Using the Analytical Balance in the Chemistry Lab

Balances are crucial to nearly everything done in the chemistry lab.  Thus it becomes all the more important that you know how to work with them.  This primer on using different types of balances is a good place to start. Targeted at beginners in analytical chemistry it explains the use of the analytical balance, the proper method of weighing on an analytical balance, and the precautions to take when using the unit.  Accompanied by detailed pictures on handling various lab equipment, it gives a visual cue to the detailed explanations on how to use the balances safely and properly for accurate results.

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Using An Analytical Balance for Beginners

Here is an introductory lesson that you can use in the lab to learn how to weigh samples with an analytical balance. There are two exercises described in the document.  The first one analyzes the percentage of water in a hydrate while the second one does a statistical analysis to determine the mass of a penny.  Both exercises are good for practice that will expose the user to a wide range of functions in the analytical balance.  The document describes both the objective of the experiment as well as the procedure to be followed.  The complete experiment is spread over a three week period.

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Analytical Balance for the Calculation of Density

Here is a basic refresher on using typical lab apparatus in determining the density of a solution of sodium chloride of known concentration.  The tools for this analysis include an analytical balance burets, volumetric flasks, and pipettes.  The procedure to use each tool is described in succinct detail.  The manual refers to an accompanying instructor led video that explains the use of these objects. However if you have some familiarity, the notes of the procedure for each apparatus should suffice.  Once the measurements are taken the final step in calculating the density of sodium chloride is described.  In production labs though the emphasis is on using a density determination kit with the analytical balance for accurate density density evaluation.

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Fortification of Wheat Flour with Iron

One of the most common micro-nutrient deficiencies affecting both the developed and developing world is anemia.  While it’s presence is markedly lower in the developed world, it is nevertheless a major cause for concern in the developing world.  One approach to combating anemia is to fortify wheat flour with iron as explained in this document.  While iron fortification won’t be the cure all for anemia it is nevertheless a major stepping stone.  The document is second part in a three part publication that: looks at the need for iron fortification and gives an over view of the entire program (part 1), provides operational and technical guidelines including the use of scientific digital scales for accurate measurement (part 2), describes analytical methods to monitor the fortification in wheat flour (part 3).

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Analytical Balance Used in Testing for Gold in Rat Blood (Clinical Study)

This could be treated as one of those ‘I kid you not’ posts. Here is a study analyzing Gold in Rat’s blood.  While on the surface it might look some weird science fiction movie, there is some seriously hard science underlying this experiment.  Gold nanoparticles are finding uses in the treatment of cancer.  This method is part of the an overall clinical study with this end objective.  The rat’s blood comes in to the picture as this is the early phase of testing on ‘small animals’.  At a later date the test will move on to human subjects.  The analytical balance is used to precisely weigh samples prior to testing.

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Maintenance Tips for Digital Platform Scales

Kern FES-FEJ platform scale with an IP65 Rating

Digital platform scales used in factories, food processing, chemical and pharmaceutical industries can be subjected to a lot of abuse including exposure to dust and moisture as well as being moved from location to location.  When evaluating digital scales and balances  purchasing agents would do well to consider the use and environment as part of the specification process and structure their purchase orders accordingly.

Dust and moisture, for example, can be endemic to manufacturing and processing environments.  To function reliably in these environments platform scales should be resistant to both and also be easy to clean.  Manufacturers of Kern platform scales available from Tovatech assign ingress protection (IP) ratings to certain of their products that reflect industry standards describing resistance to dust and moisture.  These are typically two numbers such as 65, the first of which denotes resistance to dust and the second to moisture.  The higher the number the … Read the rest

What to Look For in Heavy-Lifting Crane Scales

Kern HTS Crane Scale

Kern HTS Crane Scale

Crane scales are the heavy lifters across a broad spectrum of industries. Digital crane scales manufactured by Kern and available from Tovatech pack useful features in a compact package for precision weighing in manufacturing, shipping, scientific, educational, commercial and warehousing operations.

For example, the Kern HTS series of industrial crane scales is available in seven models from 150 to 10,000 kg capacities and readouts from 50 to 5000 g.  All models feature wireless infrared remote control operation with all functions housed in a battery-powered numeric keypad having a range of approximately 15 meters (50 feet).

Useful Features in a Digital Crane Scale

The HTS weighing mechanism is powered by a battery pack providing up to 150 hours of operation.  A charge condition indicator will signal when it is due for recharging.   Weights are indicated as kilograms or pounds on an easy-to-read LED display showing gross, tare and net weight.  To … Read the rest

How to Use an Analytical Balance

To protect your equipment investment and to help ensure compliance with FDA, CFR and other standards the procedures for using an analytical balance should be published in the company’s operations manual.

Before Anything

Analytical balance manufacturers such as Kern provide detailed operating instructions for each model offered, and these should be included in your company documentation. This discussion covers general procedures for operating analytical balances.

New balances must be calibrated before they are put into operation, and should be periodically recalibrated based on how they are used.  Recalibration procedures can be established in discussions with equipment suppliers such as Tovatech.  They are performed either by qualified internal personnel or by outside calibration services.

To help ensure accuracy balances must be level, on a solid weighing table and in a draft-free location away from sources of electromagnetic radiation.  If the balance is moved, it may require recalibration so select a … Read the rest

How to Choose Test Weights for Analytical Balance Recalibration

Analytical balances are precision instruments providing readouts* to an accuracy of 0.1 milligram and with a linearity** of ± 0.2 milligram. Maintaining this precision is essential to GLP and to be in compliance with regulations guiding the particular industry in which the instruments are used.

For that reason, an analytical balance must be recalibrated at regular intervals and records maintained in further conformance with GLP and ISO standards.  Some analytical balances such as the KERN ABT, ABJ and AEJ models available from Tovatech provide automatic internal calibration.  Others such as the ALS-A model are externally calibrated at intervals that should be defined in the company’s operations manual.… Read the rest

A GLP Compliant Precision Scale is Mandatory for Recipe Weighing

A sous chef exercising a bit of creativity when following a recipe for a dessert might discover a significant improvement in the final product.  Or maybe not.  Such creativity is to be fully avoided when compounding drugs or other products where strict control of ingredients is mandatory.  A precision balance employed for the purpose of recipe weighing and record keeping is the tool of choice in applications where regulatory compliance and lab efficiency are goals.

Recipe weighing using  precision scales such as the Kern PCB available from Tovatech also supports research in labs where technicians create and vary formulations while seeking to develop new or improved products.… Read the rest