Magnetic stirrers are key pieces of lab equipment that are used in a wide range of projects. They play a critical role in agitating and mixing mediums used to conduct experiments. Stirring systems can also be quite costly, especially if you purchase reliable devices from a reputable manufacturer.
In light of these facts, it is only natural that you would want to prolong the life of your magnetic stirring systems. Fortunately, there are several well-established best practices that can maximize the service life of your magnetic stirrers. These best practices include the following 4 tactics:
1. Regularly Clean Your Stirring System
Regularly cleaning your stirring system serves several important purposes. First and foremost, it ensures that spillover or debris from experiments do not remain on your stirring system for an extended period.
While your stirrers’ exteriors are waterproof and corrosion-resistant, keeping them clean will extend their service life and protect the factory finish. Additionally, keeping your stirrers clean reduces the likelihood of accidents occurring in the lab. This prevention is a critical aspect of maintaining a safe workspace for all staff.
2. Don’t Neglect Routine Maintenance
In addition to keeping stirrers clean, your staff should also strictly adhere to all routine maintenance requirements. The most basic form of maintenance is a visual inspection of equipment.
Staff should perform this inspection before and after the device is used. During the inspection, team members should look for things such as frayed wires, loose plugs, damage to the casing, and any obvious malfunctions.
Periodically, a more detailed inspection must be performed. During this type of inspection, a team member should test the core functions of the stirrer. If any deficiencies or malfunctions are discovered, the stirrer should be taken out of service and sent out for repairs.
3. Buy a Heavy-Duty Stirrer
Purchasing heavy-duty stirrers is a great idea if your laboratory places a rigorous workload on its stirring systems. Heavy-duty stirrers can withstand hot media, cold media, and other extremes. The right heavy-duty equipment can also stand up against the rigors of daily use and stir media with high viscosities.
Heavy-duty stirrers do have a higher initial price point than standard alternatives. However, this extra investment will pay dividends, as you will rarely have to take your stirrers out of service.
4. Follow Manufacturer Recommendations
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, make sure that all team members understand manufacturer recommendation usage guidelines for each piece of equipment. Manufacturers conduct rigorous testing in order to establish safe operating thresholds.
While many stirrers can temporarily work beyond these thresholds, they will also experience excessive wear and a decreased service life. If a project exceeds the capabilities of your stirring system, then it would be wise to upgrade your equipment rather than push the limits of your current device.
Cumulatively, the above tips will help your organization prolong the life of its magnetic stirring systems. By following this advice, you’ll find that your systems will last longer, need repairs less frequently, and perform reliably for countless hours in the laboratory.