Material testers are essential pieces of equipment. As vital instruments, material testers fill a key function – and that function depends on accuracy, precision, and reliability.
But a material tester that is out of calibration won’t be as accurate or precise as it should be. The results of testing with an inaccurate tester can be significant. For the best results, a fully-calibrated tester is a must-have for any laboratory.
Here, we’ll discuss: Why you need to regularly calibrate your material tester, how a calibration is performed, how often you should calibrate your equipment, and where you can find a qualified calibrator.
Why the Need to Calibrate a Material Tester?
When you buy a new material tester, it should be calibrated by an accredited Service Technician representing the manufacturer as part of the installation procedure. This will serve you well for some time, but at some point, due to external influences, your tester will become uncalibrated.
Unfortunately, you may not be able to detect when your tester has become inaccurate unless you are actively monitoring and testing the results. It can be difficult to spot minute discrepancies and inaccuracies, which is why you need to be observant and double-check measurements the older your tester becomes.
How a Calibration Is Performed
A calibration is performed by a qualified equipment calibrator who is familiar with the make and model of your equipment.
The first step is to check the load cell’s reference points for accuracy. We use either calibrated masses or calibrated load cells that match the range of your load cells that are being tested. By using a progressively heavier series of weighted masses and repeating the process, the technician can get an average error figure that will help calibrate the equipment.
Once the weighted testing is done, the technician will adjust the load cell value so that the weight of the mass displayed on the tester is the same as the one being weighed.
Ideal Calibration Frequency
How often should your material tester be calibrated? Your calibration certificate is valid for one year after the issuance of the certificate, so the best way to ensure accuracy is to schedule an annual calibration for your equipment. Annual testing also ensures that a minor inaccuracy doesn’t turn into a major one. Major inaccuracies can cause negative results – and even safety concerns.
Finding a Qualified Calibrator
To calibrate your equipment, you need a qualified, certified calibration expert. Manufacturers can perform this service, but frequently it’s more convenient for you to have an independent company or a retailer perform the calibration. You should choose to have your material tester calibrated by an accredited company representing the manufacturer. As a company located in northern California, we offer advantages such as responsiveness, convenience, proximity, and expertise in a wide range of makes and models of material testing equipment.
We specialize in offering a weighing performance verification plan that includes testing frequencies for your equipment, documenting the process, and providing traceability. If you want a custom weighing performance verification plan for your laboratory, contact us and share with us your needs so that we can create a strategy for accuracy and reliability moving forward.