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Chemical and biological reference materials

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Quality reference materials are essential to making correct measurements when determining the composition of a chemical or gas sample.

The National Measurement Institute (NMI) provides:

  • chemical calibration standards
  • chemical matrix reference materials
  • gas calibration standards

Our reference material capability

We are a trusted government service and use our expertise to:

  • produce the highest quality reference materials with legal traceability
  • deliver personalised and tailored services

Chemical calibration standards

We provide calibration standards for:

We prepare our reference materials in accordance with our accreditation from the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) for producing chemical reference materials.

Our reference materials have demonstrated homogeneity and stability.

NMI certified reference materials

Our certified reference materials have established metrological traceability to the SI unit for mass (kg). We report all purity values, stated as a mass fraction, with the associated uncertainty in the certificate of analysis.

Agrochemical and veterinary materials

We maintain a limited collection of agrochemical and veterinary materials obtained from various sources. We provide them with the most current certification information available.

Chemical matrix reference materials

You can use our matrix reference materials to validate and quality control your analysis methods.

We have NATA accreditation for producing matrix reference materials and assigning reference values under:

Gas calibration standards

We manufacture reference gases to your specified compositions.

Our reference gases meet the requirements for the following testing natural gas standards:

  • GPA 2172: Calculation of gross heating value, relative density, compressibility and theoretical hydrocarbon liquid content for natural gas mixtures for custody transfer
  • ISO 6976: Natural gas—Calculation of calorific values, density, relative density and Wobbe indices from composition
  • ISO 6974: Natural gas—Determination of composition and associated uncertainty by gas chromatography
  • ASTM D1945-14: Standard test method for analysis of natural gas by gas chromatography

We have (NATA) accreditation for:

Primary gas reference materials

Primary gas reference materials are our most accurate standards.

We manufacture primary reference materials to analyse gases that include:

  • automotive exhaust
  • workplace and mine safety
  • emissions monitoring
  • ethylene refrigerant mixtures
  • fuel gases including:
    • natural gas
    • liquefied natural gas (LNG)
    • coal seam gas
    • liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)

We can also make custom binary or multicomponent mixtures to meet your needs.

Certified gas reference materials

We analyse third party gas mixtures and assign the composition of our certified gas reference materials.

Our certified gas reference materials:

  • have a guaranteed composition and small uncertainty on low cost commercial mixtures
  • are a cost effective way of delivering international comparability and traceability
  • come is various gas cylinder sizes

We can develop specific gas calibration standards for your particular needs, including standards for:

  • testing natural gas
  • liquefied natural gas
  • coal seam methane

Email us at if you require a different type of gas reference material or need a gas sample analysed.

Gas testing

We offer a gas testing service where we determine the composition of gas samples relative to our primary reference materials.

Gas reference materials

Our gas reference materials:

  • have the accuracy and low uncertainty needed for the custody transfer of fuel gases
  • will help you to meet tight testing specifications set in sales agreements
  • can be issued with Regulation 48 Certificates for legal traceability for custody transfer

Terms and conditions

Before applying, read the terms and conditions for the supply of reference materials

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Last updated: 17 September 2020

Content ID: 64463