Buyers of scales for your laboratory, whether digital scales, analytical balances, or other types of instruments designed for heavier weighing tasks, draw up select criteria and compare them to different offerings in manufacturer’s catalogs. A lot goes into the designs and models of different scales, and if you are looking to purchase a digital scale, you need to know a bit about them. There are a few different criteria and aspects that you should be analyzing from the get-go. Read on for a brief summary with a focus on digital precision scales and analytical balances!
Capacity is one digital scale feature that might seem obvious, but not necessarily so. Just remember, if you are weighing samples in a container, you have to take into account the overall weight of the container, which figures in as the scale’s tare weight. For example, if you weigh around 100 G a sample in a 50 G container, your scale should definitely have a capacity of more than 150 G. Taring also applies to any weighing pans used to hold in smaller samples.
This is also termed as resolution and readability, and it is the smallest difference in weight that your unit could read and display. For an analytical balance, it is usually 0.1 milligram. For any platform and bench scales, it will vary based all on the weighing capacity of your digital scale.
This describes the positive or negative deviation of the readout from the actual load on your balance over its weighing range. For example, a 10-gram test weight on your balance should show around 10 grams. A 20-gram test weight on your balance should read about 20 grams. When both are placed on the balance, it should show around 30 grams. However, nothing is perfect.
Repeatability is the ability of any analytical balances to display the same type of result when an object is repeatedly laid on the weighing pan and then removed. One would think that this is a given, but not always when dealing with milligrams. In general, the primary difference between the most prominent and smallest result is then used to specify repeatability.
This is sometimes mixed up with repeatability, but it is different. As one primary example, will a technician get the same result as another technician in a different lab using the same model and making an analytical scale, and following the same procedure? It is important to know the primary differences between precision and accuracy when looking at digital scales, so if you have any questions regarding either, feel free to ask for assistance!
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