Standard Active Last Updated: May 06, 2022
ASTM E2730-22

Standard Guide for Calibration and Use of Thermocouple Reference Junction Probes in Evaluation of Electronic Reference Junction Compensation Circuits

Significance and Use

5.1 Many electronic instruments that are designed to be used with thermocouples use some method of reference junction compensation. In many industrial applications it may be impractical to use a physical ice bath as a temperature reference in a thermocouple circuit. The instrument must therefore be able to measure the temperature at the point of electrical connection of the thermocouple and either add or subtract voltage to give a corrected equivalent of what that thermocouple would indicate had there physically been 0 °C reference junctions present in the circuit. There are two types of instruments that generally apply these techniques: electronic thermometer readouts that use a thermocouple as the sensor, and calibrators designed to calibrate these digital thermometer readouts. Additionally, the probe and circuit described in this guide can be used with a voltmeter to emulate a thermometer or a voltage source to calibrate temperature-indicating instrumentation. In all cases the probe must be calibrated if traceability or an uncertainty analysis, or both, is required.


1.1 This guide covers methods of calibration and use of thermocouple reference junction probes (cold junction compensation probes) in the evaluation of electronic reference junction compensation circuits. Their use with instruments that measure only voltage is also covered.

1.2 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. The values given in parentheses after SI units are provided for information only and are not considered standard.

1.3 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, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

1.4 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

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Book of Standards Volume: 14.03
Developed by Subcommittee: E20.14
Pages: 8
DOI: 10.1520/E2730-22
ICS Code: 17.200.20