Pressures are used to form a wide range of samples, pellets, and test specimens in the lab. Presses use a combination of pressure and heat to melt powdered material and compress it into the shape and size needed for the lab application. Lab presses can be floor or benchtop units, can generate from 15 to upwards of 100 tons of compressive force, and have heated platens that can range from 600°F to 1200°F. Lab presses are used over a wide range of applications, including polymers, composites, ceramics, and pharmaceuticals. For a list of laboratory press manufacturers, see our online directory: LabManager.com/lab-press-manufacturers
7 Questions to Ask When Buying a Lab Press:
- How much pressure is needed?
- What temperature range is needed?
- What size platens are needed?
- Is computer control important?
- How long will temperature need to be held?
- How precisely does temperature need to be controlled?
- Does a benchtop or floor press work best for your application and space?
Lab presses experience repeated heat and high pressures. To keep the press in good working condition, regularly inspect it for leaking hoses and seals, cracks, and excessive vibration. Keep the working parts of the press clean from dirt and any leaking oil or fluid, and ensure the press is properly lubricated. Over time, the hydraulic fluids will require replacement. Ensure the proper hydraulic oil is used when replacing.
Lab presses generate high clamping pressure and high heat. Be sure to keep fingers and hands away from the platens during compression. Ensure that hand and eye protection are work during use to protect staff from high temperatures and from any flying debris in case of some form of press failure. Create an effective training procedure to introduce new users to safe lab press operation.