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# What are a scale's platform balance parts and functions?

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According to American Weighing Scales, different types of platform scales are composed of different parts and use different terminology. However, there are two main types: spring scales and balance beam scales. The main function of both mechanisms is to provide an accurate weight measurement of an object.

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American Weighing Scales describes spring scales as containing a spring mechanism that stretches in direct proportion to the weight of an object placed on the bottom end, commonly called the "load receiving end." These types of scales are also known as "strain gauge scales." Modern versions use electronics to replace the actual spring or gauge, and are most likely found in laboratories because of their greater accuracy.

Balance beam scales are traditional, more widely recognized scales. A balance beam scale uses a fulcrum and lever. The lever balances across the fulcrum with the object to be weighed at one end and a counterweight at the other. Alternatively, the lever can be suspended from the fulcrum with the pans or plates for the object and counterweight suspended from each end. Once the lever is horizontal to the fulcrum, the unknown weight and the counterweight are equal, and the weight of an object can be determined.

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## Related Questions

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Balance scales work by placing items of equal mass onto two hanging pans, according to Math Is Fun. In order to determine how much a single object weighs, a standard weight is placed in one pan and the object of unknown mass in the other.

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A metric scale is a form of measurement used in the metric system. The metric system is the world standard for measurement and is made of three basic units: the meter, gram and liter. The meter measures length, the gram measures mass and the liter measures volume.