Desiccator – Desiccant and Gas Purge Cabinet
A Desiccator is a reliable choice to store and organize humidity sensitive products. It also provides clean and dust-free storage environment required for sensitive parts.
Desiccators can be used to keep a dried sample dry, however, it may not be suitable to dry samples because it can take a long time for your sample to dry, so alternative solutions can be used.
There are five common types of desiccators:
1. Regular Desiccator
or Desiccant Chambers use a desiccant such as silica gel bead to absorb moisture from the enclosure. The desiccant is usually available in reusable cartridge or canister.
Pros: Inexpensive and economical solution. Desiccants can be re-generated in either a conventional oven or a microwave oven.
Cons: They require manual monitoring so that cartridges can be replaced as needed to maintain a continuous dry environment. The silica gel will work at the lower absorbing rate when the temperature raises (e.g. above 100 F)
Plastic Desiccator Cabinet
Stainless Steel Desiccator Cabinet
2. Automatic Desiccators
regenerate desiccant as needed. They usually use an electrical heater and fan to prevent moisture saturation on the desiccant.
Pros: Convenience solution, so manual monitoring is not required. Humidity and regeneration cycle is done automatically.
Cons: Still using silica gel so the dehumanization process is slow and the lowest RH% level achieved is limited to the ambient temperature and humidity level.
3. Standard Gas Purge Desiccator
uses a continuous flow of inert gas such as dry nitrogen or compressed dry air to maintain low humidity. Using nitrogen also reduces the oxygen level. A flow-meter is required to control the flow rate.
Sliding Shelf/Wafer Storage
Extra Wide Desiccator
Sliding Drawer Desiccator
Sliding Drawer Desiccator
Pros: They can achieve a low humidity level much faster than desiccants especially with the larger size or multi-chamber cabinets. Depending on the dryness of gas supplied, the RH% can reach about 0%. Flow rate can be increased to speed up the process and can be reduced to maintain the dryness. They maintain positive pressure inside the chambers to create a dust-free environment as desired for many applications including clean rooms.
Cons: They still require manual monitoring. Inert gas cost is usually higher than desiccant. The gas consumes more than needed. Oxygen deficiency is a risk especially when the gases such as nitrogen released into the air. So the proper ventilation required and oxygen deficiency detector is highly recommended.
4. Automated Gas Purge Desiccators
have the same function as standard models, but they use automatically controlled purge system that continuously monitors RH% within the chambers and automatically adjust the gas flow to maintain the RH% level on the setpoint.
Pros: Besides the advantage of standard gas purge desiccators in automated models, the inert gas consumption and the cost can be significantly reduced. Very convenient and they do not require manual monitoring.
5. Vacuum Desiccator
which reduces humidity by evacuating the air from the chamber using a vacuum pump or in-house laboratory vacuum. They can also be used for degassing techniques.
Vacuum desiccators cabinets are available in round (Jar) or cubic (Cabinet) style. Cubic style has easier accessibility and greater usable storage capacity.
Standard Type 1 & 2 Desiccator Cabinets
Custom Desiccator Cabinet
Pros: They are ideal for ultra-dry condition, and where minimum oxygen level needs to maintain. Some vacuum desiccator can backfill purge with another gas after vacuum applied.
Cons: Both round and cabinet style desiccators are very limited in storage capacity and shelving. They range in size from quite small up to 2 cubic feet (Cleatech Desiccator brand offers up to 8 cubic feet). Due to the thick wall construction are usually heavier than regular desiccator. Vacuum may need to reapply periodically depends on the leak rate of vacuum chamber.
Cleatech manufactures desiccators and low-humidity cabinets for storing sensitive samples and products in a clean, dry and oxygen-free environment.