Project Details Recommendations for data presentation and storage applicable to mechanical and rheological measurements of polymers

Project No.: 
Start Date: 
01 April 2003
End Date: 
31 December 2008
Division Name: 


The objective is to simplify the exchange and presentation of data from mechanical and rheological measurements. A document with broadly accepted recommendation based on ISO 67211 will be developed and published in cooperation with instrument manufacturers. The recommendations will be implemented into the software of the participating manufacturers.


There is a vast number of manufacturers of mechanical and rheological test equipment. Unfortunately, the number of different and incompatible computer programs for data acquisition, evaluation and presentation is just as high. As a consequence, the direct exchange of electronic data files between different laboratories or even between different machines in the same laboratory is cumbersome. Much time is necessary to convert data into a standard ASCII format for exchange. In addition, these ASCII data are often provided without the necessary description of how the measurements were made and/or definition of the applied data manipulation procedures. Furthermore, the data presentation capabilities of the various instruments’ software are limited. It would be advantageous if e.g. the diagrams produced could directly be used for transparencies or video presentations without need to improve the readability of legends and axis titles.

The first objective of this project is to develop a standard file format for storage of measurement data enabling a simplified data exchange. This task will be treated in close collaboration with instrument manufacturers to be identified. The proposed file format and best practice examples for data presentation (diagram formats) will be published in Pure andApplied Chemistry and presented at pertinent conferences. A subsequent objective will be the implementation of the file format in the software of the participating manufactures and to convince further manufacturers to join.


The project and the XML concept for the file format was presented at the AERC 2007 in Naples. In the meantime the XML concept is broadly accepted by the community and also the rheometer manufacturers. TA instruments already promised to implement the XML export in the near future.

Results from IUPAC sub-committee Meeting, Budapest, May 2007; the major points which were discussed are:

1) In addition to Dynamic Mechanical Analysis and Capillary Viscosimetry, now also Rotational Viscosimetry is part of the XML schema, because many rotational rheometers can be used for dynamic as well as for steady shear measurements.

2) The structure of the data file was extended to store additional information calculated from the experimental data like the parameters of a viscosity curve fit or Arrhenius flow energy. This extension is necessary to guarantee an optimized workflow. Since frequently the rheometer software is used to perform such data evaluation the results should also be stored in the output file to enable a simple transfer into spreadsheet programs. However, the extension of the file structure towards storage of further information is beyond the initial scope of this project and should not be continued besides for some simple functions.

3) It was decided not to claim a fixed SI-unit system to get a higher acceptance also from labs currently using e.g. the cgs-system. This means that each entity will have an attribute “unit”, where the unit is stored. However, the units can only be selected from pre-defined lists in order to guarantee the compatibility of different units.

4) It is expected that the XML data file concept becomes established and thus the work should be extended, esp. to contain further methods. A long-term goal even could be to generate an ASTM or ISO standard. This requires a lot of coordination work and resources. A possible route would be the continuation of the work within the ACCESS project of H.H. Winter who already offered to do this. Further details have to be drawn up.

> see Erik Wassner’s presentation – Budapest Meeting May 2007 [pdf file – 204 KB]