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Safety Tips for Round-Bottom Hotplate Stirrers

A well equipped laboratory requires many pieces of basic equipment, ranging from movie-set standbys, such as bunsen burners and Erlenmeyer flasks, to pipettes, centrifuges, test tube stands, ring stands, and many other items. In the real world, you’d be hard pressed to find a working lab without at least one, if not more, magnetic hotplate stirrers.

What’s Old Is New

Although they’ve been standard in labs for decades, these instruments have grown more sophisticated in recent years. New, digitally controlled models offer impressive control over operations such as heating, spin speed, and timing. Safety features, such as heating limits and automatic shutoffs have also improved safety.

Most, however, feature an open, flat heating surface; a platform suitable for use with flat-bottom glassware, such as an Erlenmeyer flask or suitably sized beaker. But not every piece of glassware features a convenient flat bottom. Some items may include fully round bottoms. Instead of transferring your solutions and mixtures to yet another piece of glassware, why not invest in an additional magnetic hotplate stirrer capable of safely handling such an irregularly shaped piece of heat-tolerant glassware?

Be Prepared

CAT Scientific KM16.7 Round Bottom Magnetic Hotplate StirrerThe truly well equipped laboratory is ready for any eventuality, and a sophisticated round-bottom hotplate stirrer from CAT Scientific (such as the KM 16.4 D or the KM 16.7 D) provides for a safe, stable way to stir contents even if your glassware cannot stand up on its own. That’s because our design incorporates a unique external support structure that gently cradles the glassware, holding it upright and immobile while the stirrer and hotplate underneath are free to do their work.

Just drop a magnetic stir bar in your round-bottom glassware, place the container in the support housing, resting on the uniquely curved hotplate, and set your hotplate/stir parameters. The device will stir as long as you wish, at the speed(s) you deem most appropriate, while raising or lowering the temperature of your solution, as needed, to assist in dissolution and thorough mixing.

The digital interface, with handy, manual dials for hands-on control, allow you to program these and other combinations of settings to optimize your stirring experience. Use the convenient optional Pt100 temperature probe for even more precise control of heating while you stir. You can also interface the device with a nearby PC using the RS485 connector port. To facilitate this, you will need an optional RC485 to RS232 adapter.

 

Bob Wilcox

Bob Wilcox has represented CAT Scientific’s family of homogenizers, magnetic stirrers, liquid handling and related laboratory equipment since 2002 when Staufen, Germany-based CAT Ingenieurbüro M. Zipperer GMbH established operations in North America. Bob oversees CAT Scientific laboratory apparatus sales and service organization from the company’s headquarters in Paso Robles, CA. He also is in charge of the parent company’s line of JetCat jet turbines, turboprop, and helicopter power plants for hobbyists’ radio controlled fixed wing and helicopter model aircraft. -- Earlier in Bob’s career he was involved in visual and special effects as well as camera and electronics supervisory responsibilities for the motion picture and television industry.

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