Metrology Glossary – B

At J.A. King, we strive to educate our team and our customers so we can all make informed decisions and improve quality. Having information at our fingertips is the best way to do that. We have compiled a list of the most common terminology within the precision measurement industry, backed by our experts with years within our industry.

Precision Measurement Glossary of Terms

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Balance (Weight and Scale)

A device used to accurately weigh materials at high precision. Can be mechanical or electronic in nature and range in levels of accuracy. Also see analytical balance and moisture balance.

Balanced Load (Electrical)

A load connected to an electric circuit (as a three-wire system) so that the currents taken from each side of the system are equal and the power factors are equal.


Carpenter’s brand name for a 70% nickel, 30% iron alloy which has a thermal conductivity similar to nickel with twice the resistivity. Commonly used for low cost resistance sensors.

Ball Gage

A gage, usually hand held, with a ball mounted on a stem or handle to evaluate the diameter of a cylindrical hole.


An instrument that measures atmospheric pressure, used for forecasting the weather and determining altitudes.


A unit of transmission speed equal to the number of times a signal changes state per second. Baud rate equals bits per second (BPS).

Bench Scale

A scale used to weigh materials, usually at a higher output, within a variety of environments. Bench scales can be all-in-one table top units or consist of a platform or base and an indicator readout that may be wired or wirelss in nature. Some models can also double as counting scales or checkweighers.


A gage component utilized in several types of measurement gages such as a caliper or an indicator which holds the protective face cover in place. They are frequently replaced when repairing dial gages as the face and bezel are protective in nature and can take a majority of any damage when a gage is dropped.


Moving, functioning, or sending or receiving signals in or from two, usually opposite, directions

Bias Current (Bias Voltage)

Direct current ( DC ) deliberately made to flow, or DC voltage deliberately applied, between two points for the purpose of controlling a circuit


Having two parallel threads, as in the suspension of certain measuring instruments

Binary Coded Decimal (BCD)

Process for converting decimal numbers into their binary equivalents.

Boiling Point

The temperature at which a liquid boils and turns into a gas.

Bore Gage

A tool utilized to accurately measure holes or other bores. They come in a variety of types such as dial, digital or electronic, and vernier.

Bottle Cap Tester

Used to test the torque and force taken to twist a bottle cap away from a bottle.

Bourdon Tube

A component used in pressure measurement devices that is used to measure relative pressures. It is a non-electrical instrument classified as mechanically operated pressure measuring device.

Bridge Circuit

Topology of electrical circuitry where two circuit branches are “bridged” together by a third branch that connects the two branches at an intermediate point between them.

Brinell Hardness

The hardness of a metal or alloy measured by hydraulically pressing a hard ball under a standard load into the specimen, reported using the Brinell scale of hardness.

British Thermal Unit (BTU)

The amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.

Bursting Strength Tester

A property of paper or paperboard used in packaging that measures its resistance to rupturing, defined as the hydrostatic pressure needed to burst a paperboard sample when it is applied uniformly across its side

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