If you use an analytical balance regularly, you need to keep them well-maintained. Proper maintenance and regular calibration will ensure accurate weight measurements and extend the life of the equipment. It will perform smoothly and the chances of erroneous results will be minimised. Let’s see how you can maintain the analytical balance.
Use the scales the right way
The best source of information about your analytical balance is the manufacturer’s instruction manual. Read through all the general questions about balance maintenance and various troubleshooting errors.
You can also find tutorials in the manual on how to use the analytical balance and what its features and weighing modes are. If there is any specific issue with the balance, you can refer to the troubleshooting section and follow the necessary steps. Use the instruction manual to understand the right techniques and procedures to operate the balance. This will ensure a long life of the equipment.
Regular analytical balance calibration will ensure that its accuracy is maintained. Some balances come equipped with an internal calibration feature. This feature allows you to keep the balance within the accuracy limits.
If the analytical balance does not have the internal calibration function, you have to perform the calibration manually. You will need the right weighing standard which will be available from the manufacturer.
After you prepare the balance for calibration, place the weight on the weighing pan. You have to visually verify that the readout is accurate.
Keep it clean
It is extremely important to clean the analytical balance as debris inside the weighing chamber can affect the weighing results.
Use a damp, lint-free and non-abrasive microfiber towel to clean the glass draft shields and weighing platforms. Clean the stainless-steel weighing platforms with a mild cleaning agent. Remove the weighing pan before cleaning it. Once it is dry, put the pan into its place.
Do not put too much pressure when you place the pan as it can damage the internal weighing components. You need to make sure that there is no fluid or debris under the weighing pan or in the weighing mechanism.
Use a mild detergent to clean the outside of the analytical balance. When you keep the external components clean, you make sure that no dust finds its way inside the balance.
Store it right
If you won’t be using the balance for a long period of time, unplug it and keep in a place where it cannot be disturbed. You can use a dust cover to keep the balance clean when you store it. Place the balance away from busy work stations to prevent accidental falls or bumps.
Power up the balance and calibrate it from time to time to make sure it is always in a good working condition.
Seek professional help
If you face any problem with the balance and are unable to fix it, call a professional. They will answer your questions and make sure the problems are fixed before they get any bigger. An expert will also guide you on how to address different errors that occur with your laboratory scales and balances.
An analytical balance is an extremely sensitive instrument that can measure very small weights. Without proper maintenance and calibration, it won’t perform the way it should.
Kevin Hill is with Quality Scales Unlimited.