The beam balance is one of the oldest known measuring instruments. Until the 20th century, balances had been the most sensitive and precise instruments used for scientific measurements. The original balances used a beam supported at the center with pans hung from cords on both ends. The modern electronic beam balances still resemble those original designs; however, the resolution, accuracy, and capabilities have been significantly improved. This review provides a short introduction to the history of beam balances followed by a detailed description of three gravimetric microbalances manufactured by Hiden Isochema for measuring gas and vapor sorption in a variety of materials.
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