An analytical balance is a device that uses precise weights for measuring mass or determining substance density or percentage composition. In the lab, the weight usually refers to a specific mass unit used in chemistry and science, such as grams or kilograms. This article will teach you the steps required to use an analytical balance. However, it may not pertain to everyone, as this is a basic understanding of how one type of balance operates.
Select a proper location:
Analytical balance can be used in places with adequate lighting and minimal vibrations. As analytical balance requires a separate table, the user should choose the location to provide sample space for setting up the balance. Balances are usually set on top of a flat horizontal surface or top of a clean level surface. It may be set on an elevated surface with sturdy legs to save space.
Standards laboratories need to ensure that the location is protected from vibration or disturbance as analytical balances are moderately sensitive, and its reading may change due to vibration. The location should also be free from direct sunlight as this will also cause variation in readings due to temperature changes.
Remove any item from the analytical balance:
To ensure that you get an accurate weight reading, it is best to remove any items already on balance and record the mass of these items. You don’t want to include the weight of your item in addition to the weights already on the balance if you plan on weighing a sample with only one set of weights.
To set your analytical balance, turn it on and select the Zero-Tray option, which will zero out the tray or plate on which your samples will be placed. Your analytical balance should also have three options: Measure, Units, and Transfer. In measurement mode, it determines mass in different units (such as grams). Unit mode is used for calculating mass in different units (such as pounds). You might know that Global Lab Supply offers an analytical balance with all three measurement modes.
Prepare the Balance for Weighing:
The second step in using analytical balances is to prepare them for weighing. Always remember to place your samples on the tray or plate in this order:
Turn on the analytical balance, and choose the weight measurement mode (if you have only one set of weights or unit mode if you have multiple sets). After the scale is turned on, you must load your sample onto the tray or plate. It is best not to do a weight reading when your sample is not properly disposed of by putting it back into a clean container. You can safely dispose of your previous sample by placing it back into another container after a good weighing process.
After the sample is placed on the tray or plate, you must ensure your analytical balance is properly set. A good way to do this is by using a precision scale that can measure the weight of your sample accurately. In addition, you will need to verify that everything is in the right position before doing your weighing process.
First, you should see that everything on your analytical balance is set correctly before getting started with weighing. One common problem encountered by users of analytical balances is the tendency of the plates to move when they are being read.
It will ensure that your sample stays in one place when it is being read, preventing any extra movements that the user can only notice during a weight reading. Another way to ensure a smooth weighing process is by ensuring no small pieces of paper or other objects are on your tray or plate. These can get stuck underneath the balance, causing it to move around while it’s read scale, giving you an inaccurate weight reading. Finally, ensure no liquids are present on your tray or plate before weighing.
Analytical balances are sensitive instruments, and any contamination can greatly affect their accuracy. Therefore, to keep your analytical balance in the best condition possible, you must clean it regularly.
To properly clean your analytical balance, you must turn it off and unplug it. After this, use a damp rag or towel to clean up all parts of the scale. Do not use any cleanser as these may leave behind chemicals that may affect the accuracy of your instrument.
In this article, you have presented the steps and procedures to use an analytical balance. In addition, many other types of balances are found in the market. They may not always be able to perform the same measurements even if they are constructed similarly to analytical balance.