Center for Precision Metrology
Dimensional Metrology Laboratory
Rules for Access and Use
The Metrology Lab is a limited access facility for use by faculty, staff and students for the purpose of conducting Center-related research. If you require access to the facility for your work please contact the Metrology Lab Manager, Greg Caskey. Once you have approval to work in the lab, you may do so on your own schedule - the lab is open for use 24 hours a day. However, please be aware that access is given to you on an individual basis. While it is permissible to have others accompany you in the lab for the purposes of collaboration, under no circumstances are you to grant entry to an individual and leave them unsupervised.
The Metrology Lab requires a carefully controlled environment (temperature, humidity, vibration) and contains expensive and somewhat delicate instrumentation that require proper setup, use, and maintenance. Because of this, it is important that users adhere to the following rules in order to ensure the integrity of all measurements made in the lab. By seeking approval to work in the lab, users de facto accept and agree to adhere to these policies.
In addition, since the Metrology Lab is a multi-user facility, everyone is expected to contribute to the general order and cleanliness of the laboratory and its instrumentation. If you notice a problem with the laboratory, it is your responsibility to ensure that the proper action is being taken. Any questions regarding the lab instrumentation or operations should be directed to the Lab Manager.
- The lab is temperature controlled to 20 +/- 0.1 degrees C. For this reason, keep traffic in the lab to a minimum. If you notice any problem with the environmental control, you are asked to immediately contact the lab manager. After normal business hours first, call the campus police and then the lab manager.
- No open food is allowed in the lab. However, beverages are acceptable in the lab but must be kept away from instruments and granite surfaces. Also, be careful with other potential sources of moisture – there are many gage surfaces in the lab that will be ruined if exposed to moisture or other corrosive chemicals.
- It is critical to protect all exposed artifact and gage surfaces when not in use. After use, clean all exposed surfaces and return to a protective container. If you are unsure of the proper cleaning procedures, please contact the lab manager. For iron-containing metals, Rust Inhibiting Grease (RIG) should be applied, as these materials can flash rust in mildly humid environments. As this process is greatly accelerated in the presence of skin acids, cotton gloves are available in the lab for use when handling these artifacts.
- Only alcohol supplied in the lab should be used to clean artifact and gage surfaces. Additionally, aerosols should not be used in the lab to prevent the mist from depositing on optical surfaces (machine scales, reference flats, etc.) that are present in the lab.
- Please properly clean items prior to bringing them into the lab. A corollary to this rule is: keep cardboard boxes to a minimum and avoid opening packages in the lab, as the cardboard and packing material are sources of dust.
- Prior to occupying any space in the lab on an other than temporary basis (i.e., not more than a couple of hours) contact the lab manager to determine the availability of that space.
- Do not use any equipment in the lab unless you are trained in its use AND have prior permission from the lab manager. No one other than the lab manager is authorized to provide such training.
- Do not alter, modify, or use an instrument for purposes other than that for which it was strictly designed without prior approval from the lab manager.
- Repairs and/or troubleshooting of malfunctioning instruments must not be undertaken without first contacting the lab manager. This allows for proper documentation and continuity during the repair process.
- Not all equipment will be available for use at all times. On some equipment, specific research and/or educational activities will have precedence. Lab users should respect signs and notes such as EQUIPMENT IN USE – DO NOT TOUCH or other similar postings. If you are concerned about the availability of a particular instrument, please see the lab manager.
- If supplies in the lab are running low, let the lab manager know as soon as possible. If you are going to be using a lot of supplies for a particular project, you are encouraged to purchase them yourself.
- Do not remove any peripherals or accessories that “belong” to a particular instrument from the immediate area around that instrument without first consulting with the lab manager.
- Most of the computers are connected to specific pieces of measurement equipment, though that connection might not be obvious. Do not use any of the computers in the lab without permission. Do not change the set-up of any computers.
- Any user files created on the computers in the Metrology Lab must be placed in identifiable subdirectories. Most of the computers will have a subdirectory named something like USER or PROJECT or something similar. Everyone should create a subdirectory using their name or another identifiable code (such as your email username) and then place your specific files in that subdirectory. Files that are not organized in this manner will be DELETED by the lab manager without notice.