Developed by Pasteur, a hot air oven is an electrical device that uses dry heat to sanitize and dry various articles. Generally operated at 50 to 300 degree Celsius, a hot air oven holds a variety of uses and applications. It is popularly used in different industrial applications and research industry as well. Industries like biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and manufacturing use hot air ovens for curing, annealing, drying and sanitizing.
As hot air ovens do not need water, there is not much build-up of pressure within the oven, therefore making them safer to work with. Additionally, this makes them more suitable to be used in laboratories. Although much smaller than autoclaves, hot air ovens can still be equally effective.
Hot air ovens are common equipment in biomedical and clinical laboratories. Apart from drying of samples, it used for a variety of applications.
Dry Sterilization: The dry sterilization process of decontamination is where a hot air oven is much more preferred over wet sterilization. It is mainly used for glassware.
Curing: The curing process is done to harden the composition of a material and can be done by combining airflow with heat. This can be used for drying or for treating a sample before testing. It is mostly used for plastics and rubber in polymer research, nanotechnology, and semiconductor industries.
Annealing: Lastly, in the annealing process is where a material is exposed to a high temperature followed by a low temperature. This is done for enhancing the properties of the material or used in molding or shaping of an article. Widely used in metallurgy, hot air oven helps in increasing the ductility of the material.
Apart from laboratories, hot air ovens have a wide range of applications in industries. It is widely used in the pre-treatment of samples before testing for tension, compression, deformation etc. For this purpose, special industrial ovens are used by hot air ovens exporters. The main uses of hot air oven in the industry are; testing of electronics, analyzing the shelf life of circuits at high temperature, solder strength testing, accelerated heat testing, and altering the chemical nature of polymers.
In addition to these, there are also special hot air ovens that are used for specific purposes.
Vacuum Oven: The vacuum ovens are suitable for batch processing, heat treatment, brazing, and case hardening as there is no air in the oven chamber.
Reach-in Oven: The reach-in oven provides a uniform heating across all shelves due to the horizontal airflow. It is suitable for drying.
Clean Process Oven: With the temperature exceeding 260 degree Celsius, these ovens are used in common medical equipment manufacturing industries.
Burn-in Oven: These are special ovens for producing electronic equipment and can typically reach an average temperature of 260.
Wax-melting Oven: This oven is specially created for wax melting and maintaining molten wax for histology purposes. They come with a safety thermostat, drip tray, and wire shelving.
Hot air ovens are also used in pharmaceutical laboratories. It is mainly used for sterilization of glassware like Petri dishes, flasks, pipettes, bottles, test tubes etc. It is also used for sterilization of powders such as sulfacetamide, sulphadiazine, zinc oxides etc. Injections, where fixed oils are used as the vehicles, are sanitized by the dry heat method.
Conclusively, hot air ovens are used in several industries and in a variety of ways.