, Volume 5, Issue 10-11, pp 429-436

The practical realization of the traceability of chemical measurements standards

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Abstract

Metrology is based on the concept of traceability. Traceability provides a means of relating measurement results to common standards thereby helping to ensure that measurements made in different laboratories are comparable. Good progress has been made in the application of metrological principles to chemical measurement, but there remains confusion about how you actually achieve traceability in a practical way.

This paper elaborates on the meaning and application of much used phrases such as 'the value of a standard', 'stated references', 'unbroken chain of comparisons', and 'stated uncertainties'. It also explains how traceability can be established in a practical way for different types of stated references, namely pure substance reference materials, matrix reference materials, and primary and reference methods. Finally, traceability chains for some typical examples of chemical measurement are described.

Received: 17 March 2000 / Accepted: 30 May 2000