COMAR is an internet based information service to assist testing and analytical laboratories in finding the certified reference material they need.
COMAR is maintained in a co-operation of national or international institutes.
The use of COMAR is free of charge. Users have to register online.
COMAR is a liaison partner with ISO Committee on Reference Materials (REMCO).
In the late 1970's Laboratoire National d'Essais (LNE) proposed an computerized index CO de d'Indexation des MA tériaux de R éférence (hence COMAR ).
This code was presented to the ISO Committee on Reference Materials (ISO-REMCO), which encouraged its use as the basis for an international information system on CRMs.
In the mid 1980s COMAR was improved and established by 3 co-operating institutes (LNE, NPL,BAM). At this time the COMAR database contained about 3000 CRMs.
In May 1990 the co-operation was set up on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) originally signed by 7 participants. From 1990 to1998 the COMAR secretariat was hosted by LNE. Since 1998 the secretariat has been operated by BAM.
Until 2003 COMAR was not free of charge. It was sold on floppy disc as MS-DOS version and updated once a year.
In 2001, the development of a user-friendly and internet capable version of COMAR was initiated and commissioned by BAM. This product was developed by a commercial software house.
Since March 2003 COMAR is free of charge available for users via the internet.
All standard internet browsers may be used (Internet Explorer version 5, Netscape version 4.5 and Opera version 6 or higher). The site has been designed for a screen resolution of 800x600 Pixel.
Why certified reference materials?
- Certified reference materials provide "measurement benchmarks" for materials testing and chemical analysis and ensure reliability and comparability of measurements in these fields.
- CRM play an important roll in establishing traceability in chemical analysis.
- The use of CRM is a basic requirement in quality assurance (e.g. pointed out in the international standard ISO 17025).
- Utilisation of CRMs is described in the ISO Guide 33 "Use of certified reference materials".
Contents of the database
- CRM name and producer's address
- CRM description (e.g. searchable keywords, intended use, packaging form and unit size, storage conditions)
- certified properties (chemical composition, physical or conventional properties)
- certificate, report, references
CRMs are classified by fields of application
8 main-fields with up to 10 sub-fields
- Ferrous metals
- Non ferrous metals
- Industrial materials
- Physical properties
- Quality of life
- Biological & clinical