Orbital shakers, functions and parts

Orbital shakers are laboratory equipment used to combine, divide or prepare substances. These equipment creates a movement between liquids or between liquids and solids in order to achieve mixing, suspension, dispersion, homogenization, heat transfer processes, among others.

They are compact, versatile, high-performance and long-lasting equipment that can be used with a wide variety of other equipment such as incubators, refrigerators and environmental chambers.

Functions of an orbital shaker

The main function of this equipment is to allow uniform mixing of components. These devices are frequently used in clinical and research laboratories for the mixing, homogenization and preparation of combinations of substances. There is a wide variety of models and presentations of these equipment that depend mostly on their size and whether their speed is fixed or adjustable.

Parts of an orbital shaker

The main component of an orbital stirrer is its propulsion system, also called the stirrer motor. There are different stirrers with different components each, but they usually handle similar characteristics, typical of an orbital stirrer:

  • The base: where the orbital tray is located. This base carries the motor that rotates the tray, contains the power and buttons that allow you to regulate the speed of movement and heat.
  • The tray: it is through the rotor and follows guides that allow the platform to rotate in an orbit at the preset speed and thus achieve the mixture of the components.
  • Sideplates: Many models of orbital stirrers have sideplates in the tray, which allow to put any type of container and that it is well adjusted and held in an upright position.

Some have a platform with a uniform and powerful shaking mechanism, and are designed for safe continuous operation. Several models have a tilting platform with horizontal safety bars, and rubber pads to facilitate adjustment, and allow to place on its surface different types of flasks, jars and beakers.

Some of these devices have a sticky platform or fasteners that hold everything in place as they begin the stirring process. This equipment consists of a time control which can be adjusted as needed, likewise some have a speed control which can be adjusted as required. At the top is a platform with an eccentric orbital movement where the sample holders are placed, which has a non-slip material.

Recommendations when using an orbital shaker

  • Prevents the spillage of substances on its surface.
  • Turn the computer on and off properly.
  • Make sure that the surface on which it is used, is flat.
  • Cover with protective plastic to prevent dust build-up.

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