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Purchase considerations for Benchtops

We get more and more requests for benchtop chambers, so I thought we should review some of the features and issues with selecting benchtop chambers.

Construction of many US-made benchtop chambers is bulky and unattractive. Some have small boxes or blower-motors sticking out, for example. This may sound like a vain point, but I think it really is an indication of the dedication that goes into the product. And the perceived quality of what you purchase reflects on you, as well.

Chamber controllers are one feature that you will find lacking on benchtop chambers due to cost and size limitations. They will do everything you need to do, but due to limited displays and keys, they are more difficult to program and operate.

Controlling the humidity level in a small chamber means varying the moisture content of the air by very small increments, which can be difficult. For example, a 10% increase in the humidity level requires only 0.5 grams of additional moisture in a four-cubic-foot chamber.

One significant issue to consider is the utility requirements of the chamber. Many benchtops run on 115V, but may need a dedicated circuit, as some may draw 15 amps or more. Some of our customers are using uninterrupted power supplies as back up to protect against power outages.

Humidity models will need water supply. Our BTL/BTX benchtop humidity chambers need to be directly plumbed to a water source. Use of a flexible hose may be easiest. You may also get an external water supply tank if direct-water is impractical. (Our SH benchtops have an internal tank as standard.) Be aware that the water supplied to these chambers should be de-ionized (but not ultra-pure). Due to their size, adding such a filter on the unit isn't practical, so plan on getting a filter installed at your water supply.

Oftentimes, your selection of benchtop chambers is limited by the tests conditions you need to run, but you should consider issues like these when making your final choice.

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