Work Item
ASTM WK29320

New Guide for Digital Contact Thermometers

1. Scope

1.1 This Guide describes general-purpose, digital contact thermometers (hereafter simply called digital thermometers) that provide temperature readings in units of degrees Celsius and/or degrees Fahrenheit. The different types of temperature sensors for these thermometers are described, and their relative merits are discussed. Nine accuracy classes are introduced for digital thermometers; these classes consider the accuracy of the sensor/measuring-instrument unit. 1.2 The proposed accuracy classes for digital thermometers pertain to the temperature interval of 200 C to 500 C, an interval of special interest for many applications in thermometry. All of the temperature sensor types for the digital thermometers discussed are able to measure temperature over at least some range within this interval. Some types are also able to measure beyond this interval. To qualify for an accuracy class, the thermometer must measure correctly to within a specified value (in units of C) over this interval or over the subinterval in which they are capable of making measurements. Those thermometers that can measure temperature in ranges beyond this interval generally have larger measurement errors in these ranges. 1.3 The digital thermometer sensors discussed are platinum resistance sensors, thermistors, and thermocouples. The range of use for these types of sensors is provided. The measurement uncertainty of a sensor is determined by its tolerance class or grade and whether the sensor has been calibrated. 1.4 This Guide provides a number of recommendations for the manufacture and selection of a digital thermometer. First, it recommends that the thermometers sensor conform to applicable ASTM specifications. Also, it recommends minimum standards for documentation on the thermometer and informational markings on the probe and measuring instrument. 1.5 The derived SI units (degrees Celsius) found in this Guide are to be considered standard. However, thermometers displaying degrees Fahrenheit are compliant with this guide as long as all other guidance is followed. 1.6 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.


thermometer; digital; electronic; liquid-in-glass; mercury-in-glass


The other technical committees will use this guide as a reference for the digital thermometers used in their standards.

The title and scope are in draft form and are under development within this ASTM Committee.


Developed by Subcommittee: E20.09

Committee: E20

Staff Manager: Krista Robbins

Work Item Status

Date Initiated: 06-23-2010

Technical Contact: Chris Meyer

Item: 001

Ballot: E20.09 (10-01)

Status: Will Reballot Item

Item: 001

Ballot: E20.09 (11-01)

Status: Negative Votes Need Resolution

Item: 001

Ballot: E20.09 (11-02)

Status: Will Reballot Item

Item: 007

Ballot: E20 (12-01)

Status: Will Reballot Item

Item: 011

Ballot: E20 (12-02)

Status: Ballot Item Approved