lowering the conductivity of the metal. Lower temperatures reduce thermal oscillation of the atoms resulting in an
increased electrical conductivity. The conductivity of standards is usually determined at a specific temperature; 68°F
(20°C) is most commonly used. Typical conductivity values and allowable conductivity ranges are also established at
approximately this temperature. If all instrument calibration and conductivity measurements could be performed at this
temperature, errors in conductivity measurement related to temperature variation would not occur and/or temperature
compensation would not be required. In field applications, testing temperatures can conceivably be anywhere in the
range of 0°F to 120°F. Unless precautions are taken in selection of standards, calibration of the instrument, and
testing, errors will occur in the measured conductivity values. Two ways in which erroneous readings may be obtained
a. Difference in temperature between standards and test part.
b. Difference in temperature at which conductivity of the standard was originally established and the
temperature at which instrument calibration and conductivity measurements are performed.
To prevent errors from differences in temperature between standard and test part, the instrument and standards should
be allowed to stabilize at the test part temperature before calibration and conductivity measurements are performed. In
no instance should measurements be taken if part and standards temperature differ by more than 10°F. Even though
standards and test part are at the same temperature, error in determining conductivity values occurs when the
measuring temperature differs from the temperature at which the conductivity of the standards was originally
established. The magnitude of the error becomes larger as this difference in temperature increases.
Conductivity Reference Standards.
Number of Standards Required.
For calibration of eddy current conductivity meters, at least two calibration blocks with accurately determined
conductivity values must be available. When using general purpose instruments, the number of standards may vary
from two to several depending on the inspection purpose and the accuracy required.
The conductivity range of the standards must be within the range of the instrument and cover the range of conductivity
values to be measured. Preferably, the calibration blocks should have the same change in resistivity with temperature
as the test parts
Size Of conductivity Standdards.
For convenience of transportation and storage, conductivity standards are usually kept relatively small. Standards must
have sufficient size to prevent edge effects or thickness from having a bearing on conductivity readings. These
requirements can be satisfied by requiring length and width to be 1 inch greater than the probe diameter and the
thickness greater than 3.5 times the standard depth of penetration at the test instrument frequency. Standards should be
flat, have a surface finish of 63 RMS or better, and be free of any coatings.
Accuracy Of Standards.
Standards used for calibrating instruments immediately prior to measuring conductivity should be accurate within
±0.5% IACS of the nominal value. A second set of standards accurate within 0.35% IACS should be periodically made
available for checking the performance of instruments and field calibration standards. Standards should be traceable to
the National Bureau of Standards. Standards are available from manufacturers of eddy current conductivity
Stability Of Standards.
Many standards, particularly those of aluminum alloys, are subject to metallurgical changes if exposed to excessively
high temperature, and thermal shock from sudden changes in temperature. Surfaces of standards can also corrode if
exposed to moisture or other hostile environments. Damage caused by rough handling can also lead to error in
conductivity readings. For these reasons standards should be transported and stored in dry, clean, protected areas not
subject to excessive temperatures.