What's the difference, which do I need, and how do I know?

Moisture Balances are used to determine moisture content, or the amount of liquid content as a percentage of total mass. Moisture Analyzers determine this by heating the sample and measuring the difference between the pre and post evaporated masses. They are commonly used within the pharmaceutical, agriculture, food processing, textiles, cosmetics, chemicals, fertilizer, paper, and construction industries. Moisture Balances are highly sensitive instruments. In order to achieve optimal results, it is essential that you choose the right one. This article reviews the moisture analyzers offered by Summit Measurement and presents some basics to help guide your decision.

When buying a moisture balance, the most important considerations are capacity, weighing readability, moisture readability and reproducibility. The capacity decision is based on the amount of matter you need to weigh at a given time. Weighing readability refers to the accuracy of the scale, or the number of decimal points shown on the screen. Moisture readability refers to the accuracy of the measurement of the % of moisture. It is important to understand that Moisture Readability is typically one decimal point less than weighing readability. This means if you need moisture readability of 0.001%, you need to purchase a moisture balance with weighing readability of 0.0001%. Reproducibility refers to the number of times you will get the exact same reading when you repeat weighing the same material under the same conditions.

Summit Measurement offers quality moisture balances ranging in weighing readability from 0.01 g to 0.0001g . As with all balances, price increases with the degree of accuracy. So which moisture balance is best for your application? To make that decision, its best to find out the degree of moisture readability and reproducibility you need for your application. Are there government standards or other regulations you need to satisfy? How important is it to produce the most precise results possible? Remember higher resolution balances will produce more precise results.

The Intell Lab IL-50.01 - Is an economy unit best suited for Industrial testing where the precision of a higher grade unit is not required or budgeted for. It is built with a load cell and easy to operate with both liquids and solids, and comes in kit with carrying case, calibration weights, pans, glass fiber pads, tweezers and pliers. It is now available in the new Touchscreen model IL-50.01 TS. The Torbal BTS110 - is a general purpose Moisture Analyzer built with computer enhanced strain-gauge and 200 Watt Halogen lamp heater, Made in Poland. Both of these units offer Readability of 0.01 g and Moisture Readability of 0.1%.

If you need Readability of 0.001 g or Moisture Readability of 0.01%, the Intell-Lab IL-50.001, (and the new IL-50.001 TS) again presents an economy choice in a kit with carrying case, calibration weight, pan tweezers and pliers and some aluminum sample pans and glass fiber pads. Note it has Reproducibility of 0.3 - 0.2%. The Torbal ATS-60 and ATS-120 feature the 200 W Halogen lamp heater that produces controlled drying and high precision results. We also offer the Precisa XM-60, a superior quality balance made with Force Compensation in Switzerland. This balance provides a much higher Reproducibility (% Moisture) of 0.03 - 0.06% typical with 0.02% best case. This should be your choice if you need high levels of reproducibility.

Weighing Readability of 0.0001 with Moisture Readability of 0.001% is called for in applications where the amount of moisture is very small and light and you need a more sensitive balance to see change. Summit offers 2 excellent options. The XM-60 HR is a High Resolution version of the XM-60 (Both offer choice of Halogen, Infrared or Metal Heater) providing % Moisture Reproducibility of 0.02 - 0.03% typical with 0.01% best case. The EM-120 HR Executive Pro, is a Swiss Made model with Force Compensation which is setting new standards in the demanding area of high-end moisture analysis. It also offers % Moisture Reproducibility of 0.02 - 0.03% with added features such as Automatic Internal calibration, Backlit Graphic LCD and Bluetooth and WIFI connectivity.

All of these offerings from Summit Measurement can be viewed and purchased at the following link:

As you can see, moisture analysis is a complex process and moisture balances are highly sensitive instruments. Your choice of balance will influence the accuracy of your results. How can you make sure you have the right balance? Be sure to know the required specifications of weighing readability, moisture readability and moisture reproducibility for your application . A balance with greater accuracy will produce more precise results.

If you are still not sure which moisture balance is best for your application, we highly recommend calling us at 1-855-972-2537 and asking to speak with an Application Consultant. At Summit, we are committed to make certain you have the optimal moisture analyzer to do the job.