When looking for a muffle furnace for use in a laboratory setting, you may be tempted to go with the top products being offered by the first company you recognize as an industry leader. While these may or may not meet your needs, they’re sure to cost you extra money. Learn more about what to look for in a high-quality model before you shop for one. This allows you to pinpoint the features you need the most, while ensuring the cost of needless extras doesn’t strip your expense budget.
Muffle Furnace History
Today, a muffle furnace is recognized as one or two furnace designs used primarily in lab or chemical applications. They’re often front-loading kilns or long, cylindrical rolling ovens. In both circumstances, the heat of the furnace isn’t derived from the typical source of a home heating system. Muffle furnaces have non-combustible sources of heat, usually electric in nature.
In the past, however, muffle furnaces were simply a controlled heating environment, such as a kiln, that was protected from any sources of fuel or byproducts of the heating process, such as ash. The name stuck when specialty furnaces for laboratories were being built.
Features to Look for in a Muffle Furnace
The top function of muffle furnaces is to heat something to extreme temperatures. Typically, cost and top temperature go hand-in-hand so it’s most important to find a model that will reliably reach the desired temperatures you need. It’s essential to look at feedback from other clients to determine whether a unit struggles to reach its upper temperature range.
It’s also imperative to work with a company that stands behind its products. Quality warranties cover repair costs, replacements and often the costs associated with moving equipment. Muffle furnaces can be quite heavy, and being tied to repair companies in other areas drives up the cost of repairs, even when labor and parts are covered.
Finally, alternative parts that are easy to swap out and replace, depending upon the project you are currently working on, go a long way in making the most out of your investment. While working with certain chemicals, you can damage standard furnace parts, which ultimately leads to downtime and expensive repairs. Having the ability to prevent this damage with exchangeable parts keeps your business running at top productivity and protects your budget.
The cost for a muffle furnace can change considerably based on what upper temperature limits you need. Investing that much in any operation can be nerve-wracking. Keeping an eye on the above three items will help you make a more confident, worthwhile decision.