In the world of dimensional measurement, temperature changes can create challenges to obtaining accurate and precise measurements. For those individuals who must work in environments that are not climate controlled precision measurements can be extremely challenging when the summer months come along, not only are they faced with their own physical challenges of the often overbearing heat, but also the challenges of parts that change size with every tick of the clock.
With the advancement in measurement systems and software’s the operators have the ability to control the effects of temperature on their measurement equipment and the parts they measure, however, proper application of these controls is critical to achieving the desired measurement results. Compensation of Thermal Expansion allows Measurement Technicians to correct for changes in part temperature from their “nominal” size (68 deg Fahrenheit or 20 degree Celsius is nominal for most materials), however the Measurement Technician must be aware of when to apply this compensation and how to do it. Unfortunately, this is not always as easy as it should be as every software and every piece of measurement hardware works differently. Some measurement equipment requires Technicians to enter a Temperature for the device, this does not mean that it is compensating for the temperature of the part being measured. If the operator enters a part temperature for the device it will also yield inaccurate measurement data.
So what does all this mean? If you are measuring parts in uncontrolled environments and you are not sure how to properly correct for the temperature and you are looking for accurate and precise measurement data, contact your measurement hardware and software provider for details on properly correcting for the temperature. Note: many devices do not require an air temperature for operation as they are unaffected by temperature (articulating arms as an example) while others typically using Lasers are affected by not only temperature but air pressure and must have accurate values to achieve accurate results.
For those Measurement Technicians out there in the uncontrolled environments working in the heat, stay hydrated and keep measuring!!