Why Water Baths are Crucial for Scientists

Water Baths
Water Baths

Have you ever wondered what makes science experiments so successful when there’s so much danger? For instance, if scientists need to heat up objects like chemicals, how is it that they can do so safely? With the help of lab water baths, scientists and researchers have the ability to safely heat up chemicals, even strands of DNA, or keep them warm for use later.

How Does a Water Bath Work?

Unlike other materials that heat up chemicals or vials, such as an open flame, scientific water baths actually use water instead of an open flame. They can keep certain mediums at a comfortable warm setting, and are the preferred method for heating things up in the lab.

The way it works is that a digital thermometer is usually set up on the outside of the bath. Many modern lab baths now have the ability to integrate with wi-fi, so a scientist or researcher can set the temperature and control it wirelessly. Once the temperature is set, the actual unit that holds the water will begin to heat up.

After it is heated, lab water baths are designed to retain that constant temperature for a longer length of time. Unlike putting a pot on a stove and then turning off the flame, which will eventually lead to the pot cooling down, scientific water baths are advanced enough to keep that same level of heat for as long as necessary.

An open flame tends to heat an element up much faster than a water bath does. Water baths can also submerge a chemical or other medium for a longer period of time, making it possible for scientists to use a water bath over a couple of hours or even days as the research and the project progresses.

Other Things to Consider for Water Bath

In addition to helping scientists with other experiments, it’s important for a researcher to treat a water bath like a valuable piece of equipment and work to constantly clean it. It’s also necessary to use certain tools with a water bath. For instance, distilled water is the preferred type of water source to use for a water bath.

Unlike purified water, distilled water has been cleared of a wide range of toxins and minerals that is usually found in regular water. This distilled water is incredibly useful for a wide range of experiments, and ensures a level of accuracy that is unmatched when compared to regular purified water.

What Type of Water Bath to Use

Water baths come in all shapes and sizes, and can help scientists finish their experiments depending on the size they need. For instance, mini water baths are great at keeping a single vile of test tube at a constant temperature for a long time.

On the other hand, scientists can use larger water baths to hold a multitude of vile or larger mediums. For instance, if you’re a scientist, working on developing machinery or parts to use in neurosurgery, and you want a water bath to simulate brain activity and functioning, then a larger tub would be the best for this type of experiment.

In addition, many water baths come lined with traditional stainless steel or another type of material that is non-corrosive. However, more and more scientists are beginning to use lab water baths that utilize polypropylene. This is a special type of material that resembles plastic and gives a glossy finish.

However, it can be easily wiped away and will not corrode, even over time, from the water. It can capture any deposits, debris, or remnants for an experiment, making it safe to use for another experiment later on.

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