Analytical Balance

Watch the movie on using an analytical balance. Analytical balances are used for very accurate, quantitative measurements of mass to the nearest 0.001 g. (Some read to 0.0001 g.) These are delicate instruments, subject to errors caused by vibration and drafts. These problems can be minimized with care and a certain amount of common sense.
Figure 1

Figure 1

For optimum accuracy, the balance should be level. If it is not, inform the laboratory instructor, who will make the necessary adjustments. Do not lean on the bench while operating the balance. This may cause vibrations that are transmitted to the balance. To begin any measurement on the analytical balance, close the draft shield doors and press the button or control bar that turns on the balance. The display should indicate zero (0.000) g. If it does not, inform your laboratory instructor.

To Weigh a Solid Object That is Not a Reagent

Open the draft shield door and gently place the object on the center of the pan. Close the door; the mass will be displayed. Record the mass. Never weigh solid or liquid reagents directly on the pan. Weighing paper or a container such as a beaker should be used for this purpose as described below.

To Tare a Container and Weigh a Reagent

Open the draft shield door and gently place the container (or weighing paper) on the center of the pan. Close the door; the container mass will appear on the display. Record it in your data table.
Calculate a target mass (mass of desired chemical and tare mass).
Open the draft shield door and remove the tared container. With the container on the bench top, dispense the chemical.
Place the container back on the balance pan and check the mass. If you need to add more chemical, remove the container from the balance and add it, then check the mass again. Repeat this process until the target mass is reached.
Close the door and record the mass from the display. Carefully remove the container from the pan and close the door when finished.
One can also tare the container by zeroing the balance with the beaker or weighing paper on it. Then measure the mass of the compound directly, rather than obtaining its mass by difference. Directions for individual experiments will indicate which method is preferred. Generally, if the compound will undergo some chemical conversion in the container, then be reweighed, the method given in steps is preferred.

A Few Other Tips on the Use of the Analytical Balance