What are the Advantages of Benchtop Furnace and Split Tube Furnace

Benchtop furnaces are used in laboratories to heat treat small steel parts, perform ignition tests, and conduct gravimetric analysis. They can also be used to find the level of volatility in suspended solids. In the following sections, we explore the advantages and disadvantages of Benchtop furnace and split tube furnace. 

What is a benchtop furnace?

Benchtop furnace are generally less expensive than larger industrial ovens. They are ideal for small businesses, research centers, and labs with limited budgets. The main use of this type of furnace is for ‘ashing’ or creating burnt and powdered form of organic and inorganic samples.

The basic structure of a benchtop furnace helps us to better understand the working of these equipment. The benchtop furnace has a chamber that is insulated with fiber. The heating plates are made of firebrick.It also has a cabinet made of steel with a baked epoxy finish.The exhaust port carries gasses whenever required. Alternatively, the gasses can be sealed during operation. It also has high-quality heating elements, along with a temperature control to vary the different levels.

Advantages of benchtop furnaces 

Industrial applications rely on benchtop furnaces to achieve results that are essential for further development of the product. Thus they find varied use in small-scale industrial applications where precise and accurate heating is a primary need. Benchtop furnaces are an advantage in the following ways:

  • The four-sided heating.ensures reliable all-round heating
  • Load and unloading these furnaces is easy
  • Their compact design ensures they are easy to install, even in overcrowded areas
  • Some benchtop furnaces have ceramic fiber insulation that reduces energy consumption and ensures fast heat-up.
  • Benchtop furnaces can be easily repositioned in the lab if required.

While benchtop furnaces have a high level of functionality, there are some disadvantages as well. They are generally more expensive, they take longer to heat and are typically not fuel efficient as gas furnaces. They also consume a lot of energy.

Uses of benchtop furnaces:  

  • Ashing most types of organic and inorganic samples
  • Heat treating small steel parts
  • Performing ignition tests
  • Conducting gravimetric analysis
  • Determining volatile and suspended solids
  • Tempering and drawing

What is a Split tube Furnace?

A split tube furnace is a furnace that can be opened to allow the easy installation and removal of work tubes and reaction vessels. The furnace body splits into two halves.

  • The advantages of using split tube furnaces are:
  • Precise temperature control: Advanced digital controllers ensure accurate and stable temperature profiles.
  • Easy installation and removal: The furnace can be opened to allow for the easy installation and removal of work tubes and reaction vessels.
  • High heat efficiency: Electric furnaces do not have the exhaust heat loss of fuel furnaces.
  • Versatile: Split tube furnaces are the most versatile laboratory testing furnaces.
  • Thermal uniformity: Workpieces in the hot zone are subjected to sustained temperatures of up to 1800°C
  • Easy to control the temperature remotely
  • Best value for mechanical testing at different temperatures

However, there are certain limitations in using split tube furnaces as well. Split-tube furnaces have a heavy reliance on external energy input and can sometimes impact the outcome. In certain instances, the lack of primary sedimentation could lead to reactor clogging.  It also consumes heavy energy and hence needs multiple energy sources.

Trends in furnaces

The demand for laboratory furnaces is set to increase each year. The global heat furnace market will focus more on electrically operated furnaces. Other furnaces such as blast furnaces have evolved with new technologies introduced to reduce energy consumption as well as carbon emission. The trend in the heating industry is to increase the number of multi-chamber vacuums to increase operating efficiency.

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