Laboratory mixing, stirring, and shaking equipment is used in many industries such as food and beverage, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and electronics, as well as in laboratories for life sciences, chemistry, and wastewater treatment. Common stirring and mixing equipment in laboratories includes mixers, shakers, rotators, rockers, stirring motors, magnetic stirrers, and rotary evaporators. Each type of mixing device has different applications in different laboratories, such as mixing of samples, culturing microorganisms, or staining.
Laboratory mixers and shakers are equipment used to homogenize samples, with the difference that shakers are used to mix, blend, or agitate substances in test tubes or flasks by shaking. Types of shakers include vortex shakers, platform shakers, orbital shakers, and incubator shakers. The orbital shaker performs a circular shaking motion at a slow speed, and it does not produce vibration and produces low heat compared to other types of shakers, making it ideal for culturing microbes. Although magnetic stirrers have recently replaced shakers, shakers are still the equipment of choice when handling large volumes of substances or when simultaneous agitation is required. Laboratory rollers provide rolling and rocking modes of operation and are widely used to mix sticking substances especially blood samples, as well as solid-liquid suspensions. Compared with other types of mixing equipment, laboratory rockers are designed to mix by gently swaying back and forth at lower speeds. They are ideal for staining, destaining, blotting and incubating cells. As laboratories continue to increase in scope and scale, the ability to automate any process can save time for technicians and researchers. Many modern magnetic and overhead stirring systems can be programmed to perform specific mixing patterns.
Before purchasing laboratory mixing equipment, the first step is to determine the type of equipment. If a shaker is needed, factors to consider include vibration speed, the way to adjust the speed, the plate tilted-angle and vibration mode. If a mixer is chosen, the features that can be compared include the capacity of the container, the mixing speed, the variability of the speed, horsepower, etc.
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