Thermocouple calibration: maximal temperature deviation requirements for mapping activities

Dear all,

Can you please share some risk assessment approach for how to determine the maximal allowable thermocouple temperature deviation for mapping activities?

More precisely: how much is the maximal deviation a thermocouple can have (compared to a temperature standard) when performing mapping for an autoclave: 0.1 °C, 0.5 °C, other based on…?

How about -80 °C freezers (running between -70 °C and - 90 °C).


A risk based approach should be employed. For autoclaves and depyrogenation ovens, a tighter requirement is needed to ensure sterility and lethality calculations are correct, and the sensitivity of the calibration can impact the Lo factor calibrated. I would stick to 0.1 or tighter for these applications.

For freezers and fridges, the sensitivity of the product likely doesn’t hinge on tenths of a degree, and a more loose requirement can be defended. If you have a calibration “bath” that goes down to -80 C, then you should still be able to get 0.1 precision - if you rely on manual calibration, then you’d likely have to adjust it accordingly.