Friday, December 15, 2017

Taking Care of Your Environmental Chamber

plant growth chamber environmental chamber with red LED lighting
Maintaining the condition of your environmental chamber
is essential to keeping it performing like new.
Image courtesy Percival Scientific
When your new environmental chamber or incubator arrives, fresh off the pallet, everything about the equipment is in top shape. Over time, through normal use, there are aspects of the equipment that can become worn, dirty, or otherwise compromised. This normal wear and tear, if left unchecked, can impede the proper operation of your chamber and cause its performance to deteriorate.

Percival Scientific, globally recognized manufacturer of plant growth chambers and other environmentally controlled chambers and rooms, posted a blog with some general recommendations that users can employ to make sure their equipment stays in good working order. You can read the full article, or a synopsis with key items provided below.

  • Air cooled condensing units must have sufficient air movement across their condenser surface in order to function properly. As dust accumulates on the condenser, the chamber's ability to cool is compromised. You may need to use a small ladder of step stool to get access for inspection and cleaning. Use a vacuum to remove accumulated dust, not compressed air. The air quality at the chamber installation site will determine how often this inspection and cleaning should be performed. 
  • Perform a similar check at the evaporator, the cooling coil inside the chamber. The requirements are the same. Remove accumulated dust with a vacuum.
  • Chambers with cooling systems will have a condensate drain pan and a drain tube below the evaporator coil. Over time, dust and dirt (sometimes debris) can accumulate in the pan or restrict flow through the drain tube. Periodic flushing with warm soapy water will help keep the line and pan clean and clear.
  • Various surfaces within the chamber will benefit from regular cleaning. This will help retard corrosion, accumulation of dirt, and growth of unwanted mold, etc.
There are more regular maintenance details, depending upon the features of the environmental chamber. Many users, already burdened by the time demands of their work, contract with outside parties to perform regular cleaning, checking, and calibration. Whatever your system of performing regular preventive maintenance, keep it in place and working to maintain the chamber performance you expect.

Share your environmental chamber questions, concerns, and challenges of all types with the equipment specialists at Atlantic Technology Group. Their expertise will leverage your knowledge and experience into effective solutions.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Cleaning and Neutralizing Agents for Lab Washing

laboratory glassware washing chemicals cleaning and neutralizing
Laboratory glassware cleaning and neutralizing agents
Image courtesy Miele Professional
Using good chemicals in lab washing operations is as important as using a good machine. Miele Professional, under the ProCare brand, offers a specially formulated line of cleaning and neutralizing agents crafted to maximize the effectiveness of machine washing.

Cleaning agents are available in alkaline or mild alkaline versions to match the level and type of load soiling. Liquid and powdered versions allow for dispensing by your preferred method.

Neutralizing agents are acidic in nature, used as a pre-cleaning treatment or neutralizer of alkaline residues left from the primary wash portion of the cleaning cycle. Two versions, based on differing acidic agents, cover the majority of neutralizing requirements.

Matching your wash chemicals to the load requirements will yield the best results. Share your lab utensil and glassware washing challenges with lab equipment experts, combining your own knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop the best solution.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Horizontal Laminar Flow Clean Benches

horizontal laminar flow clean bench with glass sides
This horizontal laminar flow clean bench is
free standing and has glass sides to the work zone.
Image courtesy Esco
Processes and operations that require technicians to perform hands-on tasks without contaminating their work are often performed in a horizontal laminar flow work station or clean bench. With filtered air flowing horizontally from the rear of the work area and through the open front, these stations provide a level of protection against infiltration of contaminants from the surrounding space.

Some features common to horizontal laminar flow clean benches:

  • Large open area into the work zone with no obstruction.
  • HEPA filtered air in work zone. 
  • Horizontal laminar air flow pattern prevents entry of dust and contamination from surrounding space.
  • Work area surfaces suitable for cleaning with sanitizing agents.
  • Bench mounted or provided with integral floor stand.
Esco manufactures the Airstream® line of horizontal and vertical laminar flow clean benches targeted for laboratory use. The various models include a host of features tailored to laboratory use. More information is available in the document below, and share your clean work station requirements with lab equipment specialists. The combination of your own experience an knowledge with their product application expertise will yield a positive solution.