Dryer: Features, Uses, Types, Prices

November 2, 2021

The Desiccator is one of the most used instruments in laboratories as well as dosimeters , the magnetic stirrer , the durometer , etc. It is an instrument designed for the dry preservation of a sample.

What is a Desiccator?

As we mentioned, a Desiccator is one of the laboratory materials used for the correct dry conservation of a sample. We must bear in mind that there are substances whose composition can be altered by humidity.

It should be noted that humidity saturation can make it difficult to transfer masses in a space. But you can also do it when it comes to the substance, which can cause it to start to break down.

Although exposure to heat can be one of the most used ways to combat humidity , it will depend on the substance that we are going to treat. This is because there are substances with which you cannot fight humidity with heat. A clear example are substances that are altered by the presence of heat.

To better understand this instrument, we must know that it is divided into two main parts. The first is a large cavity, where the sample to be preserved is placed. The second is another cavity with less space that houses the trigger.

We must bear in mind that the latter is important, and they tend to have hygroscopic qualities , which means that it absorbs moisture. A good example of a trigger is silica gel, which has the ability to absorb moisture from closed environments.

It is important to note that it is not toxic or flammable. However, as we must imagine, this is not the only trigger there is, since these can vary depending on the substance to be treated.

Other types of triggers are phosphorous oxide, sodium / potassium hydroxide, or sulfuric acid. We must bear in mind that when it comes to solutions, anhydrous sodium or magnesium sulfate is used.

Desiccator Features

The Desiccator is an instrument that has different types, however in any of its types it has the same characteristics. Thanks to which we can more easily detect this laboratory device. Specifically, we can say that they are made up of four to five parts.

To begin with, we have the body, which is the largest part and the one that contains the rest of the parts of the Desiccator. In fact it is divided into two unequal parts . Then we have the lid whose function is necessary to seal the sample.

The removable platform is another feature of this device, and it works for the hole parts. Specifically, we can say that it has holes, where the samples are placed. Usually this can be made of porcelain, plastic or steel.

At the same time we can find a door, which is used for those Desiccators that are of the cabinet type. Finally we have the thermo-hygrometer , which works like a large cabinet which allows the humidity level to be controlled.

Another very important feature of this device is that it can contain a vacuum key. However, this is optional depending on the model we have and can be found in different types of desiccators.

What is the Desiccator for?

In very simple terms this instrument is used to remove moisture from a sample. However, to better understand this device we must know in detail why it works. Its main function is still to remove moisture from a sample , that is, to dehydrate it.

But for what purpose is this done? The answer to this question would be to keep the sample in good condition when isolating it. Due to this, the sample is not contaminated by external agents that may come into contact with it.

It is important to mention that this process is done without causing any alteration in the sample. On the other hand, we must know that both the sample and the trigger are always kept separate thanks to the platform that is located between them, which prevents them from coming into contact.

However, it has grids that manage to make the trigger act with the sample, absorbing the humidity from the environment. But without affecting its integrity.

Specifically, we can say that Desiccators work as a vacuum seal. Keep in mind that vacuum is the lack of matter in a space, the density of the particles being very low. This condition is important to carry out the desiccator process.

For this condition to occur, many desiccators have in their design a stopcock to extract the air inside the container. We must add that being a vacuum seal it can be difficult to open the container.

What are the uses of the Desiccator?

The uses of this instrument is to dehydrate substances in order to preserve them. But it also has certain applications in the field of chemistry . We must bear in mind that this process is used in the cooling of samples, which allows it to absorb moisture.

However, for this use we must take special care, since when they get too hot they can increase the pressure. If this happens the pressure breaks the cap fit, although it can also cause a partial vacuum.

Precautions in the use of the Desiccator

Although the use of this instrument is not complicated at all, we must take into account certain precautions when it comes time to use it. To begin with, when the sample is very hot, the best we can do is wait for it to cool down little by little . This is important if we want to avoid that the Desiccator undergoes some kind of sudden changes.

At the same time, when it is time to open it, it should be done in a sliding way. In this way we avoid that the sample can be altered by an abrupt change in pressure .

An important point to keep in mind is the desiccant that we are going to use. Note that this should be chosen by evaluating the sample and the procedure. We must know that there are some disenchants that do not work well in certain substances. At the same time others can be much faster when acting on a sample.

As we mentioned before, the objective of this instrument is to dehydrate a sample but also to preserve it. Hermetic cleaning and sealing being particularly important in both cases If these two points are not covered, the sample may be contaminated.

To all this we must add the importance that when working with very hygroscopic materials they should be kept in containers with lids. The lid should not be moved from its place while it is in the desiccator.

Keep in mind that this generally only applies to hygroscopic materials. Because with the rest of the solids they can be kept without having to cover them.

Types of Desiccators

To begin with, we must know that there are many types of Desiccators, but they all comply with the exact same process. In fact, what varies is the design of the same, this being the one that allows it to be classified into two main types, which are the circular desiccator and the cabinet desiccator. In more detail we can say that these two types are;

  • Circular desiccator ; In general, this is the most common, being also the most chosen. Regarding their function we can say that they are used for small or medium samples. If we talk about the material with which they are designed, this may vary. Finding some of plastic and glass, the latter being the most complicated to manipulate.
  • Cabinet Desiccator ; Unlike the other one, this one is mostly used for large samples and has a square shape. Regarding the materials used for its design, these are usually polycarbonate, acrylic or stainless steel. Something that stands out a lot about this type of Desiccator is that it has some models with multiple chambers.

It is important to mention that although both Desiccators are different in terms of design, they have certain similarities such as; They may or may not be vacuum sealed , with an air extraction valve and different materials.

Regarding the differences, as we could notice, when we talk about a circular type they are used mostly for small samples and to transport them. But when we talk about the square or cabinet, it is often used for large samples and to preserve them.


If we take everything mentioned so far into account, we can say that this is one of the most used laboratory materials out there. Because they allow the handling of samples and the care of them. This is why they can be found in many laboratories.

To better understand its importance, we must bear in mind that without this device it would be difficult to maintain the integrity of the samples. This being one of the most important points for scientists. With this in mind we can say that the existence of this instrument is of the utmost importance, to carry out this task.

Dr. Loony Davis5
 | Website

Born and raised in Brussels in an English family, I have always lived in a multicultural environment. After several work experiences in marketing and communication, I came to Smart Water Magazine, which I describe as the most exciting challenge of my career.
I am a person with great restlessness and curiosity to learn, discover what I do not know, as well as reinvent myself daily, someone who is curious about life and wants to know. I enjoy sharing knowledge.
This is my personal project but I also collaborate in other blogs, it is the case, the most important web on water currently exists in the US, if you are interested you can read my articles here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *