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Title: Balance Calibration – A Method for Assigning a Direct-Reading Uncertainty to an Electronic Balance.

Paper Title: Balance Calibration – A method for assigning a direct-reading uncertainty to an electronic balance. Intended Audience: Those who calibrate or use electronic balances. Abstract: As a calibration facility, we provide on-site (at the customer’s location) calibrations of electronic balances for customers within our company. In our experience, most of our customers are not using their balance as a comparator, but simply putting an unknown quantity on the balance and reading the displayed mass value. Manufacturer’s specifications for balances typically include specifications such as readability, repeatability, linearity, and sensitivity temperature drift, but what does this all mean when the balance user simply reads the displayed mass value and accepts the reading as the true value? This paper discusses a method for assigning a direct-reading uncertainty to a balance based upon the observed calibration data and the environment where the balance is being used. The method requires input from the customer regarding the environment where the balance is used and encourages discussion with the customer regarding sources of uncertainty and possible means for improvement; the calibration process becomes an educational opportunity for the balance user as well as calibration personnel. This paper will cover the uncertainty analysis applied to themore » calibration weights used for the field calibration of balances; the uncertainty is calculated over the range of environmental conditions typically encountered in the field and the resulting range of air density. The temperature stability in the area of the balance is discussed with the customer and the temperature range over which the balance calibration is valid is decided upon; the decision is based upon the uncertainty needs of the customer and the desired rigor in monitoring by the customer. Once the environmental limitations are decided, the calibration is performed and the measurement data is entered into a custom spreadsheet. The spreadsheet uses measurement results, along with the manufacturer’s specifications, to assign a direct-read measurement uncertainty to the balance. The fact that the assigned uncertainty is a best-case uncertainty is discussed with the customer; the assigned uncertainty contains no allowance for contributions associated with the unknown weighing sample, such as density, static charges, magnetism, etc. The attendee will learn uncertainty considerations associated with balance calibrations along with one method for assigning an uncertainty to a balance used for non-comparison measurements.« less
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TRN: US201019%%915
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Conference: NCSL International Workshop and Symposium,Rhode Island Convention Center , Providence, RI ,07/25/2010,07/29/2010
Research Org:
Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
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Country of Publication:
United States