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Traceability and evaluation of test results in testing case study testing of heating in black test corner

Testing of safety of electrical appliances is very important for assuring safety of users. The case study of testing of heating in the black test corner is an example for clear presentation of traceability of measurement. The safety of electrical appliances is very important and can be assured according to the EU directives that refer to particular technical standards (Low voltage directive 73/23/EEC, Machinery directive 89/392/EEC and Construction product directive 89/106/EEC). One of the tests for conformity assessment of electrical appliances is a test of heating of appliances. The appliance shall not influence the surrounding more than specified. In a case of overheating it can cause damage to the surrounding, or even worse, it can cause a fire. Proper knowledge of heating of the appliance in the measurement system called the black test corner is needed. An important standard that should be taken into consideration is the ISO/IEC 17025, which includes criteria for testing laboratories. This standard explicitly requires evaluation of measurement uncertainty and traceability.

Each measurement system has a large number of measurement uncertainty contributions. Correct evaluation of the measurement uncertainty is very important. In final equation for calculation of measurement uncertainty the negligible contributions are not inserted, but only the main contributions. It is important to analyse for each measurement set-up which are the main measurement contributions and which are negligible. Analysis how to assure correct traceability measurements in the case study - testing of heating in the black test corner was performed. A systematic approach to the testing in the black test corner is presented and the possible solution proposed. At the moment laboratories use different methods of testing which are applicable only to particular tested appliances. For a good independent testing laboratory it is important that performed measurements are independent on the size of tested appliances.

A testing device, so called black test corner, can be considered as a complete measurement system, which can be regularly recalibrated and thus providing traceable and reproducible measurements. The importance of testing in the black test corner is due to the fact that also low voltage appliances, which do not have to be electrically tested, could also cause fire.

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University of Ljubljana
Trzaska 25
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