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An Introduction to Analytical Balances
An analytical balance is the instrument of choice when technicians and researchers require extremely accurate measurements. While most often associated with determining the weight of samples, analytical balances available from Tovatech find much wider applications such as
- piece counting
- tolerance weighing (determine % deviation of a sample from a reference weight)
- recipe weighing
- weighing unstable samples
- GLP/ISO record-keeping capability
- underside (suspended) weighing
- user-selectable weighing units (metric and non-metric)
- WLAN connectivity
Not all models offer all capabilities, which is why you should have a clear idea of what you expect your analytical balance to do, as well as typical sample weight. We include performance details for the various models offered. This introduction to analytical balances shows you:
How to Get the Best Performance from your Analytical Balance
While recommend procedures are generally spelled out in operations manuals we offer this brief as a ready reference for new lab personnel and as a reference for the seasoned pro.
Start Right with Calibration
Gravitational pull varies from place to place throughout the world and can vary within a location. Because of their extreme sensitivity to weight (affected by gravity) , an analytical balance
- must be calibrated at the location where it will be used.
- must be re-calibrated any time it is moved and
- should be re-calibrated on a regular basis.
Some balances are internally calibrated, others externally calibrated. User manuals provide instructions. For more on this see our post on calibration .
Analytical Balances are Sensitive
It does not take much to throw a milligram balance off so they must be positioned levelly on a vibration-free worktable. Most balances are equipped with leveling bubbles; vibrations can come from a variety of sources but most likely by traffic in the lab.
Protect them from temperature and humidity fluctuations, drafts, direct sunlight and away from HVAC vents. Samples being weighed should be at room temperature to avoid air currents inside the enclosure.
Avoid Sample-Induced Errors
Non-conductive samples such as plastics, china and glass may carry an electrostatic charge that can distort weighing results. This situation can be avoided by an electrostatic discharge ionizer to neutralize electrostatic charge.
Use gloves or pan holders because oil on your fingers will lead to an incorrect reading. This same caution applies to handing test weights for manually calibrated analytical balances.
Keep it Clean
Operating manuals shipped with analytical balances provide instruction on cleaning these precision instruments.
Don't Fix it Yourself
Servicing analytical balances should only be done by trained technicians authorized by the manufacturer.
Need more Analytical Balance Info?
For more information on selecting and using analytical balances please check our blog posts on this topic. For help in selecting and using a unit that meets your requirements call or chat with us.
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