A vacuum oven (sometimes called a purging oven) is heavily used in labs across the board.
Whenever even distribution of heat is essential (or whenever you need to remove unwanted volatiles from a substance), these products can be invaluable assets.
How does a vacuum oven work?
We suggest that you think of these products as pressure devices – not just temperature control devices. The internal change in pressure is the main drying factor, not the heat itself! While the heat also contributes, it’s the pressure change that does the heavy lifting.
Molecules have a “vapor pressure”. There is a pressure at which, say, a drop of water, will turn from a liquid into a vapor. You use these products to change the pressure to create the conditions in which your liquid changes into a gas.
The speed that your vacuum oven pumps determines the rate at which your vapor pressure is reached, and therefore, the rate at which your substances vaporize.
Those who have taken a basic chemistry course will understand that water, for example, boils at different temperatures depending on whether you are at sea level or high altitude. This makes consistent cooking challenging, but it perfectly illustrates that pressure and evaporation go hand in hand.
Uses of purging ovens:
These important products have a wide variety of uses, such as drying glassware, reducing atmospheric conditions and chemical reactions, and more.
Vacuum oven products usually employ a heat shield or other insulation to aid in heat retention within the unit. They also reduce melting points and boiling points, allowing some organic compounds to achieve increased potency.
An added benefit of these systems is that impurities (or volatile compounds) are removed from products placed inside the oven.
Advantages over convection ovens:
Dry up to six times faster than typical or conventional units.
Minimize your operation time with fast heating times and efficient energy transfer. The change in pressure caused by the vacuum dramatically impacts efficiency and drying times.
This unique property makes these products particularly effective tools in industries such as: electronics, aerospace, and medical equipment manufacturing, and of course, organic chemistry. They are absolutely vital in creating extracts, oils, and organic concentrates.
Greater chemical resistance.
Traditional ovens can have lower chemical resistance, which means that heating substances inside them may release (unwanted) vapors. Not only that, but they can also allow components to oxidize or rust, which can introduce unwanted contamination into your system. Vacuum ovens solve many of these common problems.
The vacuum portion of these units is used to reduce atmospheric pressure within the system, thereby allowing volatiles stuck in the product in the oven to reach a lower boiling point.
Achieve a lower boiling point.
A lower boiling point allows volatile vapors to turn into gasses more easily. Having a vacuum in your system reduces the pressure on the material, which in turn allows for easier and faster evaporation of volatile substances.
Safely remove unwanted solvents.
This means you can safely remove any leftover solvents (such as butane or propane) that may have been trapped in the products before using the oven.
Vacuum drying is especially effective at heating samples, and the combination of vacuum and heat will help remove any trapped, leftover gasses in the product more quickly than heat alone.
Not only that, but they are also easy to clean thanks to a pressure-resistant stainless steel construction, and they also reduce heat loss for energy conservation.
Computer controlled for precision.
Vacuum monitors are computer-controlled (and sometimes logged), so you can maintain precise and accurate temperatures at all times. This is beneficial for achieving consistency over time.
Quick-cooling with pressurized inert gasses.
Vacuum ovens may also be quick-cooled via a process called quenching. This process cools the ovens through the use of an inert gas, usually Argon.
Argon (or other inert gasses) allows you to flood the system with gas pressurized up to two times atmospheric levels, depending on the oven you use.
This pressurized gas will be forced to take on heat from the inside of the oven, and it can be passed through a heat exchanger for increased cool-down capability.
Quicker cooling can lead to greater efficiency in an industrial lab, allowing you to perform more runs in a shorter amount of time.
We carry solutions for every laboratory.
While the number of shelves, the overall capacity, and the heating times will vary from model to model, the spring-mounted glass seals of each of these units can be relied on in just about any professional situation you can imagine.
Note: As a general rule, remember that some ovens can oxidize if they are exposed to oxygen while still heated above 400°F, so a cool-down period may be required before opening.
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