When to Use a Magnetic Stirrer
20 Nov 2018
Agitation and stirring processes are common in laboratories of all shapes and sizes. Regardless of the specific application or process that’s being performed, your lab technicians need to use the best equipment for the job to ensure consistent results. Unfortunately, some labs won’t get the level of performance or consistency they need because they use the wrong agitation equipment and tools. That’s why it is so important to understand your agitation options, and when they are the right choice for your application.
What is a magnetic stirrer?
Magnetic stirrers use a rotating magnetic field to move a stir bar around in liquid samples. The movement of this stir bar mixes the sample thoroughly with rapid movement and agitation. The speed of the magnetic field is controlled by the user, so it can be customized to the specific sample that’s being stirred. These stirrers should be used with glass or other non-metal beakers to prevent interference with the magnetic field.
Depending on the application, you can configure your magnetic stirrer with hot plates to heat your samples as they’re stirred. With the use of heating plates, you can mix a wide variety of samples for different applications.
Choosing between magnetic stirrers and overhead stirrers
Aside from magnetic stirrers, you may also mix your samples using motor power overhead stirrers. While overhead stirrers can handle larger volumes of fluid, they aren’t suitable for all viscosity levels. Overhead stirrers are equipped with sensors that shut down the motor if it overheats, which can happen with especially viscous liquids. Technicians can control many different aspects of operation and cycle settings with overhead stirrers, but they are limited to the kinds of samples they can effectively mix.
If you are mixing a low-viscosity liquid in higher volumes, an overhead stirrer is probably the right way to go. However, if your liquid is more viscous and you don’t need the extra capacity that overhead stirrers offer, a magnetic stirrer is a better choice since you don’t have to worry as much about overheating.
Regardless of what kind of stirrer is right for your needs, you can find the highest quality equipment at Labnet International. We are proud to offer an extensive line of laboratory equipment, tools and accessories that are designed to promote efficiency, productivity, and safety in your lab. Browse all of our agitation equipment online and feel free to contact us for more information.