A laboratory water bath is used to heat samples in the lab. Some applications include maintaining cell lines or heating flammable chemicals that might combust if exposed to open flame. A water bath generally consists of a heating unit, a stainless steel chamber that holds the water and samples, and a control interface. Different types of water baths offer additional functionality such as a circulating water bath that keep a more even temperature or a shaking water bath that keeps the samples in motion while they are heated.
Types of water bath
Circulating Water Baths
Circulating water baths (also called stirrers ) are ideal for applications when temperature uniformity and consistency are critical, such as enzymatic and serologic experiments. Water is thoroughly circulated throughout the bath resulting in a more uniform temperature.
Non-Circulating Water Baths
This type of water bath relies primarily on convection instead of water being uniformly heated. Therefore, it is less accurate in terms of temperature control. In addition, there are add-ons that provide stirring to non-circulating water baths to create more uniform heat transfer.
Shaking Water Baths
This type of water bath has extra control for shaking, which moves liquids around. This shaking feature can be turned on or off. In microbiological practices, constant shaking allows liquid-grown cell cultures grown to constantly mix with the air.
Some key benefits of shaking water bath are user-friendly operation via keypad, convenient bath drains, adjustable shaking frequencies, bright LED-display, optional lift-up bath cover, power switch integrated in keypad and warning and cut-off protection for low/high temperature.
Application of Water Bath
Laboratory water bath is laboratory equipment made from a container filled with heated water. It is used to incubate samples in water at a constant temperature over a long period of time. All water baths have a digital or an analogue interface to allow users to set a desired temperature. Utilisations include warming of reagents, melting of substrates or incubation of cell cultures. It is also used to enable certain chemical reactions to occur at high temperature. Water bath is a preferred heat source for heating flammable chemicals instead of an open flame to prevent ignition. Different types of water baths are used depending on application. For all water baths, it can be used up to 99.9 °C. When temperature is above 100 °C, alternative methods such as oil bath, silicone bath or sand bath may be used.