Analytical Balance: Three Essential Tips for Promoting Accurate Results


The analytical balance is a valuable piece of equipment in the laboratory environment. Under ideal circumstances, this device will provide reliable results for critical experiments and other processes. Unfortunately, the unit can become unreliable if the right handling practices are neglected or proper maintenance is not performed. If the presented results are not precise, your lab might have to deal with sample wastage and other related losses. Here are some beneficial tips to help you avoid inaccuracies when using your analytical balance.

Calibrate Your Balance

The most common cause of inaccuracies in analytical balances is lack of calibration. This problem can lead to numerous weighing issues in your laboratory and subsequent losses. In general, calibration can be defined as the process of adjusting a device such as an analytical balance to conform to known and unvarying measuring standards. In other words, when a balance is calibrated, its results will be within the universally accepted range. You can perform calibration in your laboratory if you have the technical knowledge and results. However, it is advisable to hire external calibration services for accountability and reliability. You should also remember to recalibrate the device as recommended by the manufacturer.

Work in a Suitable Environment

You should choose an ideal space to place your analytical balance. Analytical balances are sensitive to the environmental or ambient conditions. If there are shifts in the humidity, temperature and the surrounding air pressure, there will be changes in the readings. For example, if you analytical balance is placed close to a fan or AC vent, the air pressure will keep changing. As a result, your readings will always be affected by the movement of air. Therefore, you should select a spot in your laboratory without these shifting conditions. Where possible, you should have a dedicated weighing room with consistent ambient properties. You should note that vibrations will have an impact on the weighing results. If your building is subjected to vibratory forces, you should purchase a vibration-absorbing worktable for your weighing applications.

Consider Sample Properties

Finally, you should handle your samples appropriately to avoid anomalies in their weight and subsequent inaccuracies. Most compounds and elements do not require special handling or considerations. However, there are samples which can cause some challenges. For example, if you are handling a hygroscopic compound, you must weigh the sample quickly before it absorbs moisture from the air. Also, hot samples must be cooled fast because they could interfere with internal weighing mechanism. You should consider such properties to avoid incorrect results.


13 February 2018

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