A vacuum glove box is designed to provide a negative temperature for testing different compounds and elements in an environment of dry and inert gas. Mostly, laboratories and research centers use these vacuum glove boxes for degassing certain chemicals and other compounds.
Vacuum glove boxes have become increasingly popular over the last 15 years due to their many advantages. The simplicity and effectiveness of these systems (affordable, compact, and easy to use) are often cited as one of the key selling points. Take a look at the different components of a vacuum glove box:
- Vacuum Pump
The first component of a Vacuum Glove Box is the vacuum pump. A high-performance vacuum pump ensures that the system’s components maintain their vacuum level efficiently and effectively.
The vacuum glove box pump must be able to decrease gas pressure from atmospheric pressure down to 10-5 Torr. Within this range, the components of a vacuum glove box can operate most effectively. The lower figure indicates the more efficient pumping power of the system.
- Vacuum Attenuator
A vacuum attenuator minimizes the fluctuation of certain gas pressure and stabilizes the pressure within the desired range. It also controls the speed of flow of samples inside the vacuum chamber by adjusting the amount of flow rate. Luckily, a single vacuum attenuator is often enough for most applications.
However, if multiple instruments are needed to be tested simultaneously, then it is time to consider an auxiliary vacuum attenuator to ensure that each instrument’s working conditions are stable.
The cold pump of the vacuum glove box is used to remove the moisture from the sample by cooling it. Furthermore, these pumps are also used for recooling after the test. The cryopump of a vacuum glove box must maintain the lowest possible temperature to prevent the deformation and melting of different materials. Therefore, it is recommended to use high-level cryopumps such as Teflon rotary vane pumps or liquid nitrogen-cooled rotary vane pumps.
- Vacuum Interface
The vacuum interface allows the speed of gas flow to be adjusted. This control is required when multiple instruments are tested simultaneously in the same glove box. It is also used to maintain uniform pressure distribution in each experiment to avoid variation in pressure across the instruments.
The vacuum interface of a vacuum glove box is often achieved by purchasing an accessory made by Global Lab Supply. called a Vacuum Control Module (VACM). VACM has two or more high-pressure ports with micro-valves and solenoid valves and one or more low-pressure ports with high-flow micro-valves and solenoid valves.
Vacuum glove boxes are a cost-effective and efficient way to protect laboratory workers from hazardous materials. However, with their increasing popularity, it is important to note that these systems require careful maintenance and monitoring to produce accurate results.