How Dry Baths Are Used in the Laboratory

The dry bath is a versatile piece of equipment which provides controlled dry heat for a wide variety of clinical and general chemistry applications. They are useful in the latest process incubation, temperature calibration, blood bank, enzyme reactions, incubation, inactivation and temperature calibration applications.

The more recently designed units offer unparalleled accuracy and flexibility in application. Some have an auto tuned, microprocessor based temperature controller that controls the key parameters of temperature. They provide the user with more control than any other block heater available for the cost of the unit. Some also have fully stainless steel bodies, blocks of anodized aluminum and are autoclavable.

A dry bath is a valuable device in histology, clinical, environmental, molecular biology and industrial laboratories. These heated chambers are filled with salt, sand, aluminum blocks or other media and are designed to hold different sizes of glassware. They are ideal for use in sera, enzyme reactions, blood cross-matching, cholesterol determinations and Rh studies.

Both analog as well as digital models of bath are available, with the digital type becoming increasingly popular; these units are a good alternative to hot plates in the laboratory. They are often substituted for water baths in various laboratory applications. A dry bath can be controlled by microprocessors to regulate the high power heaters in the baths and provide accurate temperature control. This eliminates the need for temperature adjustments and frequent temperature checking with a thermometer.

The block portion of the bath must be made of material that is capable of transferring the heat uniformly from the heating element to the interchangeable blocks. The blocks need to be of uniform size so that each of them receives equal temperature treatment irrespective of their position in the bath. Another variation of the device involves the addition of agitation. This adaptation is designed to provide a gentle to vigorous agitation in the heated atmosphere. It is ideal for use in marine biology, substance abuse testing and water testing.

The bead bath is another type of dry bath that is in use for certain applications. It can be used to replace the traditional water, oil and sand-filled bath with a smooth metallic thermal bead bath. It can also substitute for an ice bucket. The bead bath type is relatively simple, clean and safe. Since microbes can thrive in water, it is useful to eliminate the use of water as a bath solution. Water and ice can introduce both biological and chemical contaminants to the incubating samples. These unknowns can put the research work at risk and create a complex, unpredictable work environment.

Open sources of water in the lab’s dry bath put both the researcher and the lab at risk of incubating and spreading biological or chemical contamination between samples, equipment and people. Unknown biological and chemical contamination in water can readily enter your incubating samples at the vessel’s closure. This can result in distorted data and non-reproducible results. Thermal bead technology will save the researcher countless hours of reworking ruined experiments, cut down on wasted reagents and eliminate cleaning and filling duties. The beads can also extend the life of the dry bath equipment by eliminating corrosion and possibly even burn-out.