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Fix-Point Temperature Calibration

What is Fixed-Point Temperature Calibration?

Fixed-point temperature calibration involves the use of materials that undergo phase changes at precisely defined temperatures. These materials, known as fixed-point cells, exhibit unique physical transformations, such as the solid-liquid transition of pure metals or the triple-point of certain substances. These fixed points occur at accurately known temperatures that can be reproduced with exceptional precision. By comparing the behavior of a temperature measuring device to a fixed-point cell, the instrument’s accuracy can be determined and adjusted if necessary.

When Should You Perform Fixed-Point Temperature Calibration?

Fixed-point temperature calibration should be carried out under the following circumstances:

Establishing Reference Standards: When creating or verifying reference standards for temperature measurement, fixed-point calibration is essential to ensure their accuracy.

Laboratory Accreditation: For laboratories seeking accreditation, fixed-point calibration is often a mandatory requirement to demonstrate traceability and measurement competence.

Periodic Verification: Regular calibration is necessary to monitor the stability and accuracy of temperature standards and instruments over time.

Certification and Compliance: Industries and sectors with stringent quality requirements may need periodic fixed-point calibration to maintain compliance and certifications.


In conclusion, fixed-point temperature calibration is a critical process for achieving accurate and internationally traceable temperature measurements. By using materials with precisely defined phase transitions, fixed-point calibration offers unparalleled accuracy and reliability. It is a cornerstone of modern metrology, enabling precise scientific research, industrial processes, and ensuring the quality of temperature measurements worldwide.

In the following sections of this guide, we will delve deeper into the fixed-point temperature calibration process, explore various fixed-point materials, calibration techniques, necessary equipment, and best practices. Let’s embark on this journey to master the art of fixed-point temperature calibration and elevate the precision of your temperature measurements!

Why is Fix-Point Temperature Calibration Important ?


Fixed-point calibration is of paramount importance for various reasons:

International Traceability: Fixed-point cells are tied to international temperature scales, such as the International Temperature Scale of 1990 (ITS-90). Calibration using fixed points provides traceability to these well-established standards, ensuring comparability and consistency in temperature measurements worldwide.

High Accuracy: Fixed-point calibration offers unparalleled accuracy, often reaching uncertainties in the range of millikelvins (mK). This level of precision is crucial in metrology, research, and industries where extremely accurate temperature measurements are required.

Calibration of Standards: Fixed-point calibration establishes the accuracy of secondary and working standards used in laboratories, industrial settings, and calibration facilities.

Verification of Temperature Sensors: Calibration using fixed points verifies the performance and accuracy of temperature sensors, ensuring their reliability for critical applications.

Scientific Research and Experimentation: In scientific research, fixed-point calibration is essential for precise experiments, especially in fields like material science, thermodynamics, and fundamental research.

Range information


Fixed Point
Approx. LN2 -196.0 °C
0.01 (TPW)
29.7647 (Gallium)
660.3226 (Aluminium)



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