CAL3K-A Oxygen Bomb Calorimeter System

The CAL3K-A is the companion to the CAL3K-AP, but with external oxygen filling. This instrument was designed for rough production environments where the automatic filling is not desired.

APPLICATION : The CAL3K-A uses a combination of the Isothermal and Adiabatic calorimetry methods, while still using the dry method, i.e. it is waterless. The minimum determination time is down to 4.5 minutes.

MORE ACCURATE RESULTS IN MINUTES - The CAL3K-A is one our faster calorimeter systems and is ideal for high sample throughput with more than 10 samples per hour. It uses a combination of the Isothermal and Adiabatic calorimetry methods and is still waterless. The minimum determination time is as little as 4.5 minutes per sample. The CAL3K-A makes use of the external oxygen filling station, bayonet bomb vessel and air cooler with the calorimeter. The CAL3K-A is the brother of the CAL3K-AP system, the major difference being the manual oxygen filling. This instrument has all the features of the CAL3K-AP, but avoids the potential trouble of leaking oxygen valves and fittings, and the associated maintenance. It can be operated in the Dynamic (Isoperibol), Isothermal, Adiabatic and Experimental modes, but requires calibration in each mode. The vessel is filled with oxygen in an EXTERNAL filling station which has a flow restriction and oxygen filter.


The CAL3K-A conforms to ASTM D5865-12, ASTM D4809-13, ISO 1928-2009, and DIN 51900-2 international standards. The CAL3K bomb calorimeter uses the isothermal, adiabatic or isobatic calorimetry methods to measure temperature readings and to calculate the result in MJ, BTU or Calories.

The bomb vessel has been upgraded to include a self-locking and sealing bayonet vessel with built-in temperature sensors. The vessel is completely removable for easy sample management, cooling, cleaning and maintenance. Multiple vessels can be used in the same calorimeter, each with their own temperature calibration curves. Multiple vessels improve sample throughput and provides a higher redundancy should a vessel fail. While one vessel is in the calorimeter, the other can be cooled and prepared with the next sample.

The CAL3K-A calorimeter interfaces with different devices, including PC ( PC Software ), Balance, Printer and Bluetooth (Wireless). The unit also integrates fully with software based laboratory and information management systems (LIMS) and has a statistical print output in addition to the real time output.

The oxygen bomb calorimeter and air cooler are operated together for effective routine sample determination, using 2 or more bomb vessels . It is recommended to use the air cooler for optimum results and faster throughput. The air cooler works in conjunction with the CAL3K-A and gets its optimum cooling instructions from the CAL3K-A. This allows the air cooler to uniquely cool each bomb differently, should it be required. The coolest feature of the air cooler is the ambient temperature compensation, which allows for consistent fast cooling times regardless of the ambient temperature of the laboratory. The air cooler also displays the vessel temperature and the time until the bomb is ready to be used again, all this cooling for only 12 Watts!

The complete CAL3K-A oxygen bomb calorimeter system contains all the parts and consumables necessary to set up the unit. The installation kits included with the setup of the calorimeter contains consumables for approximately 200 samples, depending on the type of sample being analyzed (coal analysis, animal feed analysis). Other samples like oil, might use more consumables as they are corrosive and could cause wear and tear. Additional consumables can be purchased separately (and in bulk quantities) from our authorized agents.


It is best suited for a production environment with shared oxygen supply (to other users) and robust handling. One external filling station can service multiple CAL3K Calorimeters. The DDS Calorimeters can be used to determine the calorific value of solid and liquid combustibles including oil, coke, volatile fuels, biomass, plastic, coal, animal feeds and foodstuffs. The calorific value of a combustible substance is a critical factor and differs from application to application. In a coal fired power station the cost of coal is calculated from the calorific value, providing economic benefits to the customer.

The applications for a DDS Bomb Calorimeter are endless with the common applications being scientific research, university research, coal mines and power stations, alternative energy/recycling, chemical industry, industrial inspection and quality control.


The CAL3K-A uses a combination of the Isothermal and Adiabatic calorimetry methods, while still using the dry method, i.e. it is waterless. The minimum determination time is down to 4.5 minutes.

The vessel is filled with oxygen in and EXTERNAL filling station which has a flow restriction and oxygen filter. The supplied filling pressure is indicated as well as the vessel pressure.

The fastest performance was achieved with one CAL3K-A , 3 vessels and 2 coolers. This is the limit of a single operator. It is possible to run the CAL3K-A Calorimeter with a single bomb vessel and achieve accurate and reliable results.


The CAL3K calorimeter requires a PC keyboard (as seen above/left with the complete system) to enter commands. The new lid design has two shocks which open the lid automatically. This is really a nifty new feature. The CAL3K-A Oxygen Bomb Calorimeter will be supplied as a complete system which includes the calorimeter, the new air cooler , and 2 bayonet oxygen vessels .

The LCD display has 4 lines, the picture below only showing two of the lines. The first line shows what the CAL3K is doing at present, e.g. what mode the calorimeter is in and what it is doing.


The second line shows the action the operator should take, e.g. "ENTER MASS, INSERT BOMB", etc. The third line is reserved for keyboard command and data entry, e.g. Enter Benzoic Acid Value in MJ. The fourth line gives additional information relating to faults and actions. If the subject help is activated then all 4 lines are used to display the help functions.


This is the CAL3K Oxygen Bomb Calorimeter with the lid open. The new gas shocks allow for automatic opening. The shocks open the lid to 45°C, so that the well can ventilate after each sample determination.

The ATC HEATER (Ambient Temperature Control) insulates the oxygen bomb vessel from the outside environment. It contains heating elements designed so that the ATC temperature follows the vessel temperature.

BOMB WELL - The bomb well has a contact arrangement at the bottom to connect to the bomb electronics. The vessel temperature and calibration data are retrieved from this contact.

The electronics compartment is located in the blue side panel of the calorimeter. This electronic compartment is the "brain" of the calorimeter, as we like to call it. This is what makes everything work. There you will find the firing circuit and the ECU card, which can easily be removed, making maintenance quick and easy.


The CAL3K Calorimeter has some added features which will make the operation of the oxygen calorimeter a lot easier and user friendly. Every step in the determination of the calorific value of the sample has a help screen attached and operator prompts assist with step-by-step instructions to operate the calorimeter.

EVENT LOGGING - The CAL3K-A has 63 event classifications and can store a maximum of 6800 logged events.

DEFAULT PARAMETER FIELDS - The CAL3K-A has 1 default parameter field for each mode. All fields are for different operation and operating modes.

FAULT AND FIELD TESTING CAPABILITY - The CAL3K-A and vessel each have a factory and a field test built in. The field test allows the operator/user to test the functionality without any instruments or special connections.


The complete calorimeter system is delivered with installation kits for the calorimeter, air cooler and vessels (for approximately 200 firings).

The CAL3K Bomb Calorimeter Installation Kit includes : Power Supply (3K-SM), Mains Cable 220V (KETTLECORD), Balance Cable (3K-BC), PC Cable USB (USBCABAB), PC Keyboard PS2 (CAL2K-KB), Preparation Stand (3K-4-PS), Stainless Steel Tweezers (TWEEZERS/S/S), Certified Benzoic Acid Tablets (50 x 0.5g tablets per bottle)(CAL2K-4-BA), High Pressure Oxygen Pipe 4mm (4m long, clear)(3K-1-OP), Oxygen Regulator Connection Standard (Quick Fit)(3K-1-RC), Calorimeter o-Rings (1 packet of 5)(3K-1-CF-05), O-Ring retainer for center filling plastic (3K-1-LCR), tool to remove o-ring retainer (3K-1-LCR-TOOL), Vessel Nozzle Kit complete with nozzle and o-ring and nut (3K-4-VN-KT) and printed installation guide (3K-1-INST).

The CAL3K Air Cooler Installation Kit includes : Power Supply (3K-SM) and a Mains Cable 220V (KETTLECORD).

The CAL3K Bayonet Vessel Installation Kit includes : Center Electrode (3K-4-CE), Vessel Nozzle O-Ring (3K-4-VNR), Outside Electrode (3K-4-OE), Crucibles (CAL2K-4-CB-SINGLE), Deflector Plate (3K-4-DP), Firing Wire (3K-4-FW), Firing Cotton Packet (1 packet of 200 threads)(3K-FC), Lid O-Rings (1 packet of 5)(3K-4-LR-5).

The CAL3K Filling Station Installation Kit includes : 2 x Flow Adjustor O-Rings (3K-3-FR), 5 x Nozzle O-Rings (3K-3-NR), 1 x High Pressure Pipe 4mm (2m, clear)(3K-3-OP), 1 x Oxygen Regulator Connection (3K-3-RC) and 1 x Defiller Cap (3K-4-DC).

The following accessories can be added to the CAL3K-A Oxygen Bomb Calorimeter (or purchased separately) :

Feature Description
No Water Required No water bucket. No measuring. No spillage. No connections.
Three Operating Modes Isothermal, Adiabatic, and ISOBATIC (and EXPERIMENTAL)
7 Calibration Fields For different modes and different calorimeters
10 Calibration Average For variable amount of calibration average to suit your application
High Speed Determinations Choose between faster and more accurate determinations
Extremely Accurate Extremely Accurate (%RSD - 0.1%) determination eliminates multiple sample repeats
Multiple Communication Channels 1 Wired (USB) and 2 optional wireless channels
User Friendly User Friendly Operation
Low Power Consumption Very low power consumption. No temperature controlling required.
Eco Friendly Eco Friendly - small carbon footprint. No water, low power consumption
Temperature Range Extensive Temperature Range from 0°C to 70°C
Event Logging Built-in event logging for approx. 6000 events
Fault Finding Extensive Fault Finding and Testing
Temperature Accuracy Temperature accuracy of 10ppm (parts per million)(0.00001°C)
Results Results in MJ/Kg, Kj/g, BTU/lb or Cal/g
Compensation Compensation for firing energy and sulphur
Preset Fields One default setting per mode
Operating Parameters All operating parameters can be changed via the USB interface in the experimental mode
Restrict Access Operating parameter access is password restricted
Large Storage Up to 1024 results storage
Intelligent Vessel Intelligent vessel with built-in temperature sensing
Linear Sensors Linear temperature sensing with platinum sensors
Safety Continuous internal safety checks guarantee the safety of the operator
Step-by-Step Help Screen prompts assist with step-by-step instructions to operate the calorimeter
Bayonet Vessel Self-locking and self-sealing bayonet bomb vessel
Air Cooler No water required to cool the bomb vessel
Balance Interface Balance interface with baud speed setting
Improved Initial Timing Based on drift and time, or time after drift, or time only
Full LIMS Support For the assignment, scheduling, approval and tracking of samples (ISO)
Filter Data on Events Extensive testing and detailed data viewing
Room Temperature Control No temperature control required
Ports The unit has three available ports. USB and 2 x RS232 ports
Event Analysis On PC or on printer port

Specification Information
Working (Operating) Temperature 15-70°C
Temperature Resolution 0.000001°C
Reproducibility/Repeatability <0.1% RSD
Resolution 0.0001 MJ/Kg
Results per hour 12 samples per hour using 3 bayonet bomb vessels
Measuring range max. 99MJ
Working Temperature Min. 1°C
Working Temperature Max. ~50°C
Cooling Medium Air
Type of cooling Airflow
Oxygen Operating Pressure Max 40 bar
Balance/Scale Interface RS232
Printer Interface RS232
PC Interface USB
Wireless Interface Bluetooth, external converter : RS232 bridge to USB
Interface External Keyboard PS2
Oxygen Filling Manual
Degasification Manual
Halogen (Decomposition) Vessel Yes, optional
Analysis according to DIN 51900: Yes
Analysis according to ASTM D240: Yes
Analysis according to ASTM D4809: Yes
Analysis according to ASTM D5865: Yes
Analysis according to ASTM E711: Yes
Analysis according to ISO 1928: Yes
Dimensions: 350mm x 280mm x 240mm
Weight: ~12.000kg
Permissible Ambient Temperature: 0-35°C
Permissible Relative Humidity: 80%
RS232 Interface: Yes
USB Interface: Yes
Voltage: 220-240 / 100-120V, 12VDC, 3Amp
Frequency: 50/60Hz
Power Input: 12W

Animal Feed Research

Food calories are measured in KJ/g, the same as combustible calories. However, the process is different, although the outcome is the same : KJ/g or heat, or calories. Animal feed stock relies on the animal digestion (conversion). A calorimeter burns the lot and measures the released heat. Then a calorimeter can't be used to measure feed stock?

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Coal & Coke Analysis

The coal industry is the traditional application of calorimeters because coal has a variety of properties, apart from being black. If the coal is used for steam generation then the calorific value is of paramount importance. The calorific value, short CV, is a measure of how much heat can be extracted from it.

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Explosives Analysis

Only explosives which can be ignited by heat from the calorimeter's firing circuit can be tested in the oxygen calorimeter. Then very minute/small quantities are used for analysis. The calorific value of an explosive is not very high, but the burning speed is.

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Fuel Analysis

As a general rule, volatile fuels are measured very seldom because they are very consistent. However, if the fuel absorbs water, then frequent analysis is called for. Volatile fuel such as alcohol must be prevented from evaporating during the handling process that is from weighing to ignition of the sample.

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Food & Nutrition Analysis

Here is an example of food calories from As the article says : "The method of using a combustion calorimeter to measure food calories is not frequently used today. However, after some considerations it can, and is, used today for checking the production quality of food." Let's look at the details.

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Oil Analysis

Oils are a non-volatile substance. In general they are not measured frequently because they are very consistent and uniform. Other oil properties are more important than the calorific value, such as taste or viscosity. If an oil is measured in an oxygen calorimeter, then the procedure would be the same as a solid substance.

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Simple, we at Digital Data Systems (DDS) have been making calorimeters for the last 40 years. We have a wealth of technical knowledge and calorimeter experience second to none. We are continuously improving our systems with the latest technology as it becomes available, allowing the students to work on a cost effective, easy to use...

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Waste Product Analysis

Heating energy is being dumped on our municipal landfill sites. Our landfill sites are being clogged by plastic waste, which battle to bio-degrade over time. Alternative options for managing plastic waste has been identified as mechanical recycling, cement kilns, power station and energy recovery by incineration. Having plastic on landfill sties should be the last option.

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Other DDS Calorimeter Products in the same range

CAL3K-F Oxygen Bomb Calorimeter System | DDS Calorimeters


A flexible system for low to high throughput without compromising on accuracy and repeatability. It is used in Food/Feed Analysis, Alternative Energy, Scientific Determinations, Coal and Oil Production, research and Quality Assurance. In short : where the calorific value of a solid/liquid sample must be determined.

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CAL3K-U Oxygen Bomb Calorimeter System | DDS Calorimeters


The CAL3K-U is the University Edition in the CAL3K range, mainly suited for universities and educational institutions. It is best suited for a production environment which requires robust, fast, and accurate results. The CAL3K-U Calorimeter can be used in the following educational areas : Thermodynamics Teaching, Combustion Energy of non-gaseous substances, Safety, Research and Quality Control.

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CAL3K-A Oxygen Bomb Calorimeter System | DDS Calorimeters


The CAL3K-AP is suited for a clean and well maintained laboratory with a requirement for very fast and accurate results. The CAL3K-AP Calorimeter uses a combination of the Isothermal and Adiabatic methods.

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