General Ovens

What are Laboratory Ovens?
Laboratory ovens are standard equipment found in most clinical, forensic, electronics, material processing, and, research laboratories. Laboratory ovens provide uniform temperature and precise temperature control for heating, baking, evaporating, sterilizing and other industrial laboratory functions.

Oven temperature ranges from ambient to above 300°C.

Types of Laboratory Ovens

  • Standard Digital Ovens – Built for the heating and drying process, offering temperature accuracy control and safety.
  • Heavy Duty Ovens – Typically used in industrial applications for soils/aggregate testing and drying biological samples.
  • High-Temperature Ovens – Custom built ovens with temperatures upwards of 500°C. Additional insulation lining the oven walls and doors.
  • Vacuum Ovens – Also called drying ovens are used to remove moisture from objects without cooking them. Heat is produced from the side walls and requires an external vacuum pump to provide a low-pressure environment which minimizes oxidation during drying.
  • Forced Air Convection Ovens – Also called mechanical convection ovens, With the help of a blower fan, warm air is pushed around the oven chamber. This creates a uniform distribution of warm air and provides rapid heat up and recovery time. Something to note, convection heating can cause excessive drying due to the force of the fan. See diagram below.
  • Gravity Convection Ovens – Hot air naturally rises when it expands and become less dense than the air around it. These ovens provide a low-cost alternative to forced convection ovens. See diagram below.

Forced Air Laboratory Oven vs Gravity Convection Laboratory Oven

What is the difference between a forced air laboratory oven and gravity convection laboratory oven?
A forced air oven, also known as a mechanical convection oven works by forcing warm air around the oven chamber with the assistance of a blower fan. Similar to a furnace, hot air will travel through a duct system creating a uniform distribution of warm air within the chamber. A gravity convection oven does not rely on a blower fan to move air around, instead of hot air will naturally rise when it expands and becomes less dense than the air around it. As the hot air rises it will lose heat energy and begin to fall repeating the process.

Gravity Convection Laboratory Ovens

  • Low-cost alternative
  • Temperature uniformity is not important
  • Ideal for powder substance

Forced Convection Laboratory Ovens

  • A fan provides a uniform distribution of hot air
  • Provides a faster heat up and drying time

What are lab ovens used for?

  • Drying or Dehydrating – Removing moisture from samples. Typically performed in environmental, biological and clinical laboratories.
  • Sterilising – Remove or destroy bacteria or microorganisms from something. Commonly used to sterilise lab equipment.
  • Annealing – Used to remove internal stresses and toughen from metal or glass. Metal or glass is heated and allowed to cool slowly.
  • Evaporating – Used to evaporate excess solvents, such as water, from a solution to produce a concentrated solution or measure their melting point.

Information required to quote on a Oven

  1. What is your application?
  2. What volume/Size?
  3. Do you need natural convection or force convection?
  4. What is your minimum and maximum temperature?
  5. What temperature accuracy do you need?
  6. Do you need programmable temperature profiles?

Further Reading