Heating chemicals can provide a great challenge because they vary in temperature sensitivity and contain different flash points. Understand your chemicals by referring to the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) information for temperature requirements. Current heating methods include:
- steam bath
- hot water bath
- sand bath
- oil bath
- hot plate
- heating mantle
These methods are safe, but cumbersome. They pose some challenges to controlling optimal temperature and overheating due to localized heat. Many chemical producers want some simple things in their heating and storing solutions including:
- Uniformity of Heat to the entire surface of the container
- Because Chemical is reactive to high temperatures, a Low Skin Temperature of the heating apparatus is desired
- Accurate Temperature Control, either pre-set or adjustable
- Simple design
To solve these problems, look for:
- An electrically heated full-wrap design that offers either pre-set temperatures or thermostatic control to maintain optimal temperatures with tight tolerances.
- A product that provides a safe heat without high skin temperatures to accomplish the task.
- A system with uniform heat so it does not compromise the material by overheating in one area, or creating hot spots and cold spots. Localized overheating causes damage to the material compromising expensive materials, rendering it unusable or simply reduces shelf life.
Where flammable chemicals are present, open flame and spark producing equipment should not be used. Use non-incendive equipment that meets the National Electric Safety Code (US DOC, 1993) Class I, Division 2, Groups A through D specifications. Use a product that meets these standards for flammable type chemicals and for materials located in hazardous locations, as per your needs.