Problem: Heating mantles and heating tapes are widely used by today’s scientists and researchers when heating their glass vessels. They provide adequate heat and are a recognized standard. Heating mantles, which replace Bunsen burners or hot plates, use enclosed electric heat to heat the outside of the glass, borosilicate, or quartz, which in turn heats the inner material—normally organic liquid. The organic liquid can become flammable or have offshoot vapors that are flammable when exposed to direct heat as opposed to that from a heating mantle. This is why heating mantles are used in the first place. However, longer lead times, expensive value to dollar ratios, space restrictions from new and smaller laboratories, and uneven and sometimes slow heat are causing heating mantle supporters to look elsewhere. Each problem comes with a different set of variables. Longer lead times with heating mantles are generally not convenient to the user. The value to dollar ratio is also a problem for many of the newer laboratories who are trying to save a penny everywhere they can without jeopardizing the product’s heating method. Space restrictions are another issue, as heating mantles tend to be bulky and cumbersome. They also add extra weight and can have problems if the glass is an irregular shape. Heating tape, while not bulky, can sometimes fit too loosely around the glass vessel, creating uneven heat and less precise temperature readings.
Solution: There is a countermeasure to these issues— Ace Glass’ Instatherm™. Developed back in the 1960s and refined since then, Instatherm™ is a better way to heat. It is a proprietary lightweight material application that is fused onto the outer surface of the glass to provide an electrically conductive coating. Without compromising the integrity of the glass, it is then surrounded by a rubber mesh to add a layer of protection to the glass. With current better than average lead time compared to heating mantles, Instatherm™ is faster logistically and less expensive than heating mantles, and thus, from an operations and accounting standpoint, is the clear choice. Because of its tight bond with the glass, it is able to provide the closest heating possible. It is able to create an even heat where heating tape’s loose fit does not. It provides that heat without hot spots for more precise temperature readings. On borosilicate glass, it can heat up to 250°C and with quartz glass it can heat up to 350°C and higher. To get to these temperatures, Instatherm™ is a rapid heating product; so, on average, it will heat faster than a heating mantle. Versus heating mantles, Instatherm™ is also more adaptable, as it does not carry a clunky base around. Being adaptable and thin allows Instatherm™ to go on just about any glass vessel. This is a huge plus for laboratories working with space constraints—whether that is from a lack of overall space, a bigger laboratory that does not want to lose some of its space to a heating mantle’s large base, or a laboratory that has many projects going on and not enough space for all of them.
For more information, please visit www.aceglass.com