Practical estimation of the uncertainty of analytical measurement standards

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    Nowadays, a lot of time and resources are used to determine the quality of goods and services. As a consequence, the quality of measurements themselves, e.g., the metrological traceability of the measured quantity values is essential to allow a proper evaluation of the results with regard to specifications and regulatory limits. This requires knowledge of the measurement uncertainties of all quantity values involved in the measurement procedure, including measurement standards. This study shows how the uncertainties due to the preparation, as well as the chemical and compositional stability of a chemical measurement standard, or calibrator, can be estimated. The results show that the relative standard uncertainty of the concentration value of a typical analytical measurement standard runs up to 2.8% after 1 year. Of this, 1.9% originates from the preparation of the measurement standard, while 2.0 and 0.53% originate from the chemical and compositional stability during storage at -20 A degrees C. The monthly preparation of working calibrators stored at 4 A degrees C and used on a weekly basis, results in an additional standard uncertainty of the analyte concentration value of 0.35% per month due to compositional stability. While the preparation procedure is the major contributor to the total measurement uncertainty, the uncertainties introduced by the stability measurements are another important contributor, and therefore, the measurement procedure to evaluate stability is important to minimize the total measurement uncertainty.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)567-574
    JournalAccreditation and Quality Assurance
    Issue number11
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


    • stability


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