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Laboratory furnaces are composed of a heating element connected to a sampling chamber and regulated by a digital controller.
Lab furnaces perform several routine functions, including sample annealing, baking, curing, solvent removal and sterilization. Although most furnaces are designed for installation on a benchtop, specialty free-standing and walk-in furnaces are available.
Lab furnaces are commonly used in the material science, water treatment, environmental science, chemical, metal treatment, electronic, and agricultural biology industries.
Read More: Applications for Laboratory Ovens Across the Sciences
Ashing furnaces determine the change in weight of a compound as one or more constituents are burned off. Ashing furnaces are used for the material analysis of coal, rubber, plastics, and grain. Specialty porcelain quartz crucibles accommodate up to 38 samples for high-volume ashing or incineration.
Box furnaces contain larger sample chambers than ashing and muffle furnaces for processing bulk samples, such as raw metals, plastics or electronics. Double-wall construction reduces exterior surface temperatures for operator protection and energy efficiency. Hinged side-mounted or top-mounted doors provide full-chamber access for quick loading and unloading of samples.
Muffle furnaces are box furnaces equipped with ceramic fiber insulation to permit faster heating ramp rates than standard box furnaces. Muffle furnaces are used in laboratories for gravimetric analysis, sintering of small organics, quantitative analysis, and sample volatility studies.
Read More: Box, Muffle & Tube Laboratory Furnaces
Tube furnaces are designed for heating small samples in an inert atmosphere. Certain models include three-zone controls to support segmentation of the sampling chamber into three distinct temperature gradients for material testing. Tube furnaces are used for sample viscosity testing, calibration, thermal expansion, and crystal growing.
Laboratory furnaces include a PLC controller to regulate temperatures from 100°C to the maximum temperature of the furnace, which ranges between 975°C and 1,700°C. Although lab ovens are also used for sample annealing, curing and baking, standard ovens do not maintain temperatures above 350°C.
Thermo Fisher Scientific lab furnaces include integral PLC controllers mounted on the front panel of the unit for easy access and maintenance. Integral controllers provide several layers of method and programming control to support simple and advanced protocols.
Thermo Fisher’s Lindberg/Blue M Box Furnaces include controllers capable of storing up to 25 different programs, each with multiple segments.
Multi-segment furnace controllers allow for the segmentation of each program into individual ramp times (heating or cooling) and dwell times. Program patterns are defined by either time or rate and programs are repeatable for 999 cycles.
Simplified setpoint furnace controllers support protocols calling for a single-segment ramp to a specified temperature.
Thermo Fisher Tube Furnaces with economical single program controllers, do not include a database of saved programs for quick retrieval. The single program, however, accommodates multiple segments for advanced heating protocols.
Single segment furnace controllers support procedures defining a single-segment ramp to a specified temperature, but may support multiple saved programs for different sample types.
120-volt connections are suitable for standard laboratory power outlets in the United States.
208-volt or 240-volt connections require less current (amperage) and smaller conductors than equipment designed to operate at 120-volt.
Standard lab furnaces, given their double-wall design and thermal insulation, contain smaller sampling chambers than laboratory ovens.
Common lab furnace capacities vary from 0.2 cubic feet to 2.5 cubic feet in size.
Digital, adjustable over-temperature control protects the furnace and electrical load in the event of controller failure by shutting off power once the setpoint is reached.
Thermo Fisher Thermolyne Benchtop Muffle Furnaces include RS-232 ports for two-way communication between the furnace and a printer or remote computer.
Thermo Fisher Lindberg/Blue M LGO Box Furnaces include an adjustable gas flowmeter, mounted on the front panel for purging the sampling chamber with an inert gas, such as Nitrogen or Argon.
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