Interlaboratory study of the operational stability of automated sorption balances

Samuel L. Zelinka*, Samuel V. Glass, Eleanor Q.D. Lazarcik, Emil E. Thybring, Michael Altgen, Lauri Rautkari, Simon Curling, Jinzhen Cao, Yujiao Wang, Tina Künniger, Gustav Nyström, Christopher Hubert Dreimol, Ingo Burgert, Mohd Khairun Anwar Uyup, Tumirah Khadiran, Mark G. Roper, Darren P. Broom, Matthew Schwarzkopf, Arief Yudhanto, Mohammad SubahGilles Lubineau, Maria Fredriksson, Marcin Strojecki, Wiesław Olek, Jerzy Majka, Nanna Bjerregaard Pedersen, Daniel J. Burnett, Armando R. Garcia, Els Verdonck, Frieder Dreisbach, Louis Waguespack, Jennifer Schott, Luis G. Esteban, Alberto Garcia-Iruela, Thibaut Colinart, Romain Rémond, Brahim Mazian, Patrick Perre, Lukas Emmerich, Ling Li

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Automated sorption balances are widely used for characterizing the interaction of water vapor with hygroscopic materials. These instruments provide an efficient way to collect sorption isotherm data and kinetic data. A typical method for defining equilibrium after a step change in relative humidity (RH) is using a particular threshold value for the rate of change in mass with time. Recent studies indicate that commonly used threshold values yield substantial errors and that further measurements are needed at extended hold times as a basis to assess the accuracy of abbreviated equilibration criteria. However, the mass measurement accuracy at extended times depends on the operational stability of the instrument. Published data on the stability of automated sorption balances are rare. An interlaboratory study was undertaken to investigate equilibration criteria for automated sorption balances. This paper focuses on the mass, temperature, and RH stability and includes data from 25 laboratories throughout the world. An initial target for instrument mass stability was met on the first attempt in many cases, but several instruments were found to have unexpectedly large instabilities. The sources of these instabilities were investigated and greatly reduced. This paper highlights the importance of verifying operational mass stability of automated sorption balances, gives a method to perform stability checks, and provides guidance on identifying and correcting common sources of mass instability.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Apr 2024
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Interlaboratory investigation
  • Measurement uncertainty
  • Water vapor sorption


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