Among the wide variety of equipment needed to carry out the numerous activities of a laboratory, we can highlight the use of drying and heating ovens or ovens, basic equipment that is often used quite frequently.
The laboratory oven is an instrument used to sterilize and dry glass or metal containers used in laboratory work. With its use, it is possible to eliminate all moisture from the containers regardless of their type of preparation, since it is a chamber with a cavity that has a temperature higher than room temperature.
General characteristics of laboratory ovens
Laboratory ovens have a series of characteristics that allow them to be differentiated from the rest. So that you can choose the best one for you, it is important that you know the general characteristics that they offer:
- They can be obtained in different sizes to carry out different industrial processes.
- They are completely made of stainless steel, thus guaranteeing their durability.
- They usually consist of an internal chamber that has three trays, on which the different instruments are placed.
- They can have an LCD screen to better monitor the drying and sterilization process. They also have buttons and dials to be able to configure them.
What should be considered when choosing a laboratory oven?
The laboratory ovens are specially designed with an internal stainless steel chamber, with which they ensure that they can control temperatures that can range from room temperature to 300 ° C.
It is also very important to keep in mind that nowadays we can find different types of models, which can be analog or digital.
Laboratory ovens are made with the aim of being able to carry out different thermal applications of high forced volume, making sure to provide a uniform temperature at all times throughout the entire process. These are not only used for heating or drying, but are also used for sterilization.
Likewise, it is vital to take into account that there are different types of ovens, among which we can highlight:
- Vacuum Oven: these ovens are used when working with hygroscopic and temperature sensitive substances. The oven is responsible for creating a vacuum to lower the pressure below the pressure of water vapor, which is why they are usually used during the more delicate drying processes.
- Mechanical convection oven: these are ovens that are specially designed to maintain a uniform temperature while offering faster heating or drying. These models are usually assisted by a fan that helps keep the temperature uniform.
- Gravity convection oven: these are ovens that are used when there is no need to maintain a uniform temperature. They are perfect when the substance to be heated can be interrupted by air flows.
What are the most common uses for laboratory ovens depending on their type?
- Forced air and gravity convection ovens: they are used to dry samples that have weight before and after drying.
- Gravity convection ovens: these are widely used in biological laboratories to eliminate different microbiological contaminants.
- High temperature, gravity, vacuum or mechanical convection ovens: these are ovens that tend to have multiple uses in pharmaceutical, forensic and clinical laboratories.
- Vacuum ovens: they are perfect for working with materials that require an inert atmosphere.
- Multipurpose and forced air ovens: used for drying and sterilizing metal and glass materials.
What are the advantages of laboratory ovens?
Laboratory ovens often offer some pretty cool enhancements that allow you to work more efficiently in labs. For example, they are usually quiet and efficient models, and they can be placed in different places within the work area.
These types of ovens are responsible for eliminating any remaining moisture in the instruments or glass or metal containers of the laboratories. They are useful for eliminating contaminating microorganisms (viruses, bacteria) using the heat they generate.