How Many Types of Lab Balance Are There?
Laboratory balances can be divided into a few basic categories based on precision and resolution. In increasing order of precision/resolution, there are precision balances, analytical balances, semi-micro balances and micro balances.
How Precise Is an Analytical Balance?
Precision balances, which are also called top-loading balances or ordinary balances, offer between zero and three digits to the right of the decimal point, depending on the model. Analytical balances offer four or more digits to the right of the decimal point. At this level of precision, it becomes necessary to enclose the weighing pan to help eliminate the effect of air currents on the measurements, according to “Analytical Chemistry for Technicians.” Semi-micro balances offer five digits to the right of the decimal place. Micro balances offer even higher levels of precision.
Why Is It Important to Keep a Balance Clean?
It’s important to keep laboratory balances clean, especially the more precise analytical balances, because spills can react with the surfaces of these sensitive instruments, which can affect the accuracy of their measurements, according to “Analytical Chemistry for Technicians.” Spilled chemicals or debris can also potentially contaminate the samples that are being weighed.
How Do You Clean an Analytical Balance?
Cleaning an analytical balance involves removing the draft shield that protects the weighing pan from the influence of air movement. According to Mettler Toledo’s standard operation procedure, you should first remove any dirt surrounding the unit, and then unlock and remove the draft shield panes, followed by the inner draft shield and any other removable parts on the balance, such as the weighing pan, pan cover, pan support, wind ring and drip tray. These removable parts can be cleaned with window cleaner or other mild cleaning agent containing ethanol, or they can be cleaned in a dishwasher.
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