Desiccator is commonly used science equipment for experiments involving chemical reactions. It is an airtight and sealable container, box or chamber to store and handle moisture-sensitive product such as reagents, chemicals or even large objects such as electronics. It contains a suitable drying agent at the bottom. In some laboratories, desiccators take the form of different sizes of cabinets, depending on the purpose of use.
Benefits of Desiccators
This laboratory apparatus can absorb moisture in humid conditions and keep the items stored in it dry and dust-free. They prevent hygroscopic materials from reacting with water from humidity. Basically, it is not used to dry material, but maintain a dry material in a dry environment. Some desiccators are also used for cooling the heated material/object.
Things to Bear in Mind While Buying a Desiccator
Have Knowledge About Different Types of Desiccators
There are four types of desiccators:
Standard: They use desiccant cartridges which need to be changed often depending on their frequency of use. They require regular monitoring. However, they are quite economical.
Vacuum: They need a vacuum pump to remove air and moisture from the chamber. The length of the vacuuming varies according to the model.
Automatic: They are fitted with electric fans and heaters which continuously regenerate the dry environment. They require minimal monitoring and highly reliable. However, they are expensive.
Gas Purge: They use gases such as nitrogen and argon to maintain the ultra-dry environment at a faster rate.
While the basic functions of desiccators remain the same, they differ in features, use of convenience, size and style. Choose the one that best suits your requirements.
Dry Environment Control
The main purpose of desiccators is to keep items dry. So, before buying, do a thorough check of its dry environment and moisture-prevention capability.
Length of Humidity Control
Some desiccators may offer humidity control only for a limited period of time as compared to advanced versions which have any time humidity control benefit. Depending on whether you want the desiccators temporarily or permanently, you should buy accordingly.
The price of desiccators varies according to their type (standard, vacuum, automatic and gas purge), style, size and automation. The more sophisticated this laboratory equipment is, the higher the price you have to pay.
Some experiments or laboratories require moving desiccators from one place to another. Hence, mobility becomes a crucial factor in the selection of desiccators.
Standard desiccators require frequent monitoring, whereas automated ones can take off the burden of monitoring for longer durations. It is your decision whether you would prefer to do it manually or automatically.
Speed of Drying
Some desiccators take longer time than others to dry the environment. The speed at which you want the drying to happen will also determine the selection criteria.
It is always advisable to buy desiccators from reputed and trustworthy suppliers e.g. Science Equip so that there is minimal risk of defects and damages.
Desiccators are must-have science equipment when you need to preserve materials or samples in a dry condition
Also read: Crucible Tongs and Their Uses