Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

The Proper Use of Substitute Test Fluids



Marc A. Buttler


Liquid-measuring devices are used in many different commercial applications. The vast array of liquid products that are measured includes some products that may pose difficulties in testing. NIST Handbook 44 allows for substitution of fluids during testing in place of the actual fluids that will be used in commerce to mitigate some of these issues. The most important consideration that will determine if one fluid can be used as a viable substitute for another is whether the results of the testing with the alternative fluid will accurately predict the performance of the device when measuring the fluid with which the device will normally be used. This article provides some guidance and considerations to help those who need to make decisions about whether or not to allow substitute fluids for testing.


Handbook 44, weights and Measures, subtitute, fluid, product, liquid, characteristic, Publicaiton 14, NCWM, Product Category, test


Buttler, M. (2011), The Proper Use of Substitute Test Fluids, Other, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed June 15, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created July 18, 2011, Updated February 19, 2017