The Key Principles of Air Buoyancy

When most folks think of buoyancy, their first thoughts are of objects floating in the water. After all, there’s a reason they’re called buoys!

While the team at our weight calibration facility doesn’t do much subaquatic measurement, the idea of buoyancy is still an important consideration. To understand how air buoyancy comes into play, a firm understanding of how buoyancy works is critical.

When an object is placed in a liquid environment, its buoyancy is equivalent to the weight of the liquid it displaces. This is why some low-density objects float in water, for instance, and why other, more dense, items may still sink but will be easier to lift or move while below the surface.

Air buoyancy

As an example, if a stone weighing 10kg is lowered into a body of water and displaces a volume of water that weighs 4kg, the stone will exert a downward force of 6kg. Interestingly, though, the relative weight of the stone will rise as it sinks deeper. This is because the water pressure is greater at lower depths, resulting in more water being displaced by the stone’s volume.

How Air Buoyancy Comes Into Play

As we pointed out, we don’t do much calibrating under water. We do, however, aim for absolute precision and accuracy in all that we do. Many different circumstances can impact the accuracy of calibration, including air buoyancy.

Air buoyancy accounts for the buoyancy created by displaced air in much the same way as one accounts for the displacement of water. This can have a bearing on the calibration of scales and weights as air makes up the surrounding environment. We can determine the density of air using the ideal gas law which can be displayed as a function of temperature and pressure. Therefore, Atlantic’s Mass Lab is always under tight environmental control, and it is even specifically designed and constructed to eliminate any effects from vibration and static.

To avoid a negative impact, Atlantic’s NIST trained Metrologists account for air buoyancy during calibrations. Air pressure, temperature and humidity are closely monitored to ensure accuracy. That’s what makes our custom-built, condition-controlled mass metrology lab such a critical asset when it comes to providing our clients with the precision they depend on.

For more information on how our experts are able to account for potentially detrimental circumstances, including air buoyancy, don’t hesitate to contact us online or to call Atlantic Scale Company directly at (973) 661-7090 today!

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