How to Prepare a Moisture Analyzer

A moisture analyzer is a valuable tool to help organizations maintain correct moisture content across a broad range of industries.  Optimum moisture content is set by industry trade associations and government agencies to insure efficient processing of products such as plastics and bone meal to maximizing shelf life of food and pharmaceutical products.

Moisture Content Defined

The term “moisture” generally refers to water – the percentage of the net weight of a product or material that is due to water content.  But it also includes anything that can evaporate on heating.  Examples include fats, oils, alcohol and solvents.  Most simply stated a moisture analyzer such as the Kern MLB available from Tovatech calculates moisture content by comparing the weight of a sample before it is dried on heating with the weight after the drying process is completed.  It consists of a halogen heater mounted on a precision scale.

Based on … Read the rest

Use an Ultrasonic Cleaner for Printing Press Rolls and Plates

Removing printing ink from anilox rolls and gravure cylinders as well as flat plates used in the printing industry requires thorough but delicate processes best accomplished by an ultrasonic cleaner. The cells on anilox rolls and gravure cylinders trap printing ink that then is transferred to newspapers, magazines, catalogs and other printed materials.  Flat plate printing represents an older technology whereby ink is rolled onto the plate and the paper is pressed against it to transfer the image.  At the end of printing runs these must be thoroughly cleaned before rolls, cylinders and plates are stored for future use.

The working surfaces of printing rolls, cylinders and plates are highly finished.  Scratches or other damage can render them useless because the damage also will trap ink that will be transferred to the printed material.   As rolls and cylinders can cost thousands of dollars, careful handing is critical when cleaning them.  … Read the rest

Ultrasonic Cell Disrupter is a Versatile Lab Tool

Ultrasonic cell disrupters, also known as ultrasonic horns, ultrasonic disintegrators and ultrasonic homogenizers, perform many vital functions in the lab.  These compact versatile tools use ultrasonic energy emanating from a probe or tip (the “horn”) to create cavitation action that is used, among other functions, to blend, mix, emulsify, disaggregate, disperse or stir samples.  In the case of cell disruption (lysis), for example, the cavitation breaks down cell walls so scientist can study cell content.  Other examples include emulsifying and homogenizing insoluble or immiscible liquids and sterilizing medical equipment by using cell disruption and heat to destroy bacteria and other pathogens.

Selecting an Ultrasonic Cell Disrupter

Ultrasonic disintegrators are available in several sizes or capacities but generally create ultrasonic energy at a frequency of 20 kHz delivered by ultrasonic transducers mounted on the handle of the probe. Ultrasonic cell disrupters available from Tovatech, for example, handle sample sizes ranging from … Read the rest

How to Use Your Lab Refrigerator for Proper Flu Vaccine Storage

With the 2010-2011 flu season upon us the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protection.  But protecting the vaccines against degradation is also important and is accomplished by proper storage in vaccine refrigerators. Through the Advisory Commission on Immunization Practices (ACIP) the CDC recommends that the flu vaccine is stored at 35°F to 46°F and should not be frozen.  If the vaccine is frozen it should be discarded.

The selection of a vaccine refrigerator should not be taken lightly by healthcare facilities that store and administer flu vaccine. Residential refrigerators generally do not possess the control and monitoring features available in Norlake Premier auto-defrost laboratory refrigerators available from Tovatech.  These units feature a digital LED display microprocessor temperature controller that can be set between 35.6°F and 50°F.  Vaccine protection is further assured by an audible and … Read the rest

Ultrasonic Cleaners for Medical & Surgical Instruments

Medical and surgical instruments in a variety of sizes and complexity can pose challenges when it comes to cleaning, disinfecting and sterilizing them after use.  An ultrasonic cleaner is an ideal tool for the first step in this three step process to protect medical personnel and patients from possible infection due to pathogens that remain on the instruments after a procedure.

The Ultrasonic Principle

Ultrasonic cleaners work on the principle of cavitation whereby ultrasonic transducers create billions of minute air bubbles in an ultrasonic cleaning solution.  These implode with violent force when they come in contact with objects placed in the solution and strip away contaminants without damaging the objects.  When medical and surgical instruments are properly prepared for the ultrasonic cleaning step the process is fast, thorough and efficient.

Pre-prep is important, according to the Association of PeriOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) Recommended Practices Committee, which states that “initial instrument … Read the rest

How to Use a Moisture Analyzer for Dry Bulk Powders

The moisture content of virtually any product on the market has a bearing on the product’s quality, shelf life and a host of other considerations.   Ideal moisture content varies, of course, with the product under consideration.  Ideal moisture content is determined by and in some cases governed by industry associations and regulatory authorities.  Proof of compliance is eased when a moisture analyzer is employed on a regular basis as batches are prepared for packaging, whatever the product, and records are kept.

Moisture analyzers such as the Kern models offered by Tovatech operate on the thermogravimetric principle using halogen heaters in combination with an analytical balance to precisely determine the percentage of moisture in a sample during a programmed testing cycle.  Simply stated the sample is weighed before moisture analysis begins, and after the cycle is completed. The loss in weight is the moisture content.

Let’s Take Cement as an ExampleRead the rest

Density Determination Kit Helps in Accurate Analysis

Determining the density of a solid or liquid is easier and more accurate when using a density determination kit with an analytical balance.  Analytical balances such as the Kern ABS, AES and ABT models available from Tovatech can be programmed to work in concert with density determination sets, showing the density directly on the analytical balance liquid crystal display.

These density determination kits work on the buoyancy method, based on Archimedes’ Principle and recognized for a high degree of accuracy. As an example, 10 cm3 glass plummet is used for measuring the density liquids, giving a resolution of 0.0001 g/cm3.  The density is determined from the weight of the plummet in air and its weight in the liquid being measured.

For solids, the density is the ratio of the object’s weight in air and its volume.  Volume is determined by the buoyancy of the sample when immersed … Read the rest

When to Use an Elmasteam Industrial Steam Jet Cleaner

Compact industrial steam jet cleaners such as the 3- and 5-liter Elmasteam 3000 and Elmasteam 5000 models available from Tovatech contribute to quality control in manufacturing and preassembly operations by removing dirt, grease, oil and other contaminants.   These steam cleaners are ideal because they allow operators to direct the steam precisely where needed using either unit-mounted, foot-pedal controlled steam jets or a flexible hose with an on-off switched steam jet nozzle mounted at the end.

Another advantage of a steam jet industrial cleaner is that it can use tap water and does not require the use of chemicals. In addition to cost-saving benefits, this feature eliminates the need for multiple rinsing steps that might be required to remove chemical residues from the cleaned parts.

Elmasteam industrial steam jet cleaner pressure is adjustable up to 8 bar (116 psi), is very dry and delivered at approximately 320˚F.  A wet steam option … Read the rest

Jet Steam Cleaner for Medical Instruments is Fast & Effective

Surgical instruments with complex design, shape or construction may trap contaminants that are not removed by conventional thermal disinfection procedures, thereby posing a health risk to medical personnel and patients alike.   Medical instrument steam jet cleaners such as Elmasteam, available from Tovatech, have proven effective in Central Sterile Supply Departments (CSSD) for cleaning otherwise inaccessible areas prior to thermal disinfection and sterilization.

Fast, Effective, Selective Steam Cleaning

Using tap or distilled water to deliver dry or wet steam jets at pressures to 8 bar (116 psi) Elmasteam 3000 and Elmasteam 5000 medical steam cleaners allow personnel to pre-clean quickly, effectively and precisely otherwise inaccessible areas such as the interior of surgical reamers or implant tools before they are placed into the thermal disinfector.  They deliver uninterrupted steam feeds at approximately 160˚C (320˚F) with minimum pressure loss during continuous operation such as in a hospital’s CCSD.   Table mounted, they are available … Read the rest

How to Use an Analytical Balance

To protect your equipment investment and to help ensure compliance with FDA, CFR and other standards the procedures for using an analytical balance should be published in the company’s operations manual.

Before Anything

Analytical balance manufacturers such as Kern provide detailed operating instructions for each model offered, and these should be included in your company documentation. This discussion covers general procedures for operating analytical balances.

New balances must be calibrated before they are put into operation, and should be periodically recalibrated based on how they are used.  Recalibration procedures can be established in discussions with equipment suppliers such as Tovatech.  They are performed either by qualified internal personnel or by outside calibration services.

To help ensure accuracy balances must be level, on a solid weighing table and in a draft-free location away from sources of electromagnetic radiation.  If the balance is moved, it may require recalibration so select a … Read the rest