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Thread: Off topic: use of digital scales... a little help needed

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    Rocketcaver's Avatar
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    Off topic: use of digital scales... a little help needed

    Alright cats & kittens, I actually have a work related question for those who might work in a lab or industrial environment.
    I routinely use a digital scale to measure various epoxies and similar materials. Unfortunately, I'm not the only one using these scales, and eventually they get encrusted with cured and semi-cured epoxy, as well as other sticky and gooey substances. I bought a new digital scale recently, and thought the solution would be to keep the scale in an oven bag or similar to keep them clean (since not spilling crap on them seems to be too difficult for some to grasp, as does cleaning them after use).
    However, unless I am very carefull, the bag interferes with the tareing of the scales, sometimes throwing it off by several grams. For large batches of epoxy this isn't terribly critical, but for small batches it can be disastrous.
    I could just do all the measuring myself, but that negates the advantages of having flunkies.
    Any suggestions on how to overcome this problem?

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    Av8tor1's Avatar
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    car wax maybe?.... or a mold release agent that dries to the touch?..... clear lamination sheets?

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    Hi Les,

    Does your scale come apart? We routinely just take ours apart at work and scrub/clean it thoroughly. I didn't see in your post but do you use weigh boats? The use of them has limited how often we are forced to clean the actual scale surfaces. Plus you can just wash and re-use.

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    i dont do pots. amphirion's Avatar
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    personally I would yell at the flunkies about poor laboratory practices. messes should not be present after use. ever. they should be dealt with as the last step in using the scale.

    practically, such messes can often be prevented by using wax paper or weigh boats on the scales as french suggested, though i dont know how the epoxy will react with the wax paper.
    also, since you were the one who purchased the scale, I would write up a SOP or some sort of protocol on how to use the scale. That way, if when people want to use your scale, they would need to follow the rules prescribed.
    " You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." -Inigo Montoya
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    RL7836's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Av8tor1 View Post
    ..... clear lamination sheets?
    How about a careful application of the clear shrink-wrap sheets that shrink with heat (blow dryer, etc). You could carefully shrink it over the scale & cut away the parts that interfere w/ weighing ...
    All the best,
    Ron
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    Aw bummer scales are spendy. I used to weigh platinum cure silicone and urethane resins at the toy studio with a digital scale that we covered with a huge sheet of the lightest weight/cheapest clear painters drop cloth available at the Walmart next door. So any spilled cured stuff didn't ruin the scale since resin cures in around 15 minutes. But everything we weighed was ounces to pounds and any interference from the bag wasn't a big deal.

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    Rocketcaver's Avatar
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    Lots of good suggestions here.
    Yes, of course, proper usage and cleaning would be the ideal solution, but as they say, it's hard to get good help these days.
    The scales don't seem to come apart, at least easily, but I think I can make a skirt of clear plastic film and tape it under the tray so it should keep the crud off the instrument. Using larger boats should help too, I need to do a little more shopping.
    Thanks everyone for the input.

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