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Types of Weighing Balances Used in Science Classrooms

It might seem like summer has just begun, but it’s already time to start thinking about the academic year ahead and preparing the classroom for autumn.

For science classrooms, it’s likely that you’ll need lab balances to complete scientific experiments and perform basic classroom weighing tasks. In this blog, we’re going to explore the many different types of educational weighing balance that can be used in a science classroom and give you all the information you need to conduct useful, informative weighing experiments.

For a comprehensive guide to choosing an educational balance for your classroom, please see our blog post Scales for Schools: How to Buy the Best Weighing Scale for Your Classroom’.

Types of weighing balance used in science classrooms

Compact balance

Easy to use and durable, compact balances are perfect for simple weighing tasks in the classroom and field work. They are small in size and often have rechargeable batteries meaning that they do not rely on mains power, making them a great option for small, busy classrooms. Their robust design is also great for younger students learning about the basics of weighing, and some weighing balances such as the CB Compact Balance from Adam Equipment have tough, chemical resistant plastic housing and a grade 304 stainless steel weighing pan. Other compact balances, such as Adam’s Core Portable Compact Balance, are uniquely designed to be stacked and stored in storage cupboards and supply rooms.

What are the uses of a compact balance?

Compact balances are simple, sturdy and easy to clean, so they’re perfect for messy entry level science experiments, such as making cinder toffee and making slime. Another experiment you can try with a CB Compact Balance is blowing up a balloon by adding baking soda to vinegar to understand how mass changes when we change from one state of matter to another.

Triple beam balance

Another robust weighing balance, the triple beam balance is perfect for when an electricity point is not easily accessible, and you need a balance that is dependable and simple to use. A good example of this would be the patented TBB Triple-Beam Balance from Adam Equipment, which offers everything you need for basic everyday weighing tasks and density weighing. This weighing balance can deal with rigorous classroom use and offers an affordable option for schools and universities.

To see more information on mechanical and triple beam balances, please see our blog post ‘A Guide to Choosing the Best Mechanical Scale’.

What are the uses of a triple beam balance?

A mechanical balance is perfect for visually teaching students about how weighing scales work and the basics of measuring mass – which is a crucial skill for students of all ages. They offer a hands-on experience for students, and can be used to measure mass directly, or by difference to determine the mass of a liquid without measuring its container.

Spring Balance

Perhaps the simplest of all classroom weighing balances, the spring balance consists of just two hooks at either end of a spring, which sits inside a tube with the units written on the side. They are small and pocket-friendly, and can be transported for field use and stored easier than any other weighing balance.

What are the uses of a spring balance?

Because spring balances can give instant weighing results in grams and Newtons, they are perfect for basic force measurement experiments, such as understanding frictional force and learning about Hooke’s Law – which states that the force exerted on a spring is directly related to the distance it moves as a result of the force. They can also be a useful tool in determining the difference between weight and mass.

Precision balances and analytical balance

Precision and analytical balances are the most advanced types of weighing balances that you could expect to see in high-level science classrooms and university laboratories. They are extremely precise, with an analytical balance capable of measuring subjects with 0.0001g readabilities, and are highly sensitive to outside interface, such as vibrations, drafts and heat. For this reason, they should be used with both a draft shield and an anti-vibration table (we recommend the AVT from Adam Equipment).

What are the uses of a precision or analytical balance?

Because precision and analytical balances are far more advanced than any of the other weighing balances mentioned previously, they have a far broader use and can be used to conduct all manner of significant scientific experiments and research. Some precision and analytical balances come with dynamic weighing which allows for the accurate weighing of unstable subjects, such as small animals and insects. Other analytical weighing balances, such as the Equinox Analytical Balance, boasts features such as checkweighing, percentage weighing, parts counting, formulation and density determination.

For any more information on our range of educational scales and balances, please Get In Touch.

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