While lab freezers might look like the freezers we have at home, these are used to store very critical materials which can be hazardous and at the same time, materials for saving lives. Temperature is important for these critical materials because any temperature change can diminish their effectiveness and this is why lab freezers need to have constant regulated temperatures. Lab freezers comes in different sizes from the extremely small that can fit under any counter, the regular-sized upright freezers which are similar to our home freezers, and the extremely large walk-in freezers. Our home freezers only reach up to -10 degrees Celcius, but the coldest lab freezer can be kept at a low temperature of -85 degrees Celcius.
Lab freezers are used for many different purposes. Some of the things you can find in a lab freezer includes serums and tissue samples, samples of DNA and RNA, protein extracts, and bacteria strains. Organs and blood are preserved in lab freezers in hospitals, while medicines are kept in lab freezers in pharmacies. To prevent degradation of specimens, they are kept in the lab freezer t constant temperature.
You can also find a general purpose lab freezer which is similar to a home refrigeration unit. They also have shelves both in the unit and in the door, and rubber gaskets to prevent the cold from escaping, just like a home refrigerator. These lab freezers are much colder than our home freezers since they can reach as low as -25 degree Celsius compared to our -10 degrees Celsius, These lab freezers have to be kept locked to maintain temperature and they also have an LCD display with the temperature reading and this is for the purpose of preventing the opening of the lab freezer to check temperature.
Since there are many applications for lab freezers, you can also find different types. There are freezers that can really reach very low temperatures and can store thousands of sample using freezer racks. There are also super low lab freezers which can reach cryogenic temperatures of -150 degrees Celsius without having to use liquid nitrogen.
Flammable materials can also be stored in lab freezers. Volatile materials can be stored in specially designed freezers. These freezers meet OSHA standards but they need alarms, monitors, and back up features if freezing critical items or high value life science materials.
There is also a freezer call the blood bank freezer used to store blood and plasma. Since regular freezers temperature cannot be controlled when doors are opened, blood cannot be stored there. Since blood has a very short shelf life, blood bank freezers are durable and require little maintenance.