Key features and components of a Magnetic Stirrer typically include:
- Magnetic Stir Bar: A small magnetic bar or flea is placed inside the liquid-containing vessel, such as a beaker, flask, or test tube. The magnetic stir bar is typically coated with a chemically inert material like PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) to ensure compatibility with various liquids.
- Rotating Magnetic Field: The Magnetic Stirrer generates a rotating magnetic field, usually through a motorized magnetic coil placed underneath the vessel’s surface.
- Speed Control: The speed of the rotating magnetic field, and consequently the speed of stirring, is adjustable using a control knob or a digital interface.
- Heating Option: Some Magnetic Stirrers may come with an integrated heating plate or hotplate, allowing users to heat the liquid while stirring.
- Temperature Control: Stirrers with heating plates may have temperature control systems to maintain the desired temperature of the liquid during mixing.
- Safety Features: Magnetic Stirrers are designed with safety features, such as overheating protection and low liquid detection, to prevent accidents and ensure reliable operation.
- Non-Slip Surface: The surface of the magnetic stirrer is often made of non-slip materials to securely hold the container in place during stirring.
- LED Display: Some models come with an LED display showing the stirring speed, temperature (if equipped with a heating plate), and other settings.
- Compact and Space-Saving: Magnetic Stirrers are usually compact and designed to save benchtop space in the laboratory.
- Timer Function: Advanced models may have a timer function, allowing users to set a specific stirring duration.
Magnetic Stirrers are commonly used for various applications, including mixing of chemicals, dissolution of solids, preparation of solutions, and pH adjustments. They offer advantages like gentle mixing, easy setup, and minimal maintenance compared to other types of mixers. The ability to adjust stirring speed and temperature (if equipped with a heating plate) makes them versatile tools for various laboratory procedures. Proper care and cleaning of the magnetic stir bar and stirrer surface are essential to maintain accurate and contamination-free mixing results.