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ASTM E1750-02

ASTM E1750-02

Standard Guide for Use of Water Triple Point Cells

2010-12-31 /Historical
Superseeded by:
Significance and Use:

This guide describes a procedure for placing a water triple-point cell in service and for using it as a reference temperature in thermometer calibration.

The reference temperature attained is that of a fundamental state of pure water, the equilibrium between coexisting solid, liquid, and vapor phases.

The cell is subject to qualification but not to calibration. The cell may be qualified as capable of representing the fundamental state (see 4.2) by comparison with a bank of similar qualified cells of known history, and it may be so qualified and the qualification documented by its manufacturer.

The temperature to be attributed to a qualified water triple-point cell is exactly 273.16 K on the ITS-90.

Continued accuracy of a qualified cell depends upon sustained physical integrity. This may be verified by techniques described in Section 6.

The commercially available triple point of water cells described in this standard are capable of achieving an expanded uncertainty (k=2) of between ±0.1 mK and ±0.05 mK, depending upon the method of preparation. Specified measurement procedures shall be followed to achieve these levels of uncertainty.


1.1 This guide covers the nature of two commercial water triple-point cells (types A and B, see Fig. 1) and provides a method for preparing the cell to realize the water triple-point and calibrate thermometers. Tests for assuring the integrity of a qualified cell and of cells yet to be qualified are given. Precautions for handling the cell to avoid breakage are also described.

1.2 The effect of hydrostatic pressure on the temperature of a water triple-point cell is discussed.

1.3 Procedures for adjusting the observed SPRT resistance readings for the effects of self-heating and hydrostatic pressure are described in Appendix X1 and Appendix X2.

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.

calibration; defining fixed point; fixed point; hydrostatic head pressure; International Temperature Scale of 1990 (ITS-90); intrinsic property; Kelvin Thermodynamic Temperature Scale (KTTS); qualification; self-heating; standard platinum resistance thermometer (SPRT); triple point; triple point of water; water triple point cell
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