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Laboratory ovens are used in a variety of thermal processing applications including general lab work, component and stability testing, core hardening, drying glassware, and sterilizing. Ovens are lower temperature (usually <1400 degrees F) thermal processing units, usually without refractory insulation. Kiln is an alternate name for oven. Kilns are very high temperature thermal processing units, used for firing ceramics or calcining minerals. Kilns that are for firing ceramic materials use very high temperatures > 2300 F. Kilns for drying wood or wood products are similar to ovens and run at lower temperatures. Specific applications for laboratory ovens include aging, annealing, baking, brazing or soldering, burn-off, curing, drying, firing or sintering, foundry or melting, heat treating, hot pressing, preheating, quenching and sterilizing. Laboratory ovens may also be used for general industrial applications as well.
Specifications and Features
The most important specification for laboratory ovens is temperature range. This is the maximum temperature at which the unit may operate and still maintain rated performances. The capacity or volume of heated interior space of the unit is also a parameter that needs consideration. Pressure range may be important in specifying specific types of ovens.
Laboratory ovens can come in one of several configurations including bench or cabinet, continuous or conveying, tube or muffle, vertical, and walk-in or truck-in.
Cabinet or bench ovens describe small batch equipment typically mounted on integral stands.
Batch ovens are typically suited for processing quantities of product in a single batch.
Conveyor units tend to be oriented toward automated production of greater quantities of small-to-medium-sized product. The type of conveyance system used depends on the product line, volume of work to be produced, and temperature to be obtained.
A tube or muffle oven in which the heating is indirect; the material to be heated is contained in a refractory container heated from the outside.
A vertical configuration is a space saving configuration, the oven is vertical instead of horizontal. This configuration typically requires greater height clearances. Vertical does not refer to the direction of airflow.
Walk-in or truck-in ovens describe larger size batch equipment, typically with double doors and integral carts, shelves, etc.
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Heating and control are important specifications for laboratory furnaces ovens. Heat source or transfer can be one of several common types. These include, arc, combustion, electric or resistance, indirect, contact or conduction, induction, infrared or radiant, natural gas, propane, oil, rf, microwave or dielectric, and steam. Controls for laboratory ovens can be either single set point or programmable. In a single set point configuration the oven has a specific temperature point to reach upon activation. A programmable oven may be programmed to reach different temperatures at different time intervals. Atmosphere consideration is also important when specifying laboratory ovens. Atmospheres are typically air or oxidizing, inert, reducing, salt bath or vacuum.
Features commonly found on laboratory ovens include cooling systems, shelving or racks or carts, air filtration, timers, alarms, logging or recorder options, and explosion proof construction.
Related Products & Services
Autoclaves and Sterilizers
Autoclaves are used for applications requiring constant pressure and temperature for long periods of time. Common applications include the sterilization of instruments and polymerization of rubbers and plastics.
Industrial ovens are batch or continuous process enclosures or tunnels that are insulated and used for thermal processing. Ovens are lower temperature (usually < 1400° F) thermal processing units, usually without refractory insulation.
Vacuum ovens are heat-treating ovens that use a low atmospheric pressure instead of a protective gas atmosphere. This helps to alleviate surface reactions.