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Applied Chemicals and Materials Division

Our division, based in Boulder, CO, characterizes the properties and structures of industrially important fluids and materials. Our work provides a diverse stakeholder community with innovative measurements and models and dissemination of critically evaluated data, leading to improved processes and better products, as well as new and improved standards.

Welcome to the Applied Chemicals and Materials Division (ACMD)

The Applied Chemicals and Materials Division, located at the NIST Campus in Boulder, Colorado, focuses on metrology and standards needs in the fields of science and engineering for materials and fluids. Our materials efforts include development of fundamental techniques, measurements, and models for the analysis of materials structure and the reliability of materials.  Our fluids work in organic and inorganic systems emphasizes the characterization of complex mixtures and the thermophysical properties of important fluids.  We develop state-of-the-art tools to capture and interpret property data and evaluate data uncertainty using our deep understanding of experimental and modeling methods. Our work serves a broad stakeholder community of industrial, governmental, and academic partners.

Through world class publications and new measurement methods we serve our customers in fields ranging from fatigue and fracture to electron and atomic force microscopy, to fluid analysis, density, and viscosity.  We manufacture important NIST Standard Reference Materials and maintain heavily-used NIST Standard Reference Databases—with significance ranging from the assessment of the strength of steel girders to the design and operation of chemical plants.   STEM education opportunities are made available for students at high school levels and above, as well as research opportunities for post-graduate scientists and guest researchers from around the world.  Our expertise in materials and fluid characterization is used to provide measurements and consultation to other government agencies, supporting their efforts to investigate accidents, maintain and repair our infrastructure, and provide reliable forensic data to the judicial system.

News and Updates

Industry Impacts

Low GHG Refrigerants

Hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants are potent greenhouse gases (GHG) that are being phased down by the U.S. and 196 other countries under the Montreal

Automotive Refrigerant Design

Traditional auto air conditioning refrigerants have high global warming potentials, but finding better refrigerants with the right properties has been a major

Chemical Manufacturing Process Design

Chemical plants need access to consistent, reliable data to design their products and assess the safety, quality and efficiency of their manufacturing processes

Reliability of Cardiac Devices

In the past decade, hundreds of thousands of patients were affected by two major recalls of electrical leads used in cardiac pacemakers and implanted

Projects and Programs

Renewable Energy and Fuels

Energy is one of the most critical problems facing the United States, with technical, economic, and public policy aspects. Our group develops state-of-the-art

X-Ray Computed Microtomography

Seeing inside a material object, in three dimensions, is often crucial for proper characterization, so that the link between microstructure and properties can


Press Coverage