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Does Temperature Affect Digital Weighing Scale Readings?

There are many factors that can affect the readings that your digital weighing scale produces, the temperature being one of them, so it’s necessary to take it into consideration. This blog will describe how temperature can affect your results, how to avoid these errors and, finally, what other elements to keep in mind.

How Does a Digital Scale Work?

To understand how temperature affects a digital scale, you first need to know how a digital scale works. Underneath the pan, encased and protected by the base of the scale is a piece called the load cell. When placing an object on a digital weighing scale, the load cell bends. The amount that the load cell bends is then used to determine the weight of the object. This means that a digital scale would not be able to weigh objects without a load cell and would not be able to weigh objects accurately if the load cell were compromised.

How Does Temperature Affect Digital Weighing Scale Readings?

Temperature is one way a load cell can be affected enough to provide inaccurate readings. Much of a digital weighing scale is constructed from metal and/or plastic, with load cells being no exception, as they’re typically made of aluminium. If the scale is meant for washdown purposes, the load cell will likely be stainless steel. These materials are prone to contracting and expanding as the temperature changes. Even though it may be just a few millimetres, when you need precise readings, those few millimetres can make a big difference and can cause inconsistent records over time.

How Can I Prevent Temperature from Affecting My Results?

The most reliable way to prevent the temperature from affecting your results is to keep your digital weighing scale in an environment with a regulated, consistent temperature. If this isn’t possible, some other ways to avert temperature effects are by keeping your scale out of direct sunlight and avoiding placing your scale on any hot surfaces.

Temperature can affect your results even before you begin weighing. Digital scales with external calibration will require calibration weights to check the accuracy, which are also made from metal that can contract and expand. Be sure to guarantee that your digital scale and your calibration weights are the same temperatures before you calibrate, so you won’t be risking erroneous results right from the start.

What Other Factors Can Affect a Weighing Scale’s Accuracy?

Many environmental factors can affect the accuracy of a digital weighing scale besides temperature, one of which is vibrations. For more information on how vibrations affect lab balances, check out our blog How to Keep on Top of Laboratory Vibrations.

Another is wind or air currents, which are to be expected outside in the field but may also be caused by air conditioning units or fans. Many laboratory scales come equipped with draft shields to protect the scale against air currents, though top loading balances are usually more durable.

Additionally, ionisers can help to reduce the effects of electricity and static on weighing scales, as a charge can be built up when placing different items on the pan, such as fabric.


Do you have more questions about how to prevent errors in your results? Get In Touch with the Inscale team for answers!

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