There is always some equipment, and chemicals that need to be stored inside a desiccation proof and oxidation proof place. This means that, all these components need a storage compartment filled with an inert gas. In general, Nitrogen is served as an inert gas, to supplement oxygen inside these chambers. This prevents the oxidation and promotes a dry environment inside the cabinet. Without oxygen most of the contaminants, like fungal spores, and bacteria cannot survive.
Therefore, the presence of nitrogen, helps to keep contaminants at bay. These cabinets also come at reasonable price points, and if you want a similar environment for your sensitive laboratory components, getting a Nitrogen Storage Cabinets is a great option. Now, these cabinets have a specific working mechanism and have some maintenance procedures. There are also some factors to keep in mind before getting a nitrogen storage cabinet for your own lab. Let’s discuss all these things in detail below:
Nitrogen storage cabinets employ a detachable plenum chamber to deliver a constant laminar flow of nitrogen over moisture sensitive devices kept in the dry storage desiccator cabinet. The amount of nitrogen purged is determined by the capacity of the storage cabinet, the moisture content of the cabinet’s contents, the external environment’s Related Humidity, and how frequently the desiccator cabinet is opened. The material of these cabinets is either made with Acrylic or ESD safe PVC material, stainless steel, or reinforced steel.
The material can be chosen at the time of ordering the cabinet. An automated nitrogen purge control device offers automatic low-humidity control, monitoring and displays humidity within the Desiccator cabinet in the range: 5-100% relative humidity (RH). It accurately controls pre-set relative humidity (+/- 2 percent RH). When the indoor humidity level falls below a certain threshold, the mechanism offers a low purge (2-20 Cubic feet per hour).
The cabinet maintains a positive pressure inside the desiccator chambers to ensure pollutant-free and moisture-free environment. There are humidity sensors in the lowest chamber of multi-chamber desiccators in the one-channel purge control unit.
There are some perforated holes between the chambers that link them. You can select the multi-channel nitrogen purge control unit for more stringent needs. There is a sensor and controller for each chamber. When any door opens, the system reacts significantly faster to the abrupt increase in RH percent and keeps the constituents safe.
Tips for Maintenance and Enhanced Longevity:
In order to maintain the outside of the cabinet, you must regularly use cloth-dusters. Do not spray any cleaning liquid on the outside directly. Take some cleaning liquid on the cloth, and wipe the surface with it. This will prevent the surface from getting dainty and smudgy. Make sure to not expose the surface with any corrosive like, Acetone, any acids and harsh alkalis. In case of the inside of the storage cabinet, regular servicing is the key. Servicing the controls and internal mechanism with licensed professional at least once (if not twice) a year is mandatory to keep the cabinet well-maintained.
Points to keep in mind before getting one:
Working in a confined lab environment is already stressful and you do not want to add more stress to it by creating an obnoxious looking storage unit. Hence, please plan before regarding the sizes and number of things that you want to store inside the cabinet. The height, breadth, and weight of the machine and accessories should be properly noted in order to under the dimensions of the cabinet. This will also enable you to decide about the shape of the cabinet. Always keep some more room in the cabinet for storing some extra supplies. Make sure to keep the space equally distributed otherwise the people using the cabinet might not feel that they are getting the same amount of space for storing their stuff. As it is a shared appliance, this has to be one of the priorities before getting one.
Location of the Cabinet:
Second thing to consider is the location of the closet. If you work with highly flammable, corrosive, or any other type of chemicals in your lab, then it is best to design the cabinet space away from the chemical storage cabinet. In case of accidental spill, the mechanism of the chamber might get affected. Similarly, you should not design the storage cabinet right at the entry point of the lab. It messes up the orientation of the whole laboratory. Hence, it is best to create the space at a corner where there is less movement and no obstructions are present.