Are you looking to set up or run a chemistry lab? You will find several types of equipment in the lab, and a water bath is one of the most common equipment. Lab water baths are containers filled with hot water. They are used in various lab processes to incubate samples at a constant temperature. This equipment has a wide range of applications, from the extraction of DNA, vaccine preparations, thawing of sperm, and more.
Due to the critical nature of scientific water baths, it is vital to purchase the right equipment when stocking your laboratory. Failure to do so could mean inaccurate results or costly equipment that goes to waste. Therefore, before you decide to purchase a lab water bath, there are some things you need to consider.
Factors to Consider when Choosing a Lab Water Bath
Water baths come in a wide range of sizes and materials. They also have different temperature ranges and modes of operation — not to mention the various types designed for diverse functions. Therefore, you must consider all these factors to choose the perfect equipment for the lab. Below are factors you should consider when selecting a lab water bath:
1. Type of Water Bath
Various types of scientific water baths are used in the lab. Common examples include:
- Circulating water baths: Also known as stirrers, they use constant circulating water, which delivers more uniform temperatures.
- Non-circulating water bath: – The lab samples are heated using still water, the convection technique being the primary mode of heating. They are not as accurate as of the circulating baths with regard to temperature uniformity.
- Shaking water baths: They come with extra accessories that steadily shake the samples as they are heated.
The choice of the water bath will depend on the experiments you are running in the lab and the samples you are heating.
Durability is another vital factor to consider when purchasing a lab water bath. It mostly boils down to the material used in the construction. The most common materials include stainless steel, polypropylene, and epoxy coating.
Stainless steel is a robust material that eliminates the risk of rusting. Stainless steel baths can be affected by changes in room temperatures. Polypropylene and epoxy coating reduces the risk of corrosion and protects the baths from bumps. Furthermore, the materials can help maintain constant temperature ranges during an extended period of operation.
3. Water Bath Control System
Water bath control comes down to two options: analog and digital control. Analog water baths have been around for many years and can still be found in some older labs. Digital water baths are newcomers but are considered a better alternative.
The advantage of digital lab water baths is that they offer superior control. Therefore, you can achieve precision in terms of temperature, time, etc., resulting in more accurate results.
4. Temperature Ranges
Different lab water baths come with varying ranges of temperatures. Therefore, you need to consider the temperature range you will need for your lab and choose equipment that accommodates it.
Besides the temperature range, you also need to consider temperature uniformity. Some lab processes require stringent temperature consistency, and even the slightest changes can introduce an uncontrolled variable that distorts the results. Therefore, if you conduct any sensitive research, you need to choose water baths that offer uniform temperatures.
5. The Dealer you are Purchasing from
Another critical factor where water bath purchase is concerned is the dealer. You should purchase your lab equipment from a reliable manufacturer or supplier. Your equipment should also come with warranties, guarantees, and, if possible, options for repair and maintenance.
A lab water bath is a crucial piece of equipment; it can significantly affect the quality of your experiment or research project. Furthermore, it is also a big purchase decision as they are not cheap. Choosing the right water bath is therefore essential. With the above tips, you can make the right choice.