Laboratory Refractometer, What is it and its Price?

November 2, 2021

laboratory refractometer is one of the most important instruments in any laboratory in the world , especially since it performs a measurement function on soluble solids found in a liquid solution. In accordance with its history, this instrument was created by Ernst Abbe in the previous century, based on a fairly simple mode of operation that various scientists modified over the years.

Today, despite being seen as a complex instrument , it is evolved and works excellently. Its name comes from refractometry , which according to experts is nothing more than a special method used to measure the diffusion of light anywhere, which is necessary in the area of ​​physics.

Based on the above, it was necessary to use a device that facilitates this measurement in other samples, so the refractometer was born and has grown as the years have passed, improving its efficiency and precision.

What is a laboratory refractometer?

According to the laws of physics, the denser a liquid to be studied, the higher its level of refraction , which is necessary to know when studying any of the important samples to be used in an experiment. In itself, what happens is that the laboratory refractometer is in charge of measuring the real percentage of any soluble solid that is in a liquid solution, as we have mentioned before, making use of the total refractive law of light.

To give a clearer example that helps to understand the above definition, there is water. The refractometer is capable of measuring the percentage of refraction also of any transparent material, so water is the clearest example. If we have to measure the refraction of water, it will be less since the liquid is not combined with another substance. If, on the other hand, sugar is diluted in this water, its refraction will be greater since the liquid will be dense due to the added ingredient.

Over the years, the refractometer was allowed to measure not only the percentage of refraction of solids and liquids, but also of gaseous materials , adding to this that the level of purity of the substance to be studied is shown in its results.

Laboratory Refractometer Features

The laboratory refractometer has several characteristics that allow it to be differentiated from other measurement instruments, where the small main prism that is observed in one of the corners of the instrument stands out. The substances to be analyzed are placed inside this prism, after being covered with a sheet that helps to carry out the process.

Another of its main characteristics is the adjustment screw that is observed in the instrument, which is used to calibrate it and obtain the correct results. To this is added the mirror tube that is responsible for reflecting the light and that the refractometer does its job quickly. Finally, inside the apparatus the measurement scale is observed, which indicates the result.

Its size is quite comfortable in general, so it can be easily mobilized within the laboratory, carrying out all the necessary measurements.

How does the laboratory refractometer work?

Despite not being an instrument that is too large and complicated to move, it is delicate and not very resistant to falls and sudden changes in temperature, so it is necessary to always keep it in a cool environment and in safe places. These devices are capable of lasting a great number of years, as long as they are cared for and their functions are carried out correctly.

Its mode of operation is simple , mainly you must keep the lens always clean and this must be carried out with the special paper that does not produce stains on the lens that may obstruct the view of the measurement scale. Sometimes sunlight is necessary in order to observe the results, unless the refractometer is modern and has the necessary light for it.

To place the sample, you need to lift the cover that covers the prism area and then close it again. In this way the instrument will be able to carry out its function. Once this is finished, you should wash the area and leave it completely free of residue.

What is the laboratory refractometer for?

The refractometer is one of the most used instruments in any of the main laboratories in the world, including chemistry , since this instrument is used in order to carry out a control on substances prepared from chemical products, such as detergents and perfumes. .

However, this does not stop in this area, but even moves to the food area, since thanks to the refractometer, it is possible to establish the index of substances in others, for example, the amount of sugar in solid and liquid foods , which helps to establish the measurements on the food label of the products.

What is the laboratory refractometer used for?

As we have mentioned, the laboratory refractometer is capable of being used in various areas since it not only fulfills one function, but several of them, which makes it one of the most widely used instruments in laboratories. In addition to handling sample rates in substances such as perfume and detergents , this also applies in a large number of areas, as it encompasses any chemical such as antifreeze and disinfectants.

When taken into account in the area of ​​food, it is used to measure the sugar level of certain liquids, such as soft drinks and juices, as well as other substances such as sauces of any kind and more. However, as we said, it is not only about this since the refractometer also helps to know the degree of purity of the substances, their percentage of solute that is dissolved in them and you know the type of substance that is being studied , in case you do not know it.

Types of laboratory refractometers

Today, there are two types of refractometers , which differ thanks to the system that is sought to be used when carrying out the study of the sample. In addition, each model works in conjunction with its operating mode, where those that are digital have advanced speed and modernity.

The main types of laboratory refractometers are the following:

Abbe refractometer.

This type of refractometer is one that is characterized by allowing the percentage of measurement of the concentration of substances such as salts, sugars and acids. This is one of the basic instruments that works thanks to light.

Digital refractometer.

On the other hand, this is the second type of refractometer that is currently operating in thousands of laboratories around the world, especially because it has a technology greater than the previous type. This is characterized by giving results in more complicated samples, such as glucose and lactose, offering precise and immediate results. As its name indicates, this type of refractometer is digital and has the facility of having a digital screen in which the results are saved, so that scientists do not need to make annotations on a regular basis.

As for digital refractometers, they have modern systems that work with WiFi technology , which allows data to be sent to any computer, so that everything is recorded and the results tend to be more accurate. In addition, it is not only that it works to measure refraction in substances mentioned, but also in more complicated samples such as fruit pulp, samples that Abbe’s refractometer does not usually measure correctly.

Finally, one of the most marked advantages of this instrument is that it has caused a furor thanks to its passage through evolution , since it has been greatly improved to achieve optimal and correct results in general substances, including food, beverages and chemical products.

Dr. Loony Davis5
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Born and raised in Brussels in an English family, I have always lived in a multicultural environment. After several work experiences in marketing and communication, I came to Smart Water Magazine, which I describe as the most exciting challenge of my career.
I am a person with great restlessness and curiosity to learn, discover what I do not know, as well as reinvent myself daily, someone who is curious about life and wants to know. I enjoy sharing knowledge.
This is my personal project but I also collaborate in other blogs, it is the case, the most important web on water currently exists in the US, if you are interested you can read my articles here.

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