How to choose a glovebox?

Gloveboxes are a protective device, which companies, universities and laboratories increasingly decide to use. And rightly so – the chamber protects the operator in contact with various substances, including nanomaterials, microorganisms, pathogenic substances, radiochemical and chemical carcinogenic substances.

Not only that – it also protects products and processes against the harmful influence of external environment, such as oxygen or moisture.

It is worth remembering that there is not one glovebox that can be used for everything. Buyers have a wide range of configurations at their disposal. How to choose a chamber that will meet all expectations?

 

Destiny

The most important is whether the glovebox is to be used to protect the operator or to protect the products and processes carried out inside. Sometimes the answer to such a question is not easy. It may happen that we want to protect the operator from the process performed with the use of potentially harmful substances and at the same time conduct the process in a protective atmosphere. Such a situation, fortunately, is not  problematic at all. Hoger has solutions that will help protect the operator and process in each of the above cases. Everything depends on the appropriate construction and configuration of the glove box.

Size

When choosing the glovebox, you should also plan what devices will be placed inside it and how much space you need so that we can operate them freely. It is also worth considering how much space we need to control the processes that we will lead in the box. An important aspect is the size of the room in which the chamber will be fixed – these are also factors strongly related to each other. The available space and the location of the glovebox – near the wall or in the middle – affects not only whether the chamber can be single- or double-sided, but also its acceptable size. In this case, we have the choice of two-, three-, four-port chambers and combined glovebox systems. The boxes can be freely combined, it all depends on what we want to use in our daily work.

 

Material

For the glovebox to fulfill its tasks, it must be made of the right material. We can choose three: acrylic, steel and glass. Possibilities are limited, but the elimination of unsuitable options can be problematic.I suggest that in order to properly choose the right chamber material, you need to analyze what substances will be stored inside the chamber, what processes will be carried out in it and in what atmosphere.If we do not use volatile organic solvents and substances stored in the chamber will not be aggressive for PMMA (colloquially acrylic glass), then an acrylic chamber can be successfully used.An interesting alternative to the acrylic chamber is the novelty on the market – a glass chamber. It offers the same level of material and operator protection (depending on the chosen configuration) as the acrylic chamber, while at a comparable price it is distinguished by the possibility of working with organic solvents.

The highest level of protection for both material and operator is ensured by a chamber made of acid-resistant stainless steel. By choosing such a chamber, the greatest application possibilities are obtained when working in underpressure and overpressure.

 

Protective atmosphere

When choosing a glovebox to work in material protection mode, i.e. to work in a protective atmosphere, one should still consider the permissible maximum concentration of oxygen and moisture, which will be in the composition of an inert atmosphere. Depending on the composition of the required protective atmosphere, we can choose the work configuration in the inert gas flow, the inert gas flow with the control automatics or the system with recirculation of the protective atmosphere by the atmosphere cleaning unit. If the acceptable amounts of oxygen and moisture are at 500-1000 ppm, then we can choose an acrylic or glass chamber in the inert gas flow. If our material or process requires a completely dry and anaerobic atmosphere with an oxygen and moisture content below 1 ppm, then it is necessary to choose a steel chamber equipped with an atmosphere purification unit.

Additional elements

Each glovebox can be adapted to the specific needs of people who will use it. You can change the position of the individual elements of the chamber, select the side on which the antechamber will be placed, etc. The multiplicity of options should not scare anyone. It is rather a chance that anyone interested in buying a glovebox will get exactly the product it wants and which will work be the best suited to their conditions.

It is also worth remembering that chamber manufacturers will be happy to advise and help in the selection. We are doing so in Hoger so badly. We invite you to contact us

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