Laboratories have all sorts of equipment found within them. More, in fact, than most people realize, particularly if they do not work in laboratories themselves. For instance, few people are aware of the existence of lab drying ovens, and they certainly don’t know what they are used for! So what are these pieces of equipment, why are they needed, and how are they different from standard ovens?
What Are Lab Drying Ovens?
These types of ovens have been designed specifically to meet the needs of general materials or metal processing, electronics manufacturing, and pharmaceutical production means. They come in large and small models, each of which is equipped with digital temperature controls. Additionally, they have important protections in place to ensure the oven, the materials contained within it, and the laboratory workers, are safe.
It is generally also possible to purchase additional accessories for lab ovens, depending on the needs of the laboratory. Usually, these are added for more specific operations, particularly if those have to be conducted at maximum temperature. This maximum temperature is what determines whether the oven is small, medium, or large. Small ovens usually are 115V, whereas large ones are 230V.
These ovens have various different applications, although this commonly includes drying samples and glassware or sensitive products. They can also be used for specific treatments, like product age acceleration, polymerizing plastics, evaporation, dry heat sterilization, or annealing. They are commonly found in laboratories where they are used for thermal processing applications, but also other forms of general lab forms. However, they are not suitable if heat combustible materials are present.
Standard Features Found on Lab Drying Ovens
A number of features are added as standard, being:
- A bi-metallic thermostat.
- A double wall construction, insulated with glass wool.
- Natural air convection.
- An aluminum interior.
- A spirit filled thermometer.
- Two adjustable tip-proof shelves, generally made from zinc plated stainless steel.
- A European plug if the unit is 230V.
Lab ovens also feature different controls. Some are manual, whereas others are automatic. The heating system varies depending on the manufacturer and the need of the operative. They can use steam, microwave, oil, infrared, gas, combustion, or electricity. Most importantly, they are designed to ensure their drying performance is highly efficient in a casing that is both robust and compact.
If you need a laboratory drying oven for your work, then it is very important that you only purchase one that is made by a reliable manufacturer. You need someone who is renowned in the scientific community and who is competitive in terms of the different ovens that they offer, as well as their prices. Any equipment you purchase should come with long term warranties, and it is best to find one that includes a service, maintenance, and repair contract just in case. Take your time to do your research, firstly into the type of oven you actually need and, secondly, into the manufacturer or supplier that you want to work with. After all, these ovens aren’t cheap and if they break down, you have to pay not just for the cost of repairs, but also for the cost of a failed experiment or production.