Currently there are many types of laboratory equipment and instruments, but one of the most common and important are drying ovens. A drying oven is an instrument used to dry glass and metal containers. Depending on the mode of operation, there are basically two types of oven: those that operate by natural convection and those that operate by forced convection.
How is a drying oven made?
Oven are basically made up of two chambers: one internal and one external. The external chamber is made of sheet steel, covered with a protective film of electrostatic paint. The internal chamber made of aluminum or stainless material to better provide heat; It has a set of shelves or racks made of stainless steel wire, so that the air circulates freely, there the elements that need to be dried or sterilized by dry heat are placed. This chamber is isolated from the external chamber by an insulating material that maintains high temperature conditions internally and retards heat transfer to the outside.
The oven has a metal door that is also thermally insulated and is provided with a handle also made of insulating material, which prevents the heat inside from becoming a threat to the operator’s hands. The door is placed on the front part of the oven body, by means of a set of hinges that allow it to be opened at angles of up to 180°.
The modern oven can be controlled by a microprocessor module from which it is possible to select the operating parameters of the equipment and its alarms, and program the execution of cycles or thermal processes. The oven normally operate from room temperature conditions up to 350 °C.
The internal heat is generated by sets of electrical resistances, which transfer the thermal energy to the internal chamber. These resistances are located in the lower part of the oven. The heat inside the internal chamber is transferred and distributed by natural convection or forced convection (oven with internal fans).
How to use a drying oven in the laboratory?
When carrying out work or experiments in the laboratory, it is usually necessary to wash, then dry and sterilize the metal and glass containers in common use. To carry out this action, the containers are placed inside the drying oven. In it, dry heat is generated at a temperature of 180 °C for about two hours, which allows the sterilization of all the material placed in the drying cavity. This absorbs any traces of moisture and eliminates any lingering biological activity on the surface of these materials.
What is the importance of the oven?
The importance of the drying oven in the laboratory lies in the fact that this equipment performs two essential functions such as: drying and sterilizing the glass and metal material used in laboratory work, whether they are tests or experiments carried out in it. After being used in any job, the metal and glass materials or instruments are washed and then placed in the oven for drying and sterilization, this equipment leaves them ready for later use.
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