There are multiple storage devices that help in storing volatile and sensitive chemicals which are highly susceptible to reacting with other substances in an inert environment. Devices like Fume bio safety cabinets and fume hoods provide for safe spaces where scientists can work with the chemicals without worrying about the contamination of the chemicals or the safety of their health.
Glove boxes are another such devices that are boxed enclosure in which scientists can work from outside with gloves protruding inside. There are different types of glove boxes when it comes to their functioning. Based on their enclosure, they can be divided into two categories: The controlled atmosphere glove boxes and the laboratory glove box.
Controlled atmosphere glove boxes:
When it comes to atmospheric glove boxes, these enclosures provide a fully sealed space with its own internal atmosphere. The internal space would have its own separate atmospheric gas, temperature, humidity levels etc. that would be controlled by the scientists.
Laboratory filtered glove boxes:
Laboratory filtered glove boxes are however, not an isolated enclosed space like the atmospheric glove boxes. They provide complete separation from the outside environment inside the enclosed space, but they don’t have different atmosphere. These boxes come with HEPA/ULPA filters that filters the air inside the enclosure before releasing it outside of the glove box.
These laboratory filtered glove boxes are used to capture and filter particulates from the inside environment or prevent outside particulates from entering the enclosed space. These particulates can be any contaminant such as soot, smoke, bacterial or even aerosols. Gases however, are cannot be filtered by these small glove boxand thus are free to travel.
Laboratory filtered boxes are used for containing all the harmful particulates inside while working with the chemicals or block particulates entering in to keep the internal environment sterile. These boxes are not however designed for controlling gases or creating an inert atmosphere.
There are various different types of filtered glove boxes available. They are glove boxes that are portable in size and can be taken anywhere. Again, the bigger glove boxes can only be putin one place. Then there are boxes that allow multiple scientists to work together, and there are boxes that are smaller and only allow one person to work at a time.
There are however certain things you need to remember before buying a filtered glove device:
- It is not meant to be used for highly reactive substances: Laboratory filtered glove boxes are not made for working with chemicals that require an inert and humid free environment. For such chemicals, you would need atmospheric control glove boxes.
- The size of devices: There are various different sizes. Therefore, if you are working in a home laboratory or a very small laboratory, then it is better to buy portable size devices.
- Maintenance of filters: These devices work on filters. Hence, these filters would require constant change and maintenance for them to work properly.
You can however, opt for customisation with your devices and ask the manufacturer to install several more components that would fit your requirements.