Specification for Thermocouple Connectors

    E1594 Guide for Expression of Temperature

    E1684 Specification for Miniature Thermocouple Connectors

    E1751 Guide for Temperature Electromotive Force (EMF) Tables for Non-Letter Designated Thermocouple Combinations

    E2846 Guide for Thermocouple Verification


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 17.200.20 (Temperature-measuring instruments)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 41112206(Thermocouples)


    DOI: 10.1520/E0220

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