A desiccator is a sealable enclosure that has desiccants to protect compounds from moisture. Similarly, a laboratory vacuum desiccator cabinet has a desiccant that is filled in the space below the storage platform. A stopcock is included to allow the desiccator to be evacuated. A desiccator can be used for various purposes:
- Heated samples can be cooled in the desiccator to disallow moisture from gathering. The interior is dry because of the desiccating compound at the bottom.
- Chemicals that absorb moisture easily are stored in a desiccator.
- Used for vacuum testing and degassing as well as defoaming.
- Mixing liquids and biological tests.
A laboratory vacuum desiccator cabinet has a closed and tight enclosure, and gases are removed through a vacuum pump. This leads to a low-pressure environment within the cabinet. This is called a vacuum. A vacuum desiccator is also used for degassing, through which gases from compounds inside the cabinet are removed. Vacuum is also used to remove bulk and absorbed water or solvents from a substance. Heat along with vacuum can be very effective for drying.
A laboratory vacuum desiccator cabinet can come in standard or custom sizes. There are 2 general types of laboratory vacuum desiccator cabinets –with removable lid and with front hinged door.
The removable lid desiccators come in various sizes. The smallest available option can have inside dimensions of 7x7x8 and the outside dimensions of 9x9x12. The largest can be 21.75x16x14 on the inside and 24x18x18 on the outside. The hinged door swing model can have inside dimensions of 12x12x12 and outside dimensions of 14x14x15, for the smallest device. The largest can be 10x14x18 on the inside and 12x16x21 on the outside. These are examples of the size of a laboratory vacuum desiccator cabinet and actual sizes can vary based on the supplier you choose.
The general specifications of a vacuum desiccator cabinet are:
- Constructed with 1-inch thick and clear acrylic material
- Removable cover (removable lid) to easily insert or take out samples
- The front hinged door can be opened to add or remove substances
- Can support vacuum level of at least 29.8″ Hg
- Vacuum gasket on the door for a tight seal
- Perforated acrylic shelves for holding substances
- Two vacuum valves on the top that allows the desiccator to be purged with nitrogen before vacuum is applied
- Stainless steel latches for a tight closure
There is a vacuum control unit that goes with this equipment. It monitors the vacuum levels and controls the pump operation automatically by turning the pump on and off when needed. There is also a vacuum pump to be used with the vacuum desiccators. It comes with a vacuum oil. The 2 stage pumps get to deeper vacuum faster and are ideal for vacuum cabinets.