How to choose a Laboratory Oven.
There are many models and styles of laboratory ovens available. Looking through laboratory catalogues it is sometimes difficult to decide where to begin in choosing a lab oven.
When choosing a laboratory oven you should consider the following:
Temperature-It’s best to choose an oven with a maximum temperature rating greater than your maximum temperature requirements. This will allow the set temperature to be maintained more accurately.
Circulation-Ovens use either gravity convection or mechanical draft (forced draft – ie fan) to heat the oven contents. It is possible for gravity convection ovens to have “cold” and/or “hot” spots as the air inside the oven can become stagnant. It depends on what you are doing as to whether it is critical to have a very uniform temperature. Circulation depends on the difference in the air temperature within the oven. Typically, mechanical or forced draft ovens have fans that induce air flow through the oven to produce even heating.
Size-Sample container size, the number of samples and personal preference are important factors in properly sizing an oven. An oven with extra interior capacity might be nice to have but oversized ovens require more energy to heat, special electrical power and can take up valuable space in the laboratory. A number of smaller ovens rather than one large oven may be a good choice. Nevertheless, large ovens do have a place in the high-production laboratory or when large sample sizes are needed.
|Large capacity Lab oven|
Controls-Digital controls as opposed to analogue controls allow the operator to easily set the temperature requirements and display the actual oven temperature.
Location-Choose your oven location carefully. Proper location can be a great time saver. Scales, balances and ovens are the most frequently used items in a lab. Placing them in the flow path of samples in the laboratory can save time and labour. Ovens are often placed along a wall, with the scales and balances located beside the oven or on a work table in front of the oven. Be sure to consider any exhaust requirements as well.
Motor protection– Should it be explosion-proof for volatile samples?
Mounting-Should it be a table top or floor mount model?
Visit http://www.prlabs.co.uk/news/article.php?Id=203 for more information on lab ovens.