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NIST traceable oils
Grace BaekOctober 6, 20202 min read

Why we use NIST traceable oils for calibration

RheoSense viscometers all come with a VROC® chip that is calibrated with NIST traceable mineral oilsWhy do we use NIST traceable? NIST, also known as National Institute of Standards and Technology, is a non-regulatory federal agency with a mission to "promote U.S innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life" (www.nist.gov).  What does the NIST traceable standard mean? When it comes to defining traceability, what this means is that there is a reference. 

Do you recommend silicon Oil as a standard?

We strongly recommend against using silicone standards. The main reasons are because:

  1. Using protein solutions and then silicone standards can increase the risk of incompatibility during measurements
  2. Silicone standards are extremely hard to clean and monitor
  3. You will have to spend more time going from a protein solution to silicone as they are not compatible.

We have a recommendation for customers who are measuring protein solutions and we supply them as well. Most of our customers use the water based calibration fluid (10 cP). This is because many protein solutions are soluble in water. This will reduce the amount of runs in between as you can run the standard immediately after your sample (or use 1% Aquet in between to be more safe). Would 10 cP sufficient? For oil based standards or for customers who don't mind mineral oil based, mineral oil standards are quite stable and will last a really long time. These are fully NIST traceable as well so they will be very reliable compared to other standards that are not.

For those who need something a bit higher, we do have standard oils. These are NIST traceable as well and much more easy to clean in comparison to silicone oils. If you would like more information on these we will be more than happy to supply, simply contact us for more details regarding our NIST traceable standard oils! 

I have included the list of our standards and part numbers for reference below:

Part Number



N2 Calibration oil - 500 mL


N140 Calibration oil - 500 mL


MGVS20 Water based calibration fluid (2 cP) - 500 mL


MGVS20 Water based calibration fluid (2 cP) - 100 mL


MGVS60 Water based calibration fluid (6 cP) - 100 mL


MGVS100 Water based calibration fluid (10 cP) - 100 mL


N10 Calibration Oil - (500 mL)


N1400 Calibration Oil - (500 mL)


N35 Calibration Oil - (500 mL)


N4000 Calibration Oil (500 mL)


S600 Calibration oil


Written by: Grace Baek, RheoSense Operations Manager