Lab technicians and scientists alike use vacuum pumps for multiple different tasks, from filtering and aspirating to controlling or inducing solvent evaporation into concentrators. Vacuum pumps can also be found in vacuum ovens, gel dryers, desiccators, rotary evaporators, and perhaps, most notably too, mass spectrometers. There is a lot that goes into the process of picking the right vacuum pump system, and in this blog, we will break down the different types of pumps and various aspects of each that you should consider. Read on to learn more!
What exactly will you be using this pump system for? Pump application determines the pressure ranges that the system will be required to serve. Check out a pressure-range chart (from a lab supply store if you need help) to determine pump choices available for your desired range.
Watch out for loud and obnoxious pumps! A noisy pump might severely disrupt the quiet and calm working conditions expected in your typical laboratory environment. Try to find one that is easy on the ears so you won’t be distracted or lose focus while conducting your experiments.
A few pumps are much more likely to result in contamination (either in the gases being processed or the ones being expelled) than others, especially oil-sealed vane vacuum pumps. Even with any oil-filtered hardware in place, these types of pumps invariably release small amounts of oil into the processed gas. Also, captured and recycled oils have to be purged to remove condensate, a process that releases a bit of oil mist into the laboratory environment. To avoid these potentially dangerous side effects, opt for some dry vacuum pump systems.
Control, Size, and Footprint
These are three significant interconnected factors that you must consider when picking a vacuum pump system. A pump unit that is too big will result in an unnecessarily colossal footprint. Bigger units are also harder to control, especially if smaller and precise flows are necessary.
There are a few different costs you must take into consideration. Aside from the initial investment and ongoing costs for energy, expect to keep up with a lot of different maintenance requirements, which include:
- Replacing consumables
- Replacing disposables
- Hiring manpower to service these pumps
If you have any questions about which type of vacuum pump is best suited for your lab practices, give the Lab People a call today!
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