Friday, March 24, 2017

Environmental Chambers - Elevated Humidity Applications

environmental control chamber for temperature and humidity stainless steel
Environmental Chamber with stainless steel
construction for elevated humidity applications.
Courtesy Powers Scientific
There are many testing, research, and production applications that require environmental moisture control at elevated levels. Environmental chamber manufacturers provide a broad offering of products, some tailored to very specific test or process requirements, others which will accommodate a wider range of operating conditions.

The challenge of product selection for a particular use can prove challenging for those not familiar with operational aspects of the equipment and systems that comprise an environmental chamber with humidity control. Selections of humidification equipment or cooling system, in particular, can have a real impact on chamber performance and maintenance requirements.

The stated performance for any environmental chamber is based upon a range of ambient conditions surrounding the chamber or its equipment. Every chamber will not necessarily work properly in every setting. It is important to consult with the manufacturer to make sure the intended use and location of the equipment is within its design range. For any unit under consideration for use, its ability to deliver needed performance levels depends, in large part, on the manufacturer's knowledge of how the chamber will be used and where it will be installed.

Generally, equipment manufacturers design environmental chambers to perform at the published design conditions when properly installed in most commercial or institutional buildings. To assure successful operation, a prospective user should consult with the chamber manufacturer's application specialists to verify there is a match between the user expectations and the equipment suitability for the project. Here are some things to consider.

  • Define the chamber conditions to be maintained. For humidity control applications, it is important for the manufacturer to know the specific combinations of temperature and humidity setpoints that will be used. For example, 80% RH (relative humidity) at +32°C. This helps the manufacturer to confirm overall chamber performance will meet user needs and verify that any options selected are compatible with the desired operating conditions.
  • Establish the range of environmental conditions that exist at the exact installation site - A humidified chamber generally has capacity to add moisture, but not remove it. Confirming the range of temperature and relative humidity conditions that can be present throughout the year helps assure that environmental chamber performance will not be adversely impacted by the surrounding air conditions.
  • Know where the heat will go - Cooling systems transfer heat from inside the chamber to outside the chamber. A unit with a cooling system of the self-contained air cooled type will reject all heat removed from the chamber, plus some extra generated by the cooling machinery, to the space surrounding the chamber. While the amount may be small, without an adequate means of removing that heat from the installation area, the temperature surrounding the chamber will rise. This is especially important when contemplating the placement of an environmental chamber within a small room with little ventilation.
  • Know what is happening in the chamber - Are you adding heat with an apparatus or piece of equipment placed in the chamber? Are materials being added to the chamber that may be at moisture or temperature conditions that differ from the chamber setpoint? These and other user associated loads can impact chamber performance.
Time invested prior to purchase and installation to match the chamber capability with project environmental requirements will pay dividends for the life of the unit. Share your project requirements with an environmental chamber specialist, combining your own knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop an effective solution.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

CO2 Incubator Selection Guidance

laboratory CO2 incubator
Laboratory CO2 Incubator
Courtesy Esco
CO2 incubators are a mainstay of laboratory scale cell culture. Most applications call for operation at +37 degrees Celsius, 5.0% CO2 concentration, and 85% to 95% relative humidity.

Selecting the right incubator to provide the cell culture environment calls for consideration of not only the conditions to be achieved for temperature, relative humidity, and CO2, but how those conditions will be maintained. Stability and accuracy are important, and the way in which an incubator achieves the environmental conditions is worth examination when selecting an incubator. Additionally, determining what operational features and capabilities might be beneficial for increasing workplace efficiency or reducing maintenance can help in selecting the incubator that will best serve your needs.

Esco, globally recognized innovator in the design and manufacture of a range of laboratory equipment, has produced a guide for selecting CO2 incubators. It provides knowledge and guidance about chamber construction, sensors, heating, chamber air movement, filtration, decontamination, and more.

The guide is provided below for your use. Share your laboratory equipment requirements and challenges with lab equipment specialists, combining your own process knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Water Quality for Laboratory Applications

laboratory water purification system
Modern laboratory water purification unit
Courtesy Elga
Water is an important part of many tasks accomplished in laboratory settings. Selecting a purification system which will deliver water of the correct quality and needed quantity is necessary for efficient laboratory operation. Surveying and capturing current consumption information, then projecting any future expansion, can serve as an input for determining the purified water production rate and daily volume requirements. Knowing whether the facility will need a large or more modestly sized unit will certainly contribute to a wise use of financial resources when procuring a system. There is, however, more to successful implementation than proper sizing.

The source water at each facility can vary enough to impact the requirements for a properly configured system. Installing a water purification system with components selected, combined, and sized to purify the particular source water at your facility can deliver benefits over the life of the unit by reducing expenditures on consumables and maximizing system up-time.

The start of the process should include a detailed analysis of the source water. As a practical matter, your goal is to remove various constituents of the source water. That task is best accomplished with thorough knowledge of the level and extent of the constituents.

What we commonly refer to as "water", of course, is far from pure by laboratory standards. Elga, a global manufacturer of water purification equipment and systems for laboratory point of use and centralized distribution, developed an illustrative infographic depicting aspects of laboratory grade water. It serves as a useful refresher for the experienced technician and an educational tool for the novice. The infographic is provided below, with all the credit going to Elga for its production.

Efficient and reliable production of lab grade water presents a number of challenges. Share your requirements with lab water experts, combining your own experience and knowledge with their product application expertise to develop an effective solution.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Small Laboratory Sterilizer

laboratory steam sterilizer
Unisteri laboratory scale sterilizer
Courtesy BMT
The sterilizing of instruments, glassware, and other items utilized throughout life science labs or hospitals is, as is well known, an essential operation. Being able to reliably and quickly process items through the sterilization process can boost productivity in the lab.

BMT USA, a global leader in the design and manufacture of sterilization equipment, incorporates a number of features into its Unisteri line of steam sterilizers. The state-of-the-art design includes:

  • Large color touchscreen operator interface
  • Printer and PC interface
  • Semi-automatic swing door
  • Small footprint
  • Insulated chamber, door, and piping
  • Unlimited number of custom programs, with storage memory
There is more to learn, with additional detail provided in the brochure included below. Share your laboratory equipment and sterilizer requirements and challenges with product application experts, combining your own experience and process knowledge with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.