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Metrology in Chemistry

Department 3.1

The German Network for Metrology in Chemistry

A national network for the development and maintenance of national measurement standards for chemical measurements.

A cooperation of

Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB)
Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung (BAM)
Umweltbundesamt (UBA)
Vereinte Deutsche Gesellschaft für Klinische Chemie und Laboratoriumsmedizin (DGKL)
Bundesamt für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit (BVL)

Partners in the network for metrology in chemistry in Germany.

Metrology in Germany

A high-capacity infrastructure for measurements, standards, testing and quality assurance is indispensable for a modern industrial country. It is the fundamental requirement for a suitable and responsible application of technology for the good of mankind, for the effective and environmentally friendly use of energy and raw materials, a highly valuable industrial production as well as the exchange of goods across state borders.

The tasks of PTB are based on a stately mandate of constitutional status, derived from the original responsibility of the state for the uniformity of metrology (Basic Constitutional Law, article 73, subparagraph 4). Further legal mandates concern the protection of humanity, nature and the environment. This also concerns the trust that each individual, e.g. as consumer, each public authority or company must have in the reliability and impartiality of measurements.

Metrology in Chemistry

With the continuing globalisation reliable and internationally comparable measurements are relevant and have increasing importance in every aspect of live. A large part of those measurements are related to chemistry. Particularly in this field decisions and agreements on life and well being of each individual often critically depend on analytical results, for example in such important areas as health care, food safety, environmental protection and international trade. Such chemical measurement results must therefore be trustworthy on a high level of accuracy. An important prerequisite for confidence in the reliability of measurement results is the knowledge of their measurement uncertainty. The international comparability of the measurement uncertainty requires traceability to the international system of units SI, implemented by internationally compared and accepted measurement standards.

The provision of national standards in chemistry is, hence, an important area of research and development in metrology in recent years in industrialized as well as developing countries.

A network for chemistry

In view of the large demand for traceability in chemistry the metrological tasks in chemistry are tackled in Germany by PTB in close collaboration with other suitable institutions that are partners in the network for metrology in chemistry. Specific tasks are delegated to the partners in the network depending on their competence and capacity.

PTB is responsible for the metrological competence of the network as a whole, the complementary character of the tasks of the partners and the representation of the network.

It is the common aim of the network to provide a strong and harmonic basis for national and international metrological tasks in chemistry.