Refractometer Catagories

Directions for Refractometer Usage

[ 2015-3-12 ]

A refractometer is a device that measures a refractive index. The index of refraction is determined by how much the speed of light, or sometimes sound waves, is reduced inside the object you are measuring. Handheld refractometers, digital handheld refractometers, laboratory refractometers and inline process refractometers make up the four main types available for use. In addition to measuring the refractive index, refractometers are able to measure solid matter and specific gravity.

Applying the Sample

On three types of refractometers there are plates designated for sample application. On handheld and digital handheld devices the plate will be on the opposite side of the eye-piece. On the laboratory devices the plate will be either to the left or the right of the display screen. An inline process refractometer is a continuous measurement device. There is a sensor placed inline with the fluid being tested. The sensor is coupled with a control box that has a digital screen to display the test results. Use a pipet to obtain the sample and place it on the plate. Then cover the sample with the covering device included with your refractometer. It is important for the sample to either be heated or cooled to the appropriate temperature. Twenty degrees centigrade is usually appropriate, but you should be aware of the proper specifications for the substance you are testing.

Obtaining Test Results

While using a handheld refractometer place the eye-piece to your eye. Stand so a light can shine through your sample plate. While using a digital handheld refractometer, you will push a button that will cause an internal LED light to shine for you. You may need to rotate your eye piece to bring your measurement pad into focus. The light passing through the sample will bend through this process, illuminating the result on the measurement pad. While using a laboratory refractometer, press the "measure" button. The refractometer will stabilize the temperature and measure the sample automatically.

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