Water Baths

A water bath is a general laboratory equipment for the incubation of samples at a constant temperature for extended periods. It also serves as an effective heat source for heating flammable chemicals and promoting high-temperature chemical reactions. The other applications of water baths are warming reagents, melting substrates, and incubating cell cultures. Furthermore, water bath is widely used in growth observation studies, enzyme reaction studies, fermentation analysis, and other specialized applications.

The water bath is a robust and reliable device with an easy-to-clean stainless-steel tank and a robust metal outer case. The heating element is located within the tank to facilitate rapid warming and responsive heating. Temperature settings for most general laboratory water baths range from + 5°C to 99.9°C. When the temperature is higher than 100 °C, alternative methods such as oil bath, silicon bath or sand bath are preferred. Some water baths have additional shaking or stirring mechanism that can be set at different speeds. The common three types of water baths are used depending on the application. Circulating water baths are ideal for a number of applications (such as enzymatic and serological experiments), in which temperature uniformity and consistency are critical. Water is fully circulated throughout the bath, thus making the temperature more uniform. Non‐circulating water baths rely on convection rather than water being uniformly heated. Therefore, non‐circulating water bath is less accurate in terms of temperature control. Some add-ons can provide agitation for the non-circulating water bath to produce a more uniform heat transfer. A shaking water bath also called a water bath shaker is ideal for mixing or agitating samples and immersing them in water at a controlled temperature. In microbiology research, constant shaking allows liquid cultured cells to be continuously mixed with air.

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