An Alicat flow meter measures mass flow, volumetric flow, absolute pressure and temperature and can give you all this information in one screw. You can even use the tool to define your own custom gas mix. No matter how high tech a tool is, however, it will always need calibration. Calibration ensures that a tool is always working properly and giving you the most accurate measurements. Alicat flow meter calibration is crucial to taking proper care of the product.
Alicat Flow Meter Calibration Specifications
There are a few reasons that Alicat flow meters would need calibration. The instrument is created to measure clean, dry, non-corrosive gases. If for some reason you measure unclean, moist gas, your Alicat flow meter will need to be calibrated. These types of gases will give you an inaccurate read, and future inaccurate reads. The size of particulates the enter the measurement head of the instrument can also throw the Alicat flow meter off from reading the correct measurements. Maximum particulate size ranges from 5 microns to 50 microns based on the FS flow range. Finally, time itself can cause an Alicat flow meter to give the wrong reading. As time passes, the flow meter will slowly move away from spec.
Choosing an Alicat Flow Meter Calibration Service Provider
When choosing Alicat flow meter calibration, you can either send it to Alicat or an outside calibration lab.
- Turnaround Time
Manufacturers of Alicat flow meters sell a lot, which means many people using the instrument are also sending it back from calibration. Alicat has resources split among sales, manufacturing and calibration. This causes backups in the time it takes for you to receive your instrument back. An outside calibration labs sole focuses is calibration, there is no manufacturing wing or sales wing. Turnaround times with an outside calibration lab are much quicker because of this focus.
If you have one Alicat flow meter that needs calibration, Alicat could be an option. However, if you have a lot of instruments that need calibrated it is best to go with an outside calibration lab. Considering how long the turnaround times can be, if you have that many instruments out of commission for an extended period you could face serious downtime costs. Further, Alicat tends to have a higher rate for calibration.
- NIST Traceable
A NIST traceable calibration lab means that the items used for calibration can be traced back to a general standard. This means that your Alicat flow meter calibration will be as close to spec as possible. Most manufacturers are not NIST traceable, so if you are in a highly regulated field such as aviation, it is best to choose an outside calibration lab that is NIST traceable.
If a lab is ISO accredited, that means that they use high quality procedures. ISO accreditation is a voluntary inspection that ensures the lab is organized and the technicians are trained and proficient. Choosing a lab with an ISO accreditation ensures that your instruments will be calibrated correctly and taken care of properly.
Alicat flow meter calibration is crucial for your instrument to continue working as well as it did when you first purchased it. Choosing the right calibration provider is also crucial to making sure your instrument will work properly. Using a lab that is accredited, NIST traceable and has its sole focus on calibration will give the best service and return your instrument in the best shape.