Metals and Ores Reference Materials Documentation

ASTM International’s committee on analytical chemistry of metals, ores and related materials (E01) has approved a new standard on documentation and statistical treatments for reference materials.

The guidance in the new standard (E3330) is based on the fundamentals of analytical chemistry and modern statistical approaches. The new standard is intended to promote uniform procedures and to reduce the proliferation of widely varying documentation practices, definitions, and terminology.

“The new standard was designed to explain and clarify documentation that accompanies a reference material (RM) or a certified RM (CRM),” says ASTM International member John Sieber. “It describes the contents of certificates of analysis for CRMs and product information sheets for RMs, based on existing international standards and guides.”

The new standard will help improve the data contributed by industry laboratories that play a role in developing RM and CRMs by reference material producers (RMPs).

In addition, RMPs will be able to use the new standard to find basic guidance on calculation of consensus values and uncertainty estimates for CRMs and RMs. The standard includes examples of approaches commonly used by national metrology institutes, including the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology.

In addition to E3330, the E01 committee has developed two other guides as reference tools for analytical chemistry: a guide for validating analytical methods (E2857), and a guide for production, testing and value assignment of in-house reference materials (E2972).

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