Bead Bath and Bead Bath Beads by Labarmor ~ overview
The revolutionary Lab Armor Cool Beans Chill Bucket
Bead Bath from Lab Armor
No More Ruined experiments, lost materials, Hassles, Distorted data - just fast start, uniform temperatures, omni-vessel accomodation and peace of mind.
Get a cleaner, greener bath.
The highly recyclable beads, fewer harmful biocides, and more energy efficient Bead Bath has the lab and the environment in mind. Learn more >
Frequently Asked Questions.
Everything you wanted to know about a Bead Bath. Learn more >
Bead Bath Features
The New Bead Bath out performs traditional bead-filled water baths. Learn more >
Bead Bath and Bead Bath Beads by Labarmor ~ features
It does what a water bath does, And then some.
Bead Bath, including warming, thawing, incubating, and does it while maintaining an constant temperature just like a water bath. But it performs a few additional things too.
Bead Bath makes using the bath easy. The bath always stays on, so you don't have to plan around warmup times. You don't need to worry about burnout either because there is no water to evaporate.
Unlike water baths that require racks, floats, and bottleneck weights, Bead Bath naturally holds things in place without acessories. So no more floating accidents. Really.
Stays clean and filled.
Water baths must be routinely monitored, cleaned, and maintained. While its a good idea to keep an eye on Bead Bath, it
really doesn't need too much attention. A bi-weekly or monthly spritz of a biodegradable disinfectant is usually sufficient.
Better temperature flexibility.
Many heating applications require boiling water baths or high temperatures oil baths. Since Bead Bath won't boil off like water, or pose any danger of combustion like oil, it is ideal for most ambient + 5 to 180 ÂșC applications.
Accomodates Any type vessel.
By design, the types and kinds of vessels that can be used with Bead Bath arenât limited water-tight containers. So you can safely incubate multiwell plates and petri dishes â or thaw precious samples â without fear of water wicking under their lids. And vessels can be set into the beads at any angle for better thermal optimization.
Bead Bath and Bead Bath Beads by Labarmor ~ main advantages over traditional baths
With Bead Bath designed specifically for beads, temperatures are consistant and uniform everywhere in the bath. Thermal uniformity is an amazing +/-1.0 at 37ÂșC.
Bead Bath gets up and running faster and you never need to turn it off. There is nothing to evaporate. Its just like a trusty always-on incubator. Unlike a standard bead-filled water bath, Beath Bath allows you to achieve a new set temperature quickly, without long warm up delays, so you can make quick adjustments on the fly.
Harmful biocides eliminated.
Lab Armor has worked hard to eliminate the need for many of the germicides that are a common part of water bath maintenance. Take, for example, liquid disinfectants used in water baths. Most contain antibiotic, algaecide, and fungicide compounds. These environmentally harmful germicides can accumulate in the water table from disposal during regular maintenance. Bead Baths are dry and periodic decontamination with a biodegadable, earth-friendly disinfectant, such as 70% EtOH is usually all that is required to keep most unwanted microbes away.
Beads are formed from solid recyclable metal. The material is very desirable to recyclers, which means the raw material used in Lab ArmorÂź Beads can be reused in other products.
More energy efficient
Beads can transform a water bath into a smarter instrument that uses less electricity. For instance, water constantly evaporates during water bath operation. As water evaporates it cools. Due to this evaporative-cooling effect, the bath must heat more frequently, which increases energy consumption. A bead bath uses over 4X less energy when set to 65 ÂșC and over 2X less energy at 37 ÂșC. Plus, a bead bath provides more constant temperature and fewer temperature fluxuations during operation than a water bath.
Bead Bath and Bead Bath Beads by Labarmor ~ technical
Technical Specifications - 6,14, and 20 Litre Models
Size and Weight (approx,without lid):
6 L Bath (M706) including 4L Beads
14 L Bath (M714) including12L Beads
20 L Bath (M720) including 16L Beads
30.5 x 15.2 x 15.2 cm
30.5 x 30.5 x 15.2 cm
30.5 x 43.2 x 15.2 cm
M706 bath, 6 L: +/- 1.0 ÂșC
M714 bath, 14 L: +/- 1.0 ÂșC
M720 bath, 20 L: +/- 1.0 ÂșC
Ambient +5 ÂșC to 80ÂșC
External Buttons, Indicators and Controls:
M706 bath, 6 L - 4 Litres of Beads
M714 bath, 14 L - 12 Litres of Beads
M720 bath, 20 L - 16 Litres of Beads
Volts: 120V or 230V
In the Box:
Digital Bead Bath
Lab Armor® Beads (ship separately)
Thermocouple located inside tub
Bead Bath and Bead Bath Beads by Labarmor ~ downloads
LabArmor Bead Bath brochure
LabArmor Bead Block Manual
LabArmor Beads Manual
LabArmor Dry-Temp Manual
LabArmor StayTemp Manual
LabArmor Walkabout Manual
LabArmor Serum Inactivation
LabArmor Bead BathThawing Cryovials
LabArmor Beads - Compatible water baths
These are PDF files, to obtain a free Adobe PDF reader:
Bead Bath and Bead Bath Beads by Labarmor ~ Answers to Frequently asked questions Lab Armor®
Can Lab Armor Beads be used to fill any constant temperature water bath?
Yes. Beads are fully compatible with nearly all non-circulating, non-shallow, standard depth (>5" deep) water baths. Lab Armor has evaluated the most popular, recent model water baths, including instruments from Fisher Scientific, Thermo, VWR, and Shel Lab. But if you are just unsure whether the beads will work in your bath, you can contact our download the Technote on water bath compatibility or technical services department.
What if my bath is designed differently than some of the more popular baths?
In some baths, you may notice an exposed thermocouple (thermostat) or heating element in the tub of your bath. An exposed thermocouple does not affect the performance of the Bead Bath. The exposed heating element is fine too, except for baths where the heating element is not centrally located. If your bath's heating element is off to one side, then your bead bath might have a noticeable temerature gradient from one side of the bath to the other. Some baths have cover plates at the bottom. If your bath has a cover plate, please review this article for instructions on proper bead bath setup. If your bath is in good working condition, and you haven't noticed any thermal performance problems with water, then beads should work for you.
Can Beads be used to fill a circulating or shaking water bath?
In general, if a bath has moving parts that interface with water, dont add Beads. However, if the bath can be operated effectively without the moving parts, and you can turn the parts off or remove them, then beads may be used.
What do I need to know before I buy Beads?
A Bead Bath is designed to be easy to use. But if youâre used to working with a water bath, you may have to make some adjustments.
A bead bath will perform the same functions as a water bath or an ice bath, ...
A Bead Bath performs all the essentials, including warming, thawing, incubating, chilling and does it while maintaining an constant temperature just like a water bath.
Beads transfer energy more slowly than water. And depending on the size and starting temperature of the incubating vessel, a Bead Bath can take one and a half to two times longer to warm the vessel up. So when your protocol calls for warming, incubating, or thawing in the bath, plan a little extra time. Or you can dial in the bath by simply raising its temperature. For instance, if you are accustomed to performing 37 ÂșC incubations and want to keep the same time interval, simply raise the bath temperature to 50 ÂșC.
Why should I spend money on buying Beads?
When you compare the cost of a lost set of experiments or even a few contaminated tubes of reagents and factor in the additional time spent on refilling the water bath, cleaning the water bath, and other expenses such as racks and bottleneck weights that you have to buy to go along with it, the difference in price between owning a Bead Bath and a water bath clearly favors the Bead Bath. And because the dry metal Beads do not evaporate, and will not corrode the bath, and will protect the bath from burnout, a Bead Bath makes good financial sense. Finally, if you own a bath full of Lab ArmorÂź Beads, you'll own the the most cutting-edge laboratory bath on the planet. So youâre getting the latest technological advances, and a bath that protects you, your work, and your lab.
Are Lab Armor Beads packaged as ready-for-use?
Yes, Lab Armor Beads arrive in a sealed container ready to add to your thermal instrument.
How much Lab Armor Beads do I need?
Unlike water, Lab Armor Beads don't evaporate and therefore helps protect against instrument overheating and burnout. But, like water, it is important to add a sufficient volume to your bath to ensure safe operation. An insufficient volume can cause inaccurate thermostat readings, which can result in continuous heating of the bath. Most water baths operate properly when filled to 1/2 to 3/4 full.
How long can I use Lab Armor Beads under normal conditions?
Under normal conditions, Lab Armor Beads should last the life of the water bath. If used incorrectly, the surfaces of Lab Armor Beads can become damaged, resulting in a loss of fluidity of the bath, but not in thermal performance. We recommend that you avoid strong detergents, acids and bases. Bleach, for instance, may tarnish the surface of the Lab Armor Beads reducing its fluidity and overall performance.
Can I autoclave Lab Armor Beads?
We recommend that you avoid autoclaving Lab Armor Beads. The high temperature steam can cause the surface of the Beads to become sticky, reducing its fluidity and overall performance. Should you need to disinfect, spray the Beads with 70% ethanol and mix.
Can Lab Armor Beads be used in a standard heat block?
Yes, Lab Armor beads are compatible with all standard heat blocks. You will no longer need to buy a new aluminum block when a vessel doesn't fit.
What if something is spilled into the Lab Armor Beads?
Lab Armor Beads may be washed with dish detergent and water, then sprayed with 70% ethanol if necessary. Most importantly, be sure to completely dry the Beads before adding back to the water bath, because a combination of heat and water can tarnish the beads. You can use a mesh strainer to wash and dry. A nylon <1/4" mesh bag works well, such as a camping stuff sack that you can find at a camping supply store.<
Do I need to use the water bath cover with Lab Armor Beads?
Yes, it is best practice to use the cover whenever possible. The cover allows maximum temperature range and helps maintain better temperature uniformity. In general, without the cover in place, the surface of the Beads will be slightly cooler due to the movement of cooler air over the bath.
Do temperature gradients exist in a water bath?
Yes, all water baths have hot spots and temperature gradients. The extent of the gradient depends on the design of the water bath. In some baths, for instance, the heating element is small or is not centrally located. In others, the heating element expands the entire surface of the bath providing a more uniform heating capacity. Lab Armor Beads perform like water and the temperature gradient in a standard water bath is very similar as well , usually + /- 2.5ÂșC. However, for higher precision applications, the new Lab Armor Bead Bath performs at + /- 0.5ÂșC. One advantage of Beads is that a sample vessel can be completely submerged in the beads, eliminating exposure to surrounding air temperature.
Is my water bath compatible with Lab Armor Beads?
Lab Armor Beads can be used with just about any water bath. But, as mentioned in question 8, like water, the performance of the thermal media depends on the design of the bath and the location of the heating element. With water, for example, "hot spots" occur in areas of proximity to the heating element. Some elements are exposed on the bottom of the bath and others are recessed. Some baths are deep and others are shallow. In a bath with the element located in the center, water and Beads generally produce a temperature gradient of +/- 0.25 -0.75 ÂșC per inch in all directions from the middle of the bath. So, depending on the size and location of the element, as well as the dimensions of your bath you can gauge the performance of Beads in your bath.
How do I keep my Lab Armor Beads shiny and fluid?
Normal amounts of precipitation on refrigerated bottles and vials are NOT harmful. However, avoid exposure to a combination of heat and water or reactive chemicals that oxidized the surface of the Beads. Chemically accelerated oxidation reduces the Bead's shine and more importantly, it's fluidity. In general, Beads can last for many years if kept relatively dry and clean. It can even out-live your water bath.
Are Lab Armor Beads compatible with every bath despite different heating and cooling systems?
Water baths from several major US manufacturers, including the Thermo Fisher & Shel Lab baths have been tested with Beads. Data shows that most baths are compatible, no matter their age. An exposed or recessed thermocouple does not seem to affect the performance of the Beads. However, the location and configuration of the heating element can make a difference in heating uniformity. Most of the water bath design problems affecting performance of Beads, also affect the thermal performance of water. Circulating water baths are generally incompatible with Beads.
How do Lab Armor Beads perform under high or low temperatures?
Beads have been tested using various water bath models at a range of temperatures. In most traditional water baths, the further the set temperature is from ambient temperature, the greater the thermal gradient will be in the bath. Therefore, at an operating temperature of 37ÂșC to 42ÂșC, the thermal gradient in a common water bath is typically +/-1-3ÂșC, whereas at 55-65ÂșC it is closer to +/-3-8ÂșC depending on the design of the bath and the amount of Lab Armor Beads used.
For applications that require greater temperature control, a Lab Armor Bead Bath can be used. Bead Bath is designed specifically for use with beads, and therefore provides more consistent, uniform temperatures throughout the bath compared to traditional water baths. Thermal uniformity is +/- 0.5ÂșC at 37ÂșC and +/- 1.0 at 65ÂșC.
Are there ways to speed up the heating process with Lab Armor Beads?
Beads warm 1.25-2.5X slower than water, depending on the volume of the vessel. But, there are ways to compensate for this:
Raise the temperature of Beads
To avoid over-heating, validate the adjusted protocol
Keep the conditions constant from experiment to experiment
For example, to raise the temperature of a typical 500 ml bottle of cell culture media from 4ÂșC to approximately 37ÂșC in 30 minutes, traditionally, a 37ÂșC water bath is used. To accomplish the same results using Beads<, the bottle can be submerged in 50ÂșC Beads for the same 30 minutes, then pulled out and placed onto the surface of Beads. The Bottle of media will remain at 37ÂșC +/- 2ÂșC for up to 6 hours until use.
When a frozen vessel is placed into the bath, the beads surrounding the bottle become temporarily cool. And if the vessel is large enough, just like a water bath, the overall temperature of the bath will decrease slightly below the set point and trigger the bath to begin heating. The cool areas surrounding the bottle will slowly warm up until the bottle reaches the set temperature. Although similar gradients are produced in water baths, in general, the whole bath cools down and re-warms without obvious gradients because of normal disturbances and stirrings, as well as natural thermal circulation of water. Instead of always stirring the bead bath, customers can most likely solve their problem with a simple change in protocol. By allowing frozen vessels to thaw overnight in the refrigerator to 4ÂșC before placing it in the bath, it will warm quickly in the bead bath and will not contribute greatly to cooling the bath and disturbing the temperature gradient.
Besides keeping the bath cleaner, how do Beads protect samples better than water?
Eliminates the possibility of water wicking into the sample
Eliminates cross-contamination from water dripping off a vessel onto other items on the bench when removing vessel from the bath
If the bath is accidentally turned off or loses power, Beads maintains temperature up to 5 times longer than water offering better protection for the incubating sample.
Is an air-jacketed water bath compatible with Lab Armor Beads?
In general, air-jacketed baths provide better overall heat distribution and temperature gradients. The air jacket that surrounds the tub portion of the bath allows the heated air generated by the heat element at the base of the tub to also warm the walls of the tub. Since bead baths primarily rely on heat conduction (heat transfer by contact), baths with heated walls transfer heat to the beads from 4 directions. Baths without air jackets less efficiently heat the beads from the bottom only.
There is another potential design problem with some non-air-jacketed baths. If the bath's heating element is not recessed below the tub, but it is instead fixed to the tub by metal-to-metal contact, the base of the bath can become very hot in areas where contact is made. This produces hot spots on the bottom, which results in uneven gradients in the bath. Small sized heating elements that only cover a small portion of the base of the tub makes this problem worse. Such baths produce hot spots even when water is used. If you are experiencing problems with your non-air-jacketed bath, as an alternative to buying a new bath, simply add a container of beads to your laboratory oven or incubator. A container such as a stainless steel pan with 3-4" walls can be filled with beads and placed into the heating unit. The container of beads will work great with a minimal gradient. Such a container can be added to a standard incubation oven, a cell culture incubator, or a refrigerator for cold incubations.
Can Lab Armor Beads be used for an ice bath without the Chill Bucket or other parts?
There are a number of different ways to use Beads. Many customers place containers of Beads in their refrigerators, incubators and ovens.
When creating an ice bath, one goal is to keep the beads dry. So it's a good idea to separate the beads from the ice packs, which accumulate condensation. We recommend using some kind of mesh wire or fabric. Also, any condensation that builds on the surface of the beads will be able to drip through the mesh. It's important to keep the beads from soaking in water for extended periods of time. Besides attracting contamination, excessive water contact will tarnish the surface of the beads and reduce the fluidity of the bath. Also, as an alternative to ice packs, dry ice can be used to make a colder bath (<0 ÂșC).
Are the Beads safe?
The beads do not contain any dangerous elements that will contaminate your environment or pose health risks. The beads are manufactured and batch analyzed by metal optical emissions spectrometry. Lab Armor maintains strict quality controls on all its raw materials and manufacturing outcomes. The beads are designed to be used safely at both low and high temperatures. For more information on safe working temperatures of Lab Armor Beads, refer to FAQ #20 below
How do you deal with the fact that you cannot shake or agitate samples in bead baths?
A shaker unit is still required for large bottles or flasks that need high rpm agitation, such as 250 ml flasks for bacterial cultures. But for low speed agitation, a standard laboratory rotator (such as a Lab-Line Maxi Rotator), a bead tray, and a general-use incubator, can replace a shaking water bath. Here's how it works: Option 1) Samples are added to a StayTemp tray that is placed atop a rotator inside a standard laboratory incubator and agitated at the desire temp. Option 2) Warm beads from a Bead Bath can be scooped into an insulated WalkAbout tray and samples can be rotated on the bench top, outside the incubator for 0.5 to 1 hr at temperature. We can provide larger insulated trays for bottles and flasks too. In an incubator, the beads actually transfer thermal energy more efficiently to the samples than by air alone. And the beads stay at temperature ensuring consistent incubation despite folks opening and closing the incubator door repeatedly.
What is the working temperature of Lab Armor Beads?
For best performance use Lab Armor Beads at an operating temperature from -80 to 180ÂșC. However, product may be used up to 300ÂșC without loss in thermal performance, but product fluidity may be reduced.
Bead Bath and Bead Bath Beads by Labarmor ~ video footage
Some video showing you the Bead Bath and Bead Bath Beads by Labarmor in actioncourtesy Eppendorf UK