This article has now been updated as the PGL has now been superceded by the Nimbus Precision balance.

Nimbus Top Pan Precision Balance

There's no hard and fast rule that applies when creating the perfect concrete, but Adam Equipment's Nimbus top loading precision balance can help pave the way to a better quality product.

Weighing ingredients for the perfect batch of concrete

Concrete is a composite material, which means it comprises of several ingredients, including fine and coarse aggregates, water, cement and air. There are myriad variables in every batch of concrete. Aggregates usually make up the bulk of the volume in concrete. Fine aggregate is sand; coarse aggregate is gravel or crushed stone. It's the combination and types of the fine and coarse aggregates that determine the density of the concrete. And while water is an essential ingredient, too much can cause quality problems.

Why weighing concrete is important

The ideal concrete mix contains just enough water to hydrate the cement, which binds the ingredients. Without adequate hydration, the concrete is difficult or impossible to pour. As the concrete hardens, the water evaporates, leaving voids or spaces in the concrete. The size and number of voids are directly related to the amount of water used to hydrate the cement. More voids (and the larger they are) lead to a lower quality of concrete, possibly with defects that could compromise structural integrity.

Making Concrete

Construction standards are state-regulated and materials must meet or exceed them. Workers can verify a material's quality by performing a variety of tests for density, compressive strength, flexural strength, tensile strength, elasticity, permeability, thermal expansion, drying shrinkage and heat capacity. Adam Equipment's PGL precision balance and the new Nimbus top loading precision balances provide an easy and accurate way to determine specific gravity of cured samples.

Setting up the Nimbus balances for gravity testing

Here we have outlined a step-by-step process for gravity testing with the Nimbus top loading balance:

  1. placed the balance on a tabletop with a cutout or on a stand designed specifically for this test. 
  2. Atttach a basket to a wire that hangs from the balance's weigh-below hook and suspended over a container of water beneath the balance. 
  3. After placing the sample material on top of the balance, the weight is then recorded automatically by the balance. 
  4. Next, place the sample in the basket and lower into the container of water.
  5. The Nimbus then records the weight of the submerged sample, and using both measurements, the intuitive software calculates the specific gravity of the sample.

How Adam top loading balances helped Humboldt manufacturing

One company that values Adam top loading balances for testing the quality of concrete is Humboldt Manufacturing. Located in Schiller Park, Ill., Humboldt manufactures and distributes equipment for materials testing. Many Humboldt customers are in the road construction industry and include contractors, consultants, transportation department employees and lab workers.

According to Humboldt's Director of marketing Robin Bailey, Humboldt produces its own line of testing equipment, but offers products from other manufacturers, such as Adam Equipment, to provide a wider selection to customers. In many cases, Humboldt recommended Adam's PGL precision balance for testing concrete. There were several reasons for that, Bailey suggests:

'Durability and price are the big advantages with the PGL precision balances, since users often work with dirty, heavy substances and want a product that can withstand rigorous use. When you're dealing with concrete blocks, obviously things are going to get scratched and dented. People realise they're just going to get messy. The nice thing about Adam scales is they hold up. That's a big deal.'

– Humboldt Manufacturing

Why choose Adam's Nimbus top loading balance

Adam Equipment's Nimbus top loading precision balance is designed with features that are ideal for performing specific gravity testing on concrete or other construction materials. The Nimbus boasts overload protection to safeguard the balance against damage from excessive weight. The all-metal casing and large stainless steel pan make Nimbus balances suitable for use in the field where dirt and grime are commonplace, as well as in lab environments. Power is provided by a standard AC adapter and rechargeable battery pack, allowing workers to keep the balance in the back of a truck and use it at a worksite, where electricity might not be available.