Refractometers

Refractometers

Instruments designed to measure a sample's refractive index or polarization of light; available in benchtop and portable sizes. Includes accessories and replacement parts.

Refractometers measure the change in the angle of light as it enters a transparent liquid or solid substance. Refractometers are commonly used to identify a material, determine its purity, or indicate the amount of a dissolved substance that it contains.

Lists of standard refractive indexes have been published to help users identify specific compounds or materials.

Refractometers also have different scales for specific purposes. For example, the Brix scale is used for measuring the sugar content of jams, marmalades, maple syrup, and honey. Refractometers are available in various Brix scales and may be calibrated specifically for glucose, maltose, fructose, and other sugars.

What Are Refractometers Used for?

Refractometers are used in a variety of industries and applications:

  • Laboratory medicine: Used to measure total proteins in blood samples and specific gravity in urine samples
  • Gemology: Used to identify gems
  • Aquariums: Measure water salinity and specific gravity
  • Industry: Measure coolant concentrations
  • Homebrewing: Measure fermentable sugars that will be converted to alcohol

Refractometers may be analog or digital and can be found in handheld or benchtop models. Refractometer replacement parts are also available.

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