A desiccator stores and organizes products that are sensitive to humidity, while they assure a dust-free and dry environment. A desiccator can be optimized through their shape, size and control mechanisms which are best suited to your space requirements, applications and storage options.
Desiccators are a kind of Dry Box – a container whose interior humidity is maintained at low levels. A dry box can be a simple airtight or watertight enclosure. Cameras, lenses or musical instruments are stored in dry boxes to prevent damage from moisture. There are two kinds of dry boxes – desiccant box and an electronic dry box.
Electronic dry boxes have a Peltier cooler which condenses moisture and removes it. In other electronic dry boxes, multi-porous molecular sieve desiccants adsorb the moisture. These desiccants are renewable. We can see that dry boxes and desiccators are the same.
Considerations while choosing a desiccator and dry box
- Type of desiccation: Desiccants, inert gases or vacuum is used to create a dry environment. Depending on what you are storing, choose one of the options.
- Optimal environment: The desiccator or dry box you choose must provide an optimal environment for your tests. Some desiccators need a desiccant, others require gas or vacuum. Some need manual monitoring and others are automated. Certain desiccators are designed to achieve dry conditions faster. Based on your test or the item you are storing, you can pick a desiccator or dry box.
- Storage quantity: The number of items that you need to keep inside a desiccator is a big deciding factor. If you have few items a jar-shaped, regular desiccator will do. Largely sized cabinets are used as desiccators when inert gases are used for drying or if you have multiple substances to be stored.
- Laboratory space: Some desiccators are large in size and some are small. If you have a space crunch, then a small jar or box-shaped cabinet is best.
- Length of time: Certain desiccator cabinets can maintain humidity levels for 72 hours or more. If you have similar needs, then choose a device that gives you such options.
- Price: Standard desiccators are not as expensive, compared to vacuum desiccators or the ones using inert gases.
- Mobility: Not all desiccator cabinets are mobile. Some are very large and cannot be moved without significant effort. But smaller desiccator jars and some mobile cabinets with wheels provide mobility.
- Monitoring: Some desiccators are manually monitored, and some are automatic.
- Speed: Certain kinds of desiccators can create a dry environment faster than others. A device using silica gel as a desiccant will be slower than the ones using inert gases to eliminate moisture.
- Operation: Operation is one of the considerations before buying. Some devices may need additional peripherals and arrangements. For example, a vacuum desiccator needs a vacuum pump.
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