When lab work requires high temperature precision, liquid baths are often the solution. Liquids transfer heat more efficiently than solids, objects can be completely submerged in liquids ensuring an even distribution of heat, and high temperatures can be more easily maintained at a constant in liquid than in an open air environment.
Oil baths in particular are often used for high temperature reactions, distillation, and thermometer calibration. However, the use cases are broad and there are specific reasons you might choose to use an oil bath in your lab over other options.
Oil baths vs water baths
Water baths are another common choice in laboratories, but have a temperature limitation. If you’d like to heat something to above 100°C, then you may need to use an oil bath or sand/ bead bath. At Memmert, we recommend using a medium viscosity silicone oil for best performance. A well performing oil bath can reach up to 200°C while providing the same benefits of a water bath – precise, even, consistent heating.
Oil baths vs sand/bead baths
Sand and bead baths can also reach extremely high temperatures, reaching well over 200°C, however heat transfer isn’t quite as efficient as it would be with a fluid and maintaining a precise temperature is more difficult. Memmert oil baths maintain a +/-1°C temperature distribution. If maintaining a precise, consistent temperature is more important to you then reaching over 200°C, then an oil bath is likely the best option for you.
What makes a great oil bath?
When you’re shopping for the best oil bath for your lab, we suggest you focus on safety, precision, durability, ease of maintenance, and the available accessories.
- Safety: When dealing with high temperatures, safety is always our top concern. Ensure that you’re buying an oil bath that has safety measures built right in. All Memmert oil baths come equipped with an Excellent ONE controller. It allows customers to adjust the temperature limit, providing an extra layer of protection.
- Precision: The major benefit of an oil bath is the ability to have complete control over temperature. Find an oil bath that has a simple interface to make adjustments. Equipped with an accurate PT100 sensor to monitor set point temperature.
- Durability: If you’re in a busy lab, then your oil bath will get its fair share of use. Our bath equipment is built to last with corrosion-resistant laser welded stainless steel interiors and textured stainless steel exteriors.
- Ease of maintenance: Oil baths and the equipment placed into them can get messy. Save time by purchasing an oil bath that’s designed to be easily cleaned and quickly maintained.
- Available accessories: When using an oil bath, you will need accessories in order to place your samples into the bath. Memmert has a wide range of accessories that are compatible with our oil baths, like covers, shelves, racks, shakers, and support baskets so you can ensure a perfect fit.