A necessity of many laboratories is the ability to accurately and precisely weigh many different objects. Accuracy can be detrimental in a laboratory setting. Laboratory balances are a tool that many labs will utilize in their day-to-day activities. These types of balances are commonly found in laboratories, hospitals, construction work, and classroom settings.
What Is A Laboratory Balance?
A laboratory balance is a type of balance that has been designed to measure amounts of mass. This can be from the kilogram to sub-milligram range. They are used to measure anything from liquids to solids to tissues. Some can even measure moisture content.
These types of balances have a very wide range of uses. They can be used in almost any laboratory including research, environmental and clinical environments.
How do Laboratory Balances Work?
The typical operation of a modern laboratory balance has some resemblance to its predecessor. This was the equal arm balance. This old instrument used the torque that was exerted by one unknown mass on one side of a pivot to an adjustable weight on the other side that had a known amount.
Modern balances use magnetic force restoration. This system uses an electromagnet that lifts the force that is exerted by the object placed on the plate. This mechanism will use a coil of wire that is suspended in a magnetic field. An optical sensor will detect the position of the wire coil and provide a feedback signal. The amount of force that is exerted by the coil tends to be proportional to the current amount that is flowing in it. The force of the object can be measured by the current flowing in the object.
What Are The Top Uses of Laboratory Balances?
Laboratory balances are commonly used for advanced scientific weighing by professionals in many different industries. Some of these industries include:
- Food and Beverage
Due to the advanced technology and high precision rates, balances are used in laboratories to perform many different tasks. These tasks include:
- Conformance testing
- Weighing test materials
- Material testing
- Weighing sampling amounts
- Quality control testing
- Purity analysis
- Density determination
Balances with higher capacities can be used to test larger, higher capacity weighing materials. These are used in many different construction sites.
Different Laboratory Balances and Their Uses
There are many different kinds of laboratory balances with a variety of uses. It is important to determine what your purpose for the balance will be and what size of balance you will need.
1. Analytical Balance Scales
Analytical balance scales are highly precise laboratory balances used to measure mass. They are usually designed with a measuring pan that is enclosed to avoid the influences of air currents and dust. Some of these scales have different features that include automation, vibration resistance, capacity range and data transfer options.
2. Counting Balances / Counting Scales
Counting scales (also called counting balances) are scales designed to speed up productivity. They also will ensure quality and final kit completeness. Many counting scales are able to measure even the smallest parts and pieces with extreme accuracy. This is to ensure that all of the pieces are accounted for. A number of counting balances are able to connect directly to a PLC that allows for elimination of manual data entry. This promotes better operational visibility and cleaner data.
3. Microbalance and Semi Microbalances
Microbalances and semi microbalances are electronic, precise balances. They are designed to weigh small sample amounts. Many of these balances can include integrated ionizers, draft and dust shields, automatic doors and data interface options.
4. Moisture Balance / Moisture Analyzer Balance / Moisture Analyzer
A moisture balance (also called a moisture analyzer balance or just a moisture analyzer) uses a halogen method to dry material samples. This type of balance calculates the moisture content that is based on the weight difference before and after the drying process.
5. Portable Balances
Portable balances are small balances that are easily moved and come in a compact size. These types of balances come with many useful features and can provide a built in calculator and precise weighing. Portable balances are perfect for classroom environments and small laboratories.
6. Top Loading Balance
A top loading balance (also called a toploader balance) is a common type of laboratory equipment used for weight measuring scales. They are available in a variety of weight capacities and sizes. This can be from as low as 20 g up to 64 kg. Many top loading balances are compact and calibrated with temperature and time controlled adjustments, internal or external weight and clock calibration. Some can even be tailored towards certain applications such as pipette calibration balances.
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