Vacuum ovens are machines that dry the product placed within them, usually a solid which is wet, by removing the moisture, impurities, or any chemicals mixed with it in order to inhibit any reactions that might otherwise occur. This is done by the creation of a chamber that is sealed by vacuum and reduces the pressure inside the oven. Vacuum ovens lessen the process of oxidation of the product and prevent the contact of hazardous chemicals. These machines are found in most laboratories and operate at 300 degrees Celsius or more.
There are three major sectors where vacuum ovens are found indispensable.
- The first one is electronic manufacturing, where they are used to dry the delicate electronic parts and skip the process of warping in order to reduce the total time of manufacture. When it comes to normal applications, vacuum ovens can also remove the moisture from devices that have been accidentally plunged into the water.
- The second application is in the medical industry, where it is used to sterilize the medical implants by removing any toxic chemicals present within them.
- The third application is in the aerospace manufacturing industry, where vacuum ovens stimulate the vacuum environment in space to find out how a device would behave. All devices or components sent to space are first tested to see how they perform with the help of vacuum ovens.
Common mistakes are made while putting a vacuum oven to use. Since there is no air circulation to rely on while heating, a lot of energy and precise control is required to ensure that the product isn’t damaged.
In order to use vacuum ovens carefully, one must:
- Understand the workings of a vacuum oven in detail.
- Locate the oven in a dry, clean area away from any walls.
- Find out the voltage requirement for the oven used.
- Use an oven that is compatible with the operations to be performed.
- Do not place any combustible, explosive, or unstable items inside the oven.
- Organize products with adequate space between them.
- Use an aluminum shelf for heat transfer.
- Avoid placing the products directly on the heat plate.
- Switch off the power supply before opening the oven’s door.
- Do not touch freshly heated products with bare hands.
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