Updated on 19 October, 2021
Test tube racks are specialized laboratory equipment used in the medical, bio-medical, pharmaceutical, and electronics industries to hold several test tubes at a time in a controlled environment. They are most often used for safety reasons, to facilitate the easy transport of test tubes, and also to ensure that several different test tubes are in position at the exact same time for optimal performance. It is essential for such environments to have consistent test tube placement to ensure that all experimental products are closely followed and accurately measured and monitored. The apparatus must also be properly controlled so that it remains within the parameters of accuracy as defined by the user.
There are many different manufacturers that produce test tube racks according to varying shapes, sizes, styles, and even colors. Most are manufactured from high quality plastic, which is both strong and durable. Plastic material also makes them easy to clean and assemble after use, and also provides superior protection from environmental hazards. It is therefore important to select plastic racks based on their durability, robustness, and suitability.
Plastic testing racks are generally available in four different sizes to accommodate standard Test Tube Machines. Most come in single or two test tube racks, one large and one small, one medium, and one oversized. There are also customized versions available from some manufacturers that feature fully customized product designs. In this case, one can custom-design the product to match the exact measurements and dimensions of the equipment one is using it for.
One popular variation of the two stage rack system is the 'plug-in' system, which substitutes a standard electrical heating source with a portable and expandable heat source. This type of rack is ideally suited to handle any type of solid-state electronic test tube, including those based on IC's, RF's, or Tantalum. The plug-in systems are generally smaller in size, cost less, and can be easily installed in any room or space. Some plug-in systems come with a remote control, which makes it convenient to operate from a distance.
Plastic material plays an important role in making various components of the rack and its base safe from accidental drops and damages. The rack is usually made with metal which is then covered with layers of acrylic or polyester powder. These materials ensure that the rack is hard enough to support the weight of the test tubes, without damaging its internal components. The base, on the other hand, is made from a tough, thermally-resistant thermoplastic and is often made out of high-density polyethylene. It is then fastened to the metal frame by a specially designed cable coupler.
Some of the best-known and most versatile types of test tube racks are the roll-up and the stackable rack. The roll-up rack is a simple yet effective model which mounts on a wall at the back of the work area. The rack rolls up into a neat package and requires no special tools or equipment to install or transport. The roll-up rack is commonly used in laboratories where a central autoclave is not available. Some manufacturers also provide walk-in models that feature similar convenience features and are easy to use.
Stackable models, on the other hand, have proven to be more advantageous and useful to laboratory personnel, particularly those working on several test tubes simultaneously. These models come in a wide variety of sizes and configurations. Some of these units are designed to accommodate up to four different test tubes while others support only one or two. Others have protective covers for different types of liquids and gases. There are also several different solutions for securing the racks in different rooms and areas.
Convenience, ease of installation, and several different solutions are the main advantages of using these different types of Test Tube Racks. The most popular type of Test Tube Rack is made of metal which easily mounts on ceilings and walls in a clean, uncluttered manner. Most of these metal racks have wire mesh security panels that prevent unauthorized access to the test tubes. However, if the rack is to be mounted on a cart, it should be made of durable and lightweight material such as heavy duty wire.