The Essential Laboratory Equipment
Carefully designed laboratories are vital for performing complicated experiments. Almost every new invention we come across was made in a lab. There are laboratories made for specific purposes, such as pharmaceutical labs are used to design and create different drugs that further go on to the market once they have been approved.
Efficient laboratory equipment defines the quality of a laboratory. However, choosing the right lab equipment can be quite a task. You need to keep some factors and variables in mind while selecting the right apparatus for your lab. The equipment must be ideal for fulfilling the purpose of the lab. Otherwise, it can result in high long-term operational and maintenance costs.
Factors such as purchasing cost, maintenance cost, space, durability and application must be considered thoroughly when shopping for laboratory equipment.
Different laboratories work in different environments. But, there are some basic and important apparatuses that every lab needs. Some labs even need state of the art equipment to carry out complex lab experiments.
Basic Lab Apparatus
In order to efficiently conduct biological and chemical experiments, some basic laboratory equipment is required in addition to compound microscope. These basics include: test tubes, test tube racks, test tube holders, reagent bottles, beakers, Bunsen burners along with stands, crucibles, clamps, evaporating dishes, measuring cylinders, mortar and pestle, safety glasses, tripods, spatulas, droppers and balances.
Labs are also equipped with other apparatuses that are required for different testing requirements. Such laboratory equipment include heating equipment, mixers, filters, fume hoods, air handling equipment, centrifuges, shakers, homogenizers, ovens, refrigerators and measuring devices.
Heat testing is usually required on some materials and samples. This testing is done through a lab furnace that maintains a high temperature. It is important that the heating apparatus handles different high temperatures aptly without breaking down. The experiments that involve heat can continue for months.
Atmosphere controls and appropriate dimensions of the equipment are very important. Lab furnace comes with either single or dual heating mode to adjust and maintain the temperature. Some lab furnaces even have application software and computer interface.
Laboratory mixers are used for mixing, emulsifying, homogenizing, dissolving and disintegrating samples. Dual shaft mixers utilize three-wing anchors to generate flow and remove the remainder of mixed materials from the walls of the vessels. Another type of mixers, such as double-planetary mixer, contains a sharp blade. This blade feed the material to dispenser orbiting at high speed. Lab mixers are absolutely necessary in pharmaceutical and industrial laboratories.
Laboratory filters are used to filter out fine particles from samples. Filter medium and holder are two components of lab filters. These filters can be categorized into two types: membrane filters and centrifugal filters.
Large scale lab equipments utilize a membrane filter to filter or separate suspended matter from liquids and gases, whereas, centrifugal filters are used in small scale lab experiments to separate proteins or nucleic acids.
Air Handling Equipment
This type of equipment includes: fume hoods, biological safety cabinets, clean benches and environmentally–controlled rooms. These are used to protect specimen and laboratory from air-borne contamination.
High quality laboratory equipment follows the guidelines on standard specifications and can be purchased directly from supplier. Laboratories with sufficient amount of effective equipment operate longer than those with inadequate ones.