Are Lab Armor Beads packaged as ready-for-use?
Yes, Lab Armor Beads arrive in a sealed container ready to add to your thermal instrument.
How long can I use Lab Armor Beads under normal conditions?
Can I autoclave Lab Armor Beads?
How much Lab Armor Beads do I need?
Unlike water, Lab Armor Beads don’t evaporate and therefore helps protect against instrument overheating and burnout. But, like water, it is important to add a sufficient volume to your bath to ensure safe operation. An insufficient volume can cause inaccurate thermostat readings, which can result in continuous heating of the bath. Most water baths operate properly when filled to 80% full. Use the Lab Armor Beads calculator on the left sidebar to help you determine the optimal volume for your water bath.
Can Lab Armor Beads be used in a standard heat block?
Yes, Lab Armor Beads are compatible with all standard heat blocks. You will no longer need to buy a new aluminum block when a vessel doesn’t fit. For optimal performance, use a Lab Armor Bead Block with Beads in your heat block.
What if something is spilled into the Lab Armor Beads?
Lab Armor Beads may be washed with dish detergent and water, then sprayed with 70% ethanol if necessary. Most importantly, be sure to completely dry the Beads before adding back to the water bath, because a combination of heat and water can tarnish the Beads. You can use a mesh strainer to wash and dry. A nylon <1/4″ mesh bag works well, such as a camping stuff sack that you can find at a camping supply store. See question 10 for more details. Watch the video below to find out more:
Do I need to use the water bath cover with Lab Armor Beads?
Yes, it is best practice to use the cover whenever possible. The cover allows maximum temperature range and helps maintain better temperature uniformity. In general, without the cover in place, the surface of the Beads will be slightly cooler due to the movement of cooler air over the bath.
Do temperature gradients exist in a water bath?
Yes, all water baths have hot spots and temperature gradients. The extent of the gradient depends on the design of the water bath. In some baths, for instance, the heating element is small or is not centrally located. In others, the heating element expands the entire surface of the bath providing a more uniform heating capacity. Lab Armor Beads perform like water and the temperature gradient in a standard water bath is very similar as well, usually +/- 2.5ºC. However, for higher precision applications, the new Lab Armor Bead Bath performs at +/- 1.0ºC. One advantage of Beads is that a sample vessel can be completely submerged in the Beads, eliminating exposure to surrounding air temperature. Watch the video below to find out more:
Is my water bath compatible with Lab Armor Beads?
Lab Armor Beads can be used with just about any water bath. But, as mentioned in question 8, like water, the performance of the thermal media depends on the design of the bath and the location of the heating element. With water, for example, “hot spots” occur in areas of proximity to the heating element. Some elements are exposed on the bottom of the bath and others are recessed. Some baths are deep and others are shallow. In a bath with the element located in the center, water and Beads generally produce a temperature gradient of +/- 0.25 -0.75 ºC per inch in all directions from the middle of the bath. So, depending on the size and location of the element, as well as the dimensions of your bath you can gauge the performance of Beads in your bath. For more information on compatibility, download the Water Bath Compatibility TechNote. Watch the video below to find out more:
How do I keep my Lab Armor Beads shiny and fluid?
Normal amounts of precipitation on refrigerated bottles and vials are NOT harmful. However, avoid exposure to a combination of heat and water or reactive chemicals that oxidized the surface of the Beads. Chemically accelerated oxidation reduces the Bead’s shine and more importantly, it’s fluidity. In general, Beads can last for many years if kept relatively dry and clean. It can even out-live your water bath.
Are Lab Armor Beads compatible with most commercially available baths?
Water baths from several major US manufacturers, including the Thermo Fisher & Shel Lab baths have been tested with Beads. Data shows that most baths are compatible, no matter their age. An exposed or recessed thermocouple does not seem to affect the performance of the Beads. However, the location and configuration of the heating element can make a difference in heating uniformity. Most of the water bath design problems affecting performance of Beads, also affect the thermal performance of water. Circulating water baths are generally incompatible with Beads. For more information on compatibility, download the Water Bath Compatibility TechNote. Watch the video below to find out more:
How do Lab Armor Beads perform under high or low temperatures?
Beads have been tested using various water bath models at a range of temperatures. In most traditional water baths, the further the set temperature is from ambient temperature, the greater the thermal gradient will be in the bath. Therefore, at an operating temperature of 37ºC to 42ºC, the thermal gradient in a common water bath is typically +/-1-3ºC, whereas at 55-65ºC it is closer to +/-3-8ºC depending on the design of the bath and the amount of Lab Armor Beads used. For applications that require greater temperature control, a Lab Armor Bead Bath can be used. Bead Bath is designed specifically for use with Beads, and therefore provides more consistent, uniform temperatures throughout the bath compared to traditional water baths. Thermal uniformity is +/- 1.0ºC at 37ºC. Watch the video below to find out more:
Are there ways to speed up the thawing process with Lab Armor Beads?
Besides keeping the bath cleaner, how do Beads protect samples better than water?
Is an air-jacketed water bath compatible with Lab Armor Beads?
Can Lab Armor Beads be used for an ice bath without the Chill Bucket?
Are the Beads safe?
The Beads do not contain any dangerous elements that will contaminate your environment or pose health risks. The Beads are manufactured and batch analyzed by metal optical emissions spectrometry. Lab Armor maintains strict quality controls on all its raw materials and manufacturing outcomes. The Beads are designed to be used safely at both low and high temperatures. For more information on safe working temperatures of Lab Armor Beads, refer to FAQ #20 below or contact technical services for specific recommendations.
How can samples be shaken or agitated in Bead Baths?
Is the Lab Armor Bead Bath Available in 220V?
Yes. Contact Lab Armor for ordering information.
What is the working temperature of Lab Armor Beads?
For best performance use Lab Armor Beads at an operating temperature from -80 to 180ºC. However, product may be used up to 300ºC without loss in thermal performance, but product fluidity may be reduced. Please contact technical services for specific recommendations.
Can I try the 200 ml Test Drive in my water bath?
No, you will need to use a heat block. Add the sample to your dry bath by replacing one Aluminum block. Allow the Beads to warm, monitor temperature, then add sample vessels of various sizes and shapes. Try nonwater-tight vessels, such as petri dishes and multiwell plates. Bury a microfuge tube containing a liquid such as water into the Beads. Note that by eliminating exposure to surrounding air temperature, condensation doesn’t accumulate under the lid. Learn more about how to test your Lab Armor Beads Sample.