National Physical Laboratory

Ceramic Colour Standards

Ceramic Colour Standards

NPL and CERAM research have a long history in the development of ceramic colour standards. The current set of tiles, series II, was launched in 1983. Ceramics have proven to be a robust transfer standard for reflectance and colour measurements as they are stable, easy to clean, reasonably tough and impervious to pollutants.

The current set consists of 12 colours, pale grey, mid grey, difference grey, deep grey, deep pink, red, orange, bright yellow, green, difference green, cyan and deep blue. The colour of the standards was chosen to enable a range of measurements. The grey tiles can be used to determine instrument linearity, while the yellow and deep blue tiles are useful in examining stray light issues. The two 'colour difference' tiles are included for testing close colour comparison work.

The standard set of tiles is complemented by a number of additional ceramic reflectance standards including black, white, metameric pairs (which look similar under daylight but different under other light sources) and a reflective wavelength standard in the form of a holmium-doped tile.

The tiles are available with a glossy or matt finish. The later are useful as some instruments measuring colour can introduce significant errors when matt samples are measured against glossy reference standards. The tiles are available in two sizes: 100 mm square and 50 mm square.



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Last Updated: 28 Aug 2014
Created: 1 Aug 2007


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