At Asynt we are very much concerned that our key products don’t just offer the best value but also the very best in terms of quality, features and of course uncompromised safety benefits. Is your laboratory as safe as it can be?
We have often been quite quiet about some of the safety features that our products offer so here is an attempt to try convey some important areas on a couple of our most popular items.
A key feature in the majority of synthetic chemists fume hoods is the humble hotplate stirrer which is usually quite a simple device with a heating circuit and magnetic drive. There are many brand choices available to chemists for these, varying in quality, performance and of course price. So how does the chemist balance the budget and ensure good performance without compromising on safety?
Manufactured in Germany, the Asynt hotplate stirrer offers two inbuilt and totally independent temperature control circuits. One is the normal control dial to adjust the temperature of the hotplate or solution temperature but the additional circuit is adjusted by a small screwdriver and works as a limit controller. It is very useful to enable a maximum set temperature and this feature would be especially beneficial in teaching laboratories and alike. This independent limit control ensures in the unlikely event of a failure of the main control circuit that the limit you set cannot be exceeded.
At Asynt we offer a very popular purchase solution for our customers in which we offer not only the hotplate stirrer alone but as part of a useful fully inclusive package. This package includes a support rod and boss but, more importantly for the discerning chemist, an additional temperature controller which improves reproducibility and accuracy to 0.5C. More importantly with this in place the chemist actually has, with the Asynt kit, a total of three independent temperature control circuits allowing safe use. This is especially important when in use unattended overnight for example. Many lower cost hotplate stirrers still only have the one circuit which, if it were to fail, could lead to overheating so having three is a key safety feature that our no compromise customers are keen to have.
Many of you know and use our DrySyn heating blocks to heat and stir round bottom flasks on a regular basis, but there are still some chemists out there using oil baths. Back in 2003 when we developed DrySyn we introduced an all-encompassing PTFE shield to protect the user from burns. Interestingly, however, it proved unpopular in comparison to safety handles – but why? Feedback received from our customers allowed us to come to a couple of conclusions and it became clear to us that the safest way to use a heating block was not to have a cover, but to have handles.
The danger of burns in the laboratory is a serious one of course so it is key that chemists and lab managers ensure good working practices. Potential burns associated with a flask heating block are unlikely to come from a “brush” with the metal itself during use. The highest potential burn risk is from a user going to pick up a heating block from a hotplate stirrer whilst still hot; the problem here on a PTFE covered block without lifting handles that their fingers will most likely touch the hot underside where there is no insulation… Ouch. All of our DrySyn single position blocks have permanently attached safety lifting handles; the great thing here is that the user will be naturally inclined to pick up DrySyn by the handles so even if the block is still very hot a burn is highly unlikely. Our DrySyn MULTI base units have a lifting handle position and we recommend that customers leave the handle in position so that anyone considering picking it up will not get burnt even when still hot as they will automatically be drawn to use to the handle.
Here again is a link to our “In Best Practice – Safety Guide to Laboratory Heating Blocks”