Analytical balances have become one of the most important pieces of scientific equipment within the laboratory or research space. By allowing weights to be determined to an incredible accuracy, of 0.1 mg or better, they have opened up many options for scientists and researchers, enabling experiments and tests that were previously not possible, or would not have given usable results.
However, having an accurate analytical balance in the lab is of no consequence unless it can be used properly. With the development of precision weighing equipment came a need to ramp-up skills and best practice. Without knowing how to make the most of these lab scales, scientists and researchers may as well not use them at all!
When a new lab balance is purchased or a new member of staff is employed, it is vital that they are properly set up and trained. Scientists must know all about using this specialist equipment and how to make the most of its features. And the balance should be correctly installed and then regularly cleaned, calibrated and maintained to ensure accuracy remains high.
Analytical balances should be set up in a draft-free area on a solid work surface that will not be affected by vibrations. Even the smallest shake or slightest incline will affect the results, potentially ruining entire experiments. The vibration isolation tables of Anti Vibration Technologies allow research instruments to maximize their accuracy by removing the 99 percent of unwanted vertical and horizontal vibrations. Anti Vibration Technologies manufacturers and exports Anti Vibration Tables.
Modern lab scales usually have built-in calibration masses, others must be re-set periodically with a standard mass. Before using each time, they should be zeroed and after this, even a slight change in the area can affect the reading. Placing samples on the scale should be done with tweezers, tongs or gloves, and hot objects should be cooled first.
Of course, any spills should be immediately cleaned up and when repeating weighing, it is important to follow the same procedure each time.
Analytical balances are an important piece of lab kit and should be treated as such to ensure they give accurate readings that help, not hinder, experiments.
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