Liquid-in-Glass Thermometers

The NIST Industrial Thermometer Calibration Laboratory (ITCL) is responsible for calibrating several different types of industrial thermometers, including:

  • Liquid-in-glass (LIG) thermometers
    • mercury filled -- DISCONTINUED as of 1-Mar-2011
    • organic filled (partial and total immersion)

Calibrations in this laboratory are made by comparison with an ITS-90  calibrated standard platinum resistance thermometer in stirred liquid baths in the temperature range –196 ºC to 550 ºC. Additionally, the fixed-point measurement at the ice-melting point (0 °C) is available.

Every LIG thermometer submitted must be uniquely identified by a serial number and must pass a preliminary examination for fineness and uniformity of graduation; for cleanliness of the liquid and the capillary bore; for freedom from moisture, gas bubbles, and cracks in the glass; for adequacy or omission of gas filling where needed; for insufficient annealing; and, for misnumbered graduations.

How to Arrange a Calibration

  1. Contact the staff member in charge of the calibration service for your artifact with any technical or calibration cost questions.
  2. Calibrations are performed on a first come first serve basis.
  3. Ship your artifact with a copy of the purchase order. Use a sturdy box in which we can return the calibrated instrument.
  4. The purchase order may be sent to contact by e-mail, fax, or mail. Please include the following information:
  • service ID for the calibration
  • model and serial number of your artifact
  • customer contact name, address, phone, and e-mail
  • return shipping method (e.g., shipping account number)

For contact information, shipping address, or cost of calibration, see Laboratory and Industrial-Grade Thermometers.

Calibration Measurement Uncertainties

LIG type: Organic, Total Immersion

Temperature Range, °C

Graduation Interval, °C

U (k=2), °C




-98 to 0



-110 to 0



Created May 05, 2009, Updated June 11, 2013


  • Technical contacts:
    Dawn Cross
    301-975-4822 Telephone

    Wyatt Miller
    301-975-3107 Telephone

    301-548-0206 Facsimile

    100 Bureau Drive, M/S 8363
    Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8363