Automatic refractometers are used to determine the concentration of a material by taking automated measurements of a liquid, gel or solid material’s refractive index. Refractometers operate by passing a beam of light through the sample and a prism. More concentrated samples bend light at a larger angle, producing a higher refractive index. Automatic refractometers are widely used in production, diagnostics and quality control, measuring sugar or alcohol content in foods, levels of medical or veterinary indicators in body fluids, and the transparency of plastics or purity of solvents in manufacturing applications. Automatic refractometers eliminate the need for users to interpret the angle of the light beam by sight. Compared to the manual alternative, an automatic refractometer will reduce operator error, provide faster results, and offer a convenient selection of output units. Automatic refractometers are produced for both fixed and mobile use, but handheld devices are generally less accurate and require a greater sample size than desktop models. Refractometers are also limited by temperature, but temperature-controlled refractometers can compensate for ranges up to 10 to 120°C. Many automatic refractometers are designed for specific applications with more limited but optimized capabilities.
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