Selecting the Right Balance for your Laboratory
At Precisa we understand that choosing a balance is not a simple task. There are a variety of different things that need to be considered for the most accurate weighing results. Therefore, we have created this article collating all the information you need to make an informed decision regarding which is the most suitable balance for your specific needs.
A weighing balance is an instrument which is used to determine the weight or mass of an object. Available in a wide range of sizes with multiple weighing capacities, they are an essential tool in almost every laboratory. Analytical and precision balances are specific types of laboratory scales which measure much smaller masses than the average scale.
Balance or Scale?
The difference between a balance and scale is that balances typically have lower capacity and higher readability. Balances use a force restoration mechanism whereby an applied force (i.e. a load or weight) counteracts a force exerted from an unknown mass. Balances are generally more sophisticated and precise than scales and are therefore commonly used by professionals for advanced scientific weighing in the following industries:
- food and beverage
Find out more about the specific industries requiring weighing balances.
Due to their high precision and advanced technology, precision and analytical balances are used specifically in laboratories in order to efficiently perform tasks such as weighing test materials and sampling amounts, formulation, density determination, purity analysis, quality control testing and material and conformance testing. Balances with higher capacities are not only used in laboratories but can be used to test larger high-capacity weighing materials such as in construction sites.
The main questions that need to be considered when choosing a balance:
- What is the heaviest and lightest sample that you will need to weigh?
- How many decimal places in grams do you require for the displayed weight?
- What size are the samples that you will be weighing?
- What features will you require – do you need to integrate the balance to another device such as a computer or printer? Do you require data storage?
At Precisa, we offer an extensive product range, with a variety of different capacities and sizes to meet almost every analytical weighing requirement.
Analytical Weighing Balances
An analytical balance is a highly sensitive laboratory instrument which can accurately measure mass in the sub-milligram range to a high degree of precision. Analytical Balances have a weighing capacity in the range of 100-500 g and a readability of 0.1 mg – 0.001 mg.
Analytical balances should only be used by trained personnel and have a draft shield or weighing chamber in the form of a transparent enclosure so that air currents and dust do not affect the Analytical Balances Operation.
An Analytical Balance differs from a precision balance in terms of readability. Analytical Balances have a have a higher readability (0.0001g) in comparison with a precision balance (0.001g) and therefore tend to be more expensive.
Common Analytical Balance Applications include:
- Sample Preparation
- Interval Weighing
- Routine Pipette Testing
- Differential Weighing
- Density Analysis
Precision Weighing Balances
A precision balance has a lower readability than an analytical balance, as it typically measures to the nearest 0.1-0.01g, but tends to have a higher capacity.
Due to their high precision and advanced technology, precision balances are used in laboratories in order to efficiently perform tasks such as weighing test materials and sampling amounts, formulation, density determination, purity analysis, quality control testing and material and conformance testing. Balances with higher capacities are generally not used in laboratories but are used to test larger high-capacity weighing materials such as in construction sites.
Our new Series 520 PB Balances is one of the most important innovations in weighing technology in recent years. The Precisa PHASTbloc™ weighing cell allows users to benefit from advanced technology and provides a technically perfect, easy-to-use, attractive, economical and sustainable laboratory balance.
Semi Micro Balances
Our semi-micro balances offer a 0.01mg readability balance, 5 place balance or 0.00001g readability with capacities of up to 225g and internal calibration.
We also produce moisture Analysers, thermogravimetric analysers and pill counters which meet the highest requirements in research, production and quality at competitive prices.
Laboratory Moisture Analyser
If you need to determine the moisture content of a sample, our Moisture Analyser is the instrument for you. It consists of an infrared weighing and heating unit and performs moisture analysis by using the ‘loss on drying’ (LOD) method, which is the most common method for moisture analysis whereby the sample is weighed using the balance unit before and after the removal of moisture.
This is done by the continuous recording of the weight while the sample is heated and dried using a halogen lamp or other infrared radiator. When the sample no longer loses weight, the difference between the two weights is measured, which is used to calculate the moisture content. This is also known as the thermos-gravimetric principle.
Providing fully automatic moisture analysis, our top of the range Series 330 XM models are all compact and robust, providing high quality, fast, error-free moisture analysis, using the highest degrees of precision and measurement performance.
Laboratory TGA Analyser
If you are involved with material characterisation by Thermogravimetric analysis, the Thermogravimetric Analyser (TGA) is an essential tool for your laboratory. This product determines a material’s thermal stability and its fraction of volatile components by monitoring the weight change that occurs as a sample is heated at a constant rate. The determination of dry weight and ash is one of the most important parameters in the analytical testing of various materials and substances. In food, pharma, paper, coal, chemical and many other industries, moisture and ash content help to identify physical qualities of a product and its price.
The new generation of prepASH series 340 Thermo Gravimetric Analyser from Precisa frees up resources in the lab and reduces costs and time of analysis. PrepASH Thermo Gravimetric Analyser is a fully automatic analysis system for thermogravimetric determination of dry weight, volatiles and ash. It intelligently unites into one system; the functions of a drying oven, muffle furnace and analytical balance, controlled by advanced software and a colour touch screen. In one working cycle, 12, 19 and even 29 samples are dried and ashed fully automatically, resulting in up to 80% time savings.
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