ASTM E516 - 95a(2013)

    Standard Practice for Testing Thermal Conductivity Detectors Used in Gas Chromatography

    Active Standard ASTM E516 | Developed by Subcommittee: E13.19

    Book of Standards Volume: 03.06


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    Significance and Use

    3.1 Although it is possible to observe and measure each of the several characteristics of a detector under different and unique conditions, it is the intent of this practice that a complete set of detector specifications should be obtained at the same operating conditions. It should be noted also that to specify a detector's capability completely, its performance should be measured at several sets of conditions within the useful range of the detector. The terms and tests described in this practice are sufficiently general so that they may be used at whatever conditions may be chosen for other reasons.

    3.2 Linearity and speed of response of the recorder used should be such that it does not distort or otherwise interfere with the performance of the detector. Effective recorder response, Refs. (5, 6) in particular, should be sufficiently fast that it can be neglected in sensitivity of measurements. If additional amplifiers are used between the detector and the final readout device, their characteristics should also first be established.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This practice is intended to serve as a guide for the testing of the performance of a thermal conductivity detector (TCD) used as the detection component of a gas chromatographic system.

    1.2 This practice is directly applicable to thermal conductivity detectors which employ filament (hot wire) or thermistor sensing elements.

    1.3 This practice is intended to describe the performance of the detector itself independently of the chromatographic column, in terms which the analyst can use to predict overall system performance when the detector is coupled to the column and other chromatography system components.

    1.4 For general gas chromatographic procedures, Practice E260 should be followed except where specific changes are recommended herein for the use of a TCD. For definitions of gas chromatography and its various terms see Practice E355.

    1.5 For general information concerning the principles, construction, and operation of TCD see Refs. (1-4).2

    1.6 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.

    1.7 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. For specific safety information, see Section 4.3


    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

    E260 Practice for Packed Column Gas Chromatography

    E355 Practice for Gas Chromatography Terms and Relationships

    CGA Standards

    HB-3 Handbook of Compressed Gases


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 71.040.50 (Physicochemical methods of analysis)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code


    DOI: 10.1520/E0516-95AR13

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