While working in a laboratory or any research centre, vacuum glove boxes are a unique lab tool that helps perform experiments in low pressure. If you want to create a non-combustible environment and also have to manipulate objects and non-toxic substances, then a vacuum glove box would serve you the best.
It comes in a combination of a vacuum chamber and glove box, with an air-tight enclosure. All you need to do is insert your hand into the two ports or gloves and start with your experimentation or research. Let’s get to know why vacuum gloves play an important role.
How does it work?
The dependency on a vacuum glove box depends on its working procedure. The primary objective of a vacuum glove box is to create a vacuum chamber with the help of a vacuum pump. It is present inside the chamber. The air is extracted out, and a low-pressure environment is created.
If your experiment demands an inert atmosphere, then nitrogen or argon gas is pumped into the chamber. This will eventually replace the oxygen present in the entire chamber to ensure a stable environment. This protects the user by controlling no explosion or risk of contamination occurs due to reactive gases.
The working air needs to circulate through the purification column and absorbs moisture and oxygen. Then, it is returned to the tank gradually. The oxygen and water contents in the tank decrease and reaches an inert stage.
Where is Vacuum glove boxes primarily used?
Vacuum glove boxes have become an integral part of the manufacturing of the semiconductor industry, lithium battery development, creating a vacuum stimulated environment and even spacecraft engineering. It can be created by using any material but mostly consists of glass acrylic and high-density ceramic.
Why are vacuum glove boxes used?
- Certain experiments require an inert stage, and a vacuum glove box provides a closed-loop that continuously removes water and oxygen.
- You can easily monitor the rate of water and oxygen that you have previously removed. The entire process is controlled, and you can manipulate it based on the requirement.
- You do not need to clean the vacuum box manually because it has automated controlled cleaning valves.
- The internal chamber is pressure-controlled by PLC. Set a working pressure based on the requirement. And, as soon as it exceeds the rate, the system will automatically protect the chamber consistency by reducing the pressure.
- Vacuum glove boxes also come with an automated vacuum pump which turns on when the system detects a necessity.
- It also comes with an airlock. The integrity of the system is maintained in a controlled environment during parts transfer.
Types of Vacuum glove boxes you can use
You can easily get three types of vacuum glove boxes at any laboratory.
Acrylic vacuum glove box
These glove boxes are designed with thick reinforced walls so that they can easily reach a vacuum of 29.9″Hg. It also assists in providing a faster vacuum cycle and is ideal for anaerobic processing. And, for altitude simulation, it provides low humidity nitrogen or argon environment.
Negative pressure vacuum glove box
This vacuum glove box is engineered for rapid removal of oxygen and to establish an anaerobic processing environment. You can easily backfill it with any other gases. Its design facilitates the transfer of equipment that cannot fit the airlock.
Stainless steel negative pressure glove box
These are meant to provide a clean and controlled environment. With a controllable vacuum processing capacity, you can move the gloves port. And, you can also change the gloves type based on the substances you would be dealing with. Further, it allows establishing a connection with an adjacent glove box.
Which vacuum glove box is mostly preferred?
The acrylic material is recommended to build a stable vacuum chamber or vacuum glove box.
- The acrylic material can easily replace glass because it is 50% lighter. So, if you want to transfer the glove box from one place to another, it won’t be an issue.
- Moreover, if you consider steel or glass vacuum chamber, you will find that acrylic enclosures are typically cost-effective.
- Acrylic has five times more impact resistance capacity. This serves to be an ideal match if you are looking for a robust vacuum chamber.
After deciding the specifications, you need to choose a glove box that has air and water seals to produce an ideal atmosphere for testing. If you are a laboratory worker, then the risk of getting infected also reduces by using a vacuum glove box.