Of all lab equipment used by researchers, perhaps none is more important than waterbaths. Water baths for labs allows scientists to keep precious mediums warm, without the fear of igniting a substance, and they are incredibly important to overall research and incubation. Not many people understand just how important waterbaths are, including waterbath incubators.
Why Do You Need an Incubator?
Just like birds keep their eggs warm until they are ready to hatch, incubating is the process of keeping something warm until it reacts or is ready for use. For instance, many scientists will need to thaw frozen eggs and sperm in order for them to be viable for use. This isn’t just useful for research, but also for the thousands of people that choose to freeze their sperm and eggs for future use.
This is just one example of how an incubator can prove to be an incredibly useful piece of equipment. A waterbath incubator can hold a temperature for a steady amount of time so that you don’t need to worry about any chances of ignition or negative reactions.
What Makes Waterbaths Good Incubators?
Waterbath incubators are incredibly simple pieces of equipment. They are, in essence, a container that heats itself to a certain temperature and then maintains that temperature, along with the water inside of it.
Water makes a good conductor of heat, so submerging vile, samples, or other types fo medium into the water bath is an excellent way to keep it well heated and preserved.
In addition, a waterbath incubator is much faster, and safer, at heating up an element. Have you ever stood by a hot stove and waited for a pot to boil or to reach a certain temperature? If it seems as if this process took a long time, that’s because using open flames isn’t the best way to ignite a substance.
In fact, waterbaths have been shown to reach a temperature of around 80 degrees Celsius in just 15 minutes!
How To Choose the Best Waterbath
It’s important to purchase a waterbath that is made by a reputable company. These companies specialize in creating water baths that not only heat up fast, but can also maintain a constant temperature throughout. By maintaining a constant temperature, researchers don’t have to worry about manually adjusting the temperature themselves.
Whether you choose an analog or digital temperature setter, make sure to do test runs beforehand to ensure your water bath will truly be able to keep a constant heat throughout the duration of your research.
A good waterbath should also be made of aluminum or polypropylene, two materials that are excellent water repellents and can be cleaned easily. Aluminum is actually a metal that cannot rust, but it can oxidize. However, once it forms this tough oxidized layer, aluminum is incredibly resistant to rusting and corrosion.
Polypropelene is also another excellent material that also does not rust, even when submerged in water. In addition, it will not react to metal or other different chemicals, making it the perfect base for your incubation project.
Caring For Your Incubator
Keep in mind that the incubation process might take several hours or even days depending on your experiment. After you are done incubating your medium, make sure to clean your water bath as soon as possible. Cleaning it will clear away debris and other mineral deposits that can harm future experiments.
To minimize the risk of mineral deposits and minimize the amount of cleaning after your experiment, use distilled water during the incubation process. This type of water has been purified and stripped of minerals and heavy metals that might be found in regular tap water.
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