Weight Measurement

Andrew Hurdle1, Michael Guzy1

1 OHAUS Corporation, Parsippany, New Jersey
Publication Name:  Current Protocols Essential Laboratory Techniques
Unit Number:  Unit 1.2
DOI:  10.1002/9780470089941.et0102s11
Online Posting Date:  November, 2015
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Abstract

This unit provides information to aid in the selection and proper use of a laboratory balance. Laboratory balances are used for measuring the mass of an object and come in two main types: mechanical and electronic. Electronic balances generally come with a computer interface to facilitate the collection, storage, and manipulation of the data. In addition to weighing objects, electronic balances also perform a range of computations, including counting objects, measuring density, statistics, and pipet volume calibration. Balances vary widely in terms of their capacity (how heavy an object they can accurately weigh), precision, accuracy, repeatability, and robustness. Understanding the various characteristics of a laboratory balance is necessary in order to be sure that the balance is well suited for your particular scientific or industrial needs. This unit also discusses the proper use and maintenance of a laboratory balance. In general, laboratory balances are relatively easy to use and require little maintenance. © 2015 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Keywords: balance; scale; mass; capacity; precision; repeatability; accuracy

     
 
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Table of Contents

  • Overview and Principles
  • Strategic Planning
  • Safety Considerations
  • Protocols
  • Basic Protocol 1: Measuring Mass Using a Top‐Loading Balance
  • Basic Protocol 2: Measuring Mass using an Analytical Balance
  • Understanding Results
  • Troubleshooting
  • Figures
  • Tables
     
 
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Materials

Basic Protocol 1: Measuring Mass Using a Top‐Loading Balance

  Materials
  • Substance to be weighed
  • Electronic top‐loading balance
  • Weighing vessels (e.g., creased weighing paper, weigh boat)
  • Brush or absorbent laboratory tissue

Basic Protocol 2: Measuring Mass using an Analytical Balance

  Materials
  • Substance to be weighed
  • Analytical balance
  • Weighing vessels (e.g., creased weighing paper, weigh boat)
  • Brush or absorbent laboratory tissue
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Figures

Videos

Literature Cited

Literature Cited
  Barry, T. 1995. NIST Special publication 811: Guide for the use of the international system of units (SI). National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Gaithersburg, Maryland. Available at http://physics.nist.gov/cuu/pdf/sp811.pdf
  Crowell, B. 2006. Light and Matter: Newtonian Physics. Edition 2.3 Fullerton Calif. Available at http://www.lightandmatter.com/area1book1.html.
  Davis, T. and Zanella, A. 2015. Volume measurement. Curr. Protoc. Essen. Lab. Tech. 10:1.1.1‐1.1.15. doi: 10.1002/9780470089941.et0101s10.
  Lunn, G. and Strober, W. 2008. General laboratory safety and working with hazardous chemicals. Curr. Protoc. Essen. Lab. Tech. 00:1A.1‐A.1A.12.
  Scale Manufacturers Association. 1981. Terms and definitions for the weighing industry, 4th ed. Scale Manufacturers Association, Naples, Fla.
Internet Resources
  http://www.dartmouth.edu/~chemlab/
  Dartmouth University Chemlab Web site, which provides information and hands‐on instruction on the proper operation, use, care, cleaning, and maintenance of both analytical and precision balances.
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