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Posts tagged ‘laboratory’

Fischer Technical’s new PILOT series Diaphragm Chemical-Resistant Vacuum Pumps

For quite some time we have been selling Fischer Technical’s excellent High-Vacuum Pumps , an excellent line that is incredibly durable – able to handle operating 24/7. But these pumps are oil based and do require oil-changes.

Now Fischer has added a new line of Diaphgram vacuum pumps to fill the needs where a pump is required, but not the endurance of the high vacuum pumps, but still providing decent vacuum production as well as being chemically-resistant for use in the lab.

Enter the PILOT3000 and PILOT5000, both excellent choices for for a laboratory’s filtration, dessication and other mid-range needs. The PILOT series include features such as an inlet trap & vacuum regulator and all contact surfaces are PTFE (teflon) coated for chemical resistance, making them virtually maintenance-free.

Both the PILOT3000 & PILOT5000 are 20psi continuous-duty pump, both operate at a low-volume ~54dB range, are small (both models under 9″ in their longest dimension), lightweight (7.5 and 13 lbs respectively) and durably built in the USA. Both units can use an optional Vacuum Regulator Assembly, to keep the level of pressure you require.  The chemical-resistance is able to handle acetone vapors and bleach, allowing them to be used with cell-culture decontamination protocols.

The PILOT3000 and PILOT5000 are economically priced, costing $414.24 and $669.22 respectively. The PILOT5000 also has the available option of operating on 230V (opposed to the standard 115V) in both European and Amercian versions.

Bother of these models are excellent options for multiple markets. Get yours today!

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Benchmark Rotating Mixer

Probably one of the strangest looking pieces of equipment you might find in a laboratory is a Rotating Mixer. I mean, look at the thing, it looks like a mini Ferris Wheel!



The New BenchMark IsoBlock – For when you need to heat two things at once

Dry Baths are a staple of labwork, and we’ve carried a decent variety of them – mostly supplied by BenchMark Scientific.  But there have been some minor issues in that you can only do one heating run at a time. Sure, you can get models that hold multiple blocks but you end up with the same problem: the blocks are all being heated to the same program and having the same things done to each block.

Sure you can solve the problem by purchasing multiple Dry Baths and have each one run a different program, but in a small lab that means more benchtop real estate taken up, more cables, and more clutter.

BenchMark has decided to relieve the problem by adding a new product to their product line, it is the IsoBlock Digital Dry Bath:


The IsoBlock has two separate heating chambers the are insulated from each other by a blocking wall:


The IsoBlock’s two chambers can each be separately programmed to different heating programs. You effectively get two Digital Dry Baths in one!

The IsoBlock does not come with a block, but is shown with the popular QuickFlip Block that covers a lot of needs. It can hold tubes from 0.5 to 2.0ml, and with a quick flip can handle 0.2 tubes or PCR strips. The IsoBlock can hold two different blocks and different machined blocks are available for everything up to 50ml tubes (note: lid might not close with larger blocks).

Want to see more Dry Baths & Water Baths?

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Weigh Boats

Let’s face it: This is not going to be the most exciting blog post we have done, but the subject matter is an item critical in many labs and our ability to supply folks with these items is how we make a living!

Digital Scales are a crucial part of any lab. They are accurate, reasonably priced, and have a host of features that help speed up the measuring process.


Trouble is, you can’t just put stiff right on top of the scale. It makes a mess and if the product is liquid it will spill everywhere. Kitchen scales solve this by having a built in bowl that comes with the scale, but lab scales & balances shouldn’t use such a thing as cross contamination is a bigger issue than it is in the kitchen. Its bad enough when baking powder gets mixed in with cake mix, but it gets real bad when something acidic mixes in with something that is base, or an Agar growing source, or any of thousands of other contamination issues. Keeping an included bowl clean can work for a while, but it is not a perfect solution as there may be lots of cleaning, drying and time consumed between measurements. Of course, one could use glass labware that is around the laboratory already. A few griffin beakers lying around can be used – simple tare out their weight and add the component to get the weight – but again these beakers would need to be washed thoroughly after use, and that can cost time. Another annoying issue is that some bits of powder or liquid can get stuck in the beaker when you try to pour it out after measuring and that can mess up measurements.


So what solution is there? Well an economical choice is actually to use Weigh Boats:

Square Boats CC

Weigh Boats are an excellent option for any laboratory that needs to do a lot of weighing on digital balances. They are antistatic so powders won’t ‘cling’ to the interior (unlike glass or plastic beakers). They are biologically inert so that no contamination will occur with biological materials. The corners are smooth and rounded so that materials will pour out easily and no trapping will occur. They also have flat bottoms so they do not tip over easily -an issue with much taller lab glassware.

Best of all from a speed perspective: Weigh boats are disposable! You place them on your digital scale, tare out their minimal weight (they are lightweight plastic), and the powder or liquid compound you are trying to measure. Then pour the compound out into whatever container you plan to use it in (or put it aside ‘at the ready’) then just throw away the boat! Since the weigh boats are sold in packs of 500, even the largest size costs just pennies to use!

As shown above, Weigh Boats come in Black or White, which is handy for contrast between the boat and the compound.

Weigh Boats also come in different shapes. The Square Boats (shown above) as well as diamond shaped boats:

Diamond BoatsCC

Diamond shaped weigh boats have the same properties as their square counterparts, but their shape provides a ‘funnel’ near the sharper corners that makes pouring out compounds even easier. This can be very useful when you are pouring compounds into containers with narrow mouths, such as Volumetric Flasks.

Like the square boats, the diamond boats are available in black or white.

Each shape and color has three different sizes. For square the sizes are 45mmx45mm, 80mmx80mm, and 140mmx140. The diamond shapes are 35mmx55mm, 65mmx85mm and 100mmx125mm. All are sold in packs of 500, except for the largest diamond size which is a pack of 250. Links to these all these weigh boats are below:

Square White Weigh Boats, 45mm x45mm, Holds 20ml, Pack of 500.$35

Square White Weigh Boats, 80mmx80mm, Holds 100ml, Pack of 500. $50

Square White Weigh Boats, 140mm x 140mm, Holds 250ml. Pack of 500. $85

Square Black Weigh Boats, 45mm x 45mm. Holds 20ml, Pack of 500. $35

Square Black Weigh Boats, 80mm x 80mm, Holds 100ml, Pack of 500 $50

Square Black Weigh Boats, 140mm x 140mm, Holds 250ml, Pack of 500 $85

Diamond White Weigh Boat 35mmx55mm, Holds 5ml Pack of 500 $35

Diamond White Weigh Boat 65mmx 85mm, Holds 30ml, Pack of 500 $50

Diamond White Weigh Boat 100mm x 125mm, Holds 100ml, Pack of 250 $42.50

Diamond Black Weigh Boat 35mm x 55mm, Holds 5ml, Pack of 500 $35

Diamond Black Weigh Boat 65mm x 85mm, Holds 30ml, Pack of 500 $50

Diamond Black Weigh Boat 100mm x 125mm, Holds 100ml, Pack of 250 $42.50

Want more Laboratory Disposables?









Cell Smashing Time! Or, the new Benchmark BeadBug Microtube Homogenizer

Its not talked about a whole lot, but occasionally in Biology you need to smash things. Whether it is to break up cell structure (mechanical Lysis), or homogenize a material (make it the same all around) sometimes tissues need to be ground down and cell walls pounded out.  In the past, mortar & pestle were used – and in some places still are. Tissue grinders are also popular for this performing this process by hand. But hand-work is tiring and not always as effective as automechanical methods. There are larger, hideously expensive instruments that can also perform this process, but until recently there has not been a small-lab, affordable benchtop homogenizer. Once again, Benchmark Scientific sets a new standard – Meet the new BeadBug MicroTube Homogenizer:

The BeadBug can homogenize 1,2 or 3 2ml microtubes at a time and can break down the materials in an average of 45 seconds.  2ml Microtubes prefilled with glass, stainless steel, or High-Impact Zirconium beads are purchased as accessories. These beads, in concert with the BeadBug rotating at 2800 to 4000 rpm, are enough to reduced even the toughest cell cultures to a homogenized state! Best of all the unit measures just 7″ x 8″, so it takes up minimal space in your lab!

As mentioned, the optional accessories for the BeadBug are pre-filled tubes for homogenization. Glass, Zirconium, and Stainless Steel beads in a variety of sizes are available in packs of 50 tubes, or a starter pack with 10 tubes of all five sizes of Zirconium beads can also be purchased:


Laboratory Glassware – A Primer Part 1

There are dozens and dozens of different types of lab glassware available to anyone who wants to buy them. But all of these different types of glassware can get rather confusing to folks so we figured is was time for a little educational post about the many different kinds of glassware than scientists use:

We’ll start with the basics.

Griffin Beakers: These are one of themost common pieces of glassware out there. They are pretty much just glasses with graduations to show much they are holding (usually in ml). They should be made of borosilicate glass (which has many brand names: Pyrex, Bomex, etc). and can go in size from 5ml up to 10,000ml. They usually have a pouring spout and are capable of holding liquids or powders. Griffin beakers are used for mixing or heating chemicals or for staging chemical reactions.

Plastic versions of Griffin Beakers are available where breakage might be a concern, but plastic is completely unsuited to some chemical reactions and cannot be used for heating.

Erlenmeyer Flasks:

A flask is different from a beaker in that it has sloping or round sides rather than

the straight sides of a beaker. In the case of an Erlenmeyer Flask they slope in a

cone shape to close towards the top of the flask. There are many types of flasks and Erlenmeyer Flasks are the most common. The narrow top allows mixing with reduced chance of spillage, and the smaller mouth can be topped with a cork, or in some designs with special joints for attachment to other lab tubing.

Erlenmeyer flasks are used for stirring or shaking where their narrow mouth openings can reduce spillage. They can be used for reactions, heating and most other functions. Erlenmeyer flasks should be made of borosilicate glass for safety purposes, although plastic versions are available for non-heating, less caustic experiments. These plastic versions often have screw on lids for vigorous shaking/stirring. The plastic used should be the more durable Polypropylene.

Graduated Cylinders:

Graduated Cylinders are used for more accurate measurement of liquids. While Griffin Beakers and Erlenmeyer Flasks may have measurement markings printed on them, they are more for general reference than accurate measurement. To properly measure liquid in quantities larger than 1ml an appropriate size cylinder should be used. Reactions should rarely be done in cylinders, and heating/shaking/stirring should not be done in them. The chemicals should be poured into a beaker or flask to do that. Cylinders are usually made of borosilicate glass, with either a 1 piece glass base  or a  glass tube inserted into a plastic base. The plastic base can make the cylinder easier to clean, but can also be more vulnerable to spilled caustic chemicals.

Completely plastic graduated cylinders are also available for those who want less glass breakage and aren’t using reactive chemicals. The plastic used can be either polyproplyene, which is translucent and can be tricky to read the measurements, or PMP which is clear but can be more expensive and more brittle.

Since graduated cylinders are used for measuring chemical quantities they have markings on them to note quantity of liquid, etc.  These markings are usually ascending but in some cases they may be ‘Double Scale’ where the 1 set of markings counts up and the other counts down. A lot of graduated cylinders just have one set of markings, however.

Most graduated cylinders sold are considered to be class ‘B’ quality. These are accurate for most purposes. More precise measurements  should use Class ‘A’ cylinders which usually has tolerances of about 0.5% for more accurate chemical measurement. These high tolerances come at fairly steep price, however.

Continue to Part 2!  More flasks and specialty glassware!


New Labware

It not the most exciting of topics but to some folks it can be very important. Spectrum has added several new pieces of labware to our product line.

First new item are small Weighing Bottles available in both 10ml and 20 ml.

Weighing Bottles

Weighing Bottles

Weighing bottles are thin borosilicate glass bottles that are used to help weight solids on electronic balances. Their light weight minimizes any issues when taring out such a balance. Like any other piece of labware, hundreds of other uses can be found for it. Especially attractive is the ground-glass lid!

Next up is a 250ml Separatory Funnel. These are used to distinguish between the densities of two different liquids.  But they often get used as dispensers. We’ve even seen them on cooking shows! They are made of borosilicate glass and have a ground glass stopper and stopcock. We’ve carried versions of these in the past (and still do) but at just $26.95 this is a real bargain.

Separatory Funnel

Separatory Funnel

Finally we have a new selection of Dropping Bottles. Now we’ve carried dropper bottles for some time but this new model has a glass stopper system that many folks like to have:

Glass stopper Dropping Bottles

Glass Stopper Dropping Bottles

We hope to have great success with these new items! Many folks have asked for labware like this so be sure to get some today!