Industrial vacuum ovens have several applications in the laboratory, engineering, and food industry. Standard models operate at temperatures of 260°C up to 315°C. Typically, they are used for drying and curing with minimal to zero oxidation.
A high-capacity Industrial vacuum oven can operate up to temperatures of 800°C, which is almost the melting temperature of gold.
Vacuum ovens differ from air ovens through the drying process. In vacuum processing, the partial pressure is quite low, which means the rate of the chemical reaction involving oxygen also slows down. Another difference is that when you dry using an air oven, the material will undergo oxidation. This does not happen in vacuum ovens.
What to Look for in Industrial Vacuum Ovens?
If you’re on the market for an industrial vacuum oven, make sure to check its maximum heating capacity. The higher the operating temperature is, the more you should be careful about inspecting the material and the quality of the construction. The oven must be able to withstand very high temperatures without blowing a gasket or causing problems.
When getting an industrial vacuum oven, you should look for the following:
The quality and robustness of the steel and other materials used
The gasket seals
The pressure chamber
Are the functions programmable for a smoother operation? A complex machine will affect your workflow because of the required learning curve. The vacuum oven should be easy enough that everyone from your team can operate it after a few minutes of instruction.
Types of Industrial Vacuum Oven
Industrial ovens are designed according to the varying needs of different industries. These are as follows:
- Hot-Wall Vacuum Furnace. This one is the standard industrial vacuum oven used for general drying purposes. The operating temperature ranges between 260°C, which is the standard, and 315°C. The hot-wall heating process offers many advantages as well, such as the ability to process complex shapes and parts while producing zero condensation.
- Cold-Wall Vacuum Oven. This type of oven features two chambers with the vacuum contained in the liquid-cooled pressure vessel. Meanwhile, the heater arrays are attached to the other chamber. The device has a maximum temperature of 650°C.
- Explosion-Proof Vacuum Oven. The heating array on this type of oven is mounted on the machine’s exterior. The walls are exposed to extreme temperatures, and the energy generated is reverted to the sample inside the chamber. The maximum operating temperature of this type of oven is 260°C.
- Shelf Tray Dryer. From its name, you can imagine this vacuum oven’s design. Inside the chamber is a series of trays. Some machines feature individual tray heating panels for tasks that require separate drying times. The dryer can be used to degas silicones, adhesives, and epoxies, which are crucial in the semiconductor industry. The tray dryer has a maximum heating capacity of 315°C.
Some specially manufactured ovens are designed to analyze residual gas or for solvent recovery. Meanwhile, a safety drying oven is used to dry highly volatile solvents.
Vacuum ovens can also be customized according to the needs of a specific industry. Manufacturers are open to catering to different specifications and needs, including the complex control systems, heat capacity, and drying components.