While laboratory incubators and ovens may appear similar at first glance, they serve distinct purposes and offer unique features:
A laboratory incubator is a specialised device designed to maintain specific environmental conditions for the growth and cultivation of biological cultures, including microorganisms, cells, and tissues. Key characteristics of a laboratory incubator include:
- Temperature Control: Incubators are primarily used for maintaining a stable and controlled temperature. They can be set at specific temperatures ranging from ambient to elevated levels, typically up to 50-70°C.
- Humidity Control: Some incubators offer humidity control to create a moist environment, ideal for certain cell and tissue cultures.
- CO2 Incubators: Specialized CO2 incubators are equipped to control not only temperature and humidity but also carbon dioxide levels (usually around 5%). These are crucial for cell culture work, as CO2 helps maintain pH and promote cell growth. (Read more about why incubators typically have 5% CO2 here)
- Cooled Incubators: Cooled incubators have the ability to maintain temperatures below ambient levels, which is useful for applications like preserving samples or conducting experiments at lower temperatures.
Laboratory incubators are primarily used in life sciences, microbiology, and cell biology research.
A laboratory oven, on the other hand, is designed to provide a controlled dry heat environment, typically at higher temperatures. The key characteristics of a laboratory oven include:
- Temperature Range: Laboratory ovens are capable of reaching higher temperatures compared to incubators, often exceeding 100°C or even up to 300°C or more.
- Dry Heat: Ovens do not provide humidity control. They are used for drying, sterilizing, heat treating, and other applications where a dry heat environment is required.
- Uniform Heating: Ovens are designed for uniform temperature distribution throughout the chamber, ensuring consistent results across all samples.
In summary, the difference between laboratory incubators and laboratory ovens lies in their intended use and the environmental conditions they provide. Incubators are used for cell growth, offering precise control over temperature, humidity, and CO2 levels; while laboratory ovens are geared towards applications that require high-temperature, dry heat environments such as drying, sterilisation and material testing.
Browse Lab Incubators
Pol-Eko CHL3 Refrigerator with Integrated ST2 Cooled Incubator
Pol-Eko CHL2 Refrigerator with integrated ST2 Cooled Incubator
Binder CB210 CO2 Incubator
RS Biotech Galaxy S Plus CO2 Incubator
Pol-Eko ST 2 Cooled Incubator with Integrated ST3 Incubator
Pol-Eko ST 2 Double Chamber Cooled Incubator
Pol-Eko ST 1 Multi-Chamber Cooled Incubator
Pol-Eko ST1 Double Chamber Cooled Incubators
Pol-Eko ST 2 Cooled Incubator with Integrated CHL 3 Refrigerator