VChamber

Portable vacuum oven.

VChamber - portable vacuum oven
 

How does it work?

In four steps.

The MeltPrep VChamber turns any hot plate into a vacuum oven. It is designed to be easily installed on existing hot plates, e.g. lab heaters or measurement devices. Our solution brings the vacuum to the sample and not the other way around.

VChamber - portable vacuum oven
VChamber hot plate process

Vacuum connector

VChamber - pellets moisture dry

Vacuum heat treatment

100% dry

VChamber - pellets

Powder or extrudates pellets, flakes etc.

VChamber portable vacuum oven
VChamber process

Silicon Petri dish or aluminium pan

VChamber process

The process can be split up in four easy steps. (1) The materials (powder, extrudates, pellets,…) are placed on the hot plate. (2) The VChamber forms a tight vacuum chamber around the sample and is evacuated. (3) The vacuum heat treatment at parameters of dry, temper, or melt the sample is set. (4) Finally, the vacuum is relieved and the VChamber can be removed.

What do you need to know?

The theory of drying.

In most cases, the moisture of hygroscopic materials should be removed. Simply put, the moisture from the environment is taken up and is either deposited on the surface or absorbed by the material. Drying means the removal of unwanted moisture from a solid material.

The mass transfer basics

Surface water quickly evaporates or boils off from particle surface. The bottle neck in drying is typically diffusion. When moisture is absorbed by the material, diffusion needs to bring the water molecules back to the surface of the solid particles.

VChamber mass transfer basics
Water molecules - VChamber drying

Diffusion inside the particle

VChamber pellets drying
Pellet - VChamber drying

Single particle

mm scale

Water molecules

Fast drying

Moist pellets

Slow drying

Surface pellet - VChamber drying

Surface water

Evaporation or boiling

The general rule is: the bigger the particle, the longer the drying time as the diffusion path length increases. Micronized powder will require minutes whereas millimeter-sized particles will take hours to fully dry.

Apart from that, diffusion speed depends on the concentration gradient and temperature. Both can be maximized within the VChamber. High vacuum levels can be established within seconds and it is resistant to temperature levels up to 300°C. This makes the VChamber the fastest drying chamber on the market.

VChamber - drying speed scale

Drying Speed Scale

Sublimation

Evaporation

Vacuum evaporation

Boiling on hot plate

Vacuum boiling

Vacuum oven

VChamber

Why using a vacuum

That's why.

VChamber - portable vacuum oven

Desiccator vs. VChamber

Vacuum drying in a generic desiccator takes out energy from the material and the drying process is slowed down by temperature reduction (heat of evaporation). It can lead to freezing of water which basically stops the drying process as sublimation is the slowest transition into gas.

Graph dessicator vs VChamber.webp

Adiabatic Drying

Water droplet

Glass fiber reinforced  PTFE foil

VChamber portable vacuum oven

evaporation

Atmosphere

Iced droplet

VChamber portable vacuum oven

sublimination

Vacuum

Heated Drying

VChamber!

VChamber portable vacuum oven

boiling

Vacuum + Heat

Heating the material in a VChamber significantly shortens the drying time as the temperature is kept constant or can even be increased. Direct heat transfer from the heated plate enables fast cycles, and thanks to the compact and varied size options, a perfect sample to vacuum oven ratio are guaranteed. Thus, moisture can be removed quickly.

What are the typical applications?

Simplifying processes.

The MeltPrep VChamber is an all-purpose vacuum chamber specially designed for professional use in the pharma, food, and plastic industries. Typical applications are drying, melting, and tempting powders, pellets, or granulates.

Drying

Most material characterization methods will deliver falsified results when moisture is within the sample. Moisture overlaps phase transitions in thermal analysis or forms bubbles changing the mechanical properties.

VChamber portable vacuum oven drying process
VChamber vacuum drying process

In processing moisture is also undesirable. In extrusion, foams might be formed at the outlet as the pressure suddenly decreases, and water vapor can expend. Gentle vacuum drying at the elevated temperature inside the VChamber resolves this issues.

VChamber - pellets moisture vacuum drying

VCM Processing

VChamber process

Vacuum Drying + VCM Processing

VChamber process

Polycarbonate pellets

VCM sample moist pellets

VCM sample with bubbles from moist pellets

Discs Ø 25 mm

VCM sample vacuum dried VChamber

VCM perfectly homogeneous sample, from VChamber dried pellets

Vacuum drying on small particles can fluidize the complete powder bed. The evaporating moisture stream is fast enough to lift the particles and make them behave like a fluid. The drying speed is maximized at gentle temperatures as heat is supplied by hot plate and moisture discharged by the vacuum pump. The short video shows an example of moisture removal from a polyethylenoxid powder.

 

Is there anything else

See for yourself.

There are bottomless application fields apart from the typical ones. The VChamber can also be used for moisture removal from sensitive products like electronics, storage of oxygen sensitive material or solvent removal with the usage of capillary effects as well as for customized applications.

VChamber melting process

Melting

Dry - non hygroscopic powders can be molten within the VChamber directly. The air between the particles will be removed when vacuum is applied, and the particles can fuse to a homogeneous melt. 

VChamber processing powder
VChamber kollidon without vacuum
VChamber Kollidon processed

Without Vacuum
Foam

In VChamber
Homogeneous melt 

VChamber - portable vacuum oven

When moist powders have to be molten, a combined approach of drying at temperatures below the melting or glass transition point is recommended to remove the moisture, otherwise, the moisture is trapped during the melting and can not escape from the sample material.

VChamber processing

No moisture
No humidity
Perfect samples!
Direct measurement

Tempering

After injection, molding residual stresses may remain inside a-part. Stresses relax faster at elevated temperatures, but oxidation also might occur. Vacuum reduces the risks of relaxation significantly and thanks to the VChamber, the parts are located on the temperature-controlled plate directly enabling fast heating and evacuation cycles for applications where this is critical.

VChamber tempering

How is it build up?

Ingeniously simple.

MeltPrep stands for user-friendly, high-quality products. And that’s how the VChamber is designed as well. Its main body is made of aluminum coated with nickel to make it lightweight and resistant to mechanical and chemical wear. The glass lid is a borosilicate glass to create a long lasting and reliable product. 

VChamber background
VChamber portable vacuum oven
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Thermal isolator

Vacuum
connector

Glass lid

VChamber vacuum relief valve

Handle

Thermal isolator

Vacuum relief valve

High temperature

3 Dimensions

Direct contact

Fast cycles

VChamber dimensions
VChamber temperature range vacuum
VChamber processing
VChamber processing cycle
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What's important?

Details.

One of the key distinctions of the MeltPrep VChamber compared to other vacuum ovens, and other solutions is the bottomless design. It allows the preparation of a sample right on the hot plate of a measurement device. The VChamber seals directly to the hot plate, allowing a direct heat transfer from the hot plate to the sample.

VChamber processing temperature

The VChamber is designed for continuous operation up to 200°C. For short term applications temperatures must not exceed 300°C. At the lower end -20°C can be reached when required. Thanks to the thermally isolated handles you can easily operate it without gloves.

High temperature

VChamber dimensions

Size matters. Choose the size that fits your hot plate and application, or just get the whole VChamber family to prevent an unnecessary long cycle time.

3 Dimensions

VChamber dimensions
VChamber sealing

Direct contact

The VChamber seals at your hot plate directly. Temperature-resistant X-rings ensure reliable sealing and act as thermal isolators to minimize heat transfer between the VChamber and the hot plate. Thus, the heat is sufficiently directed towards the samples.

VChamber fast cycle

Fast cycles

The control system integrated into the hot plate, regulates the temperature of the plate. Samples, located on the hot plate, reach the set temperatures almost as fast as your hot plate. The VChamber is thermally isolated from the hot plate to minimize thermal inertia. It is available in 3 dimensions to enable fast evacuation and purge as well as temperature cycles.

What are the advantages?

Less effort.

The VChamber is designed to simplify daily lab routines as well as challenging new tasks. There are various reasons why there should be VChamber in every lab. But we know your time is valuable, that’s why we are just presenting the four main aspects in detail.

VChamber background
VChamber_family
VChamber footprint
VChamber direct heat tranfer
VChamber - saving money
VChamber bottomless

Bottomless

Small footprint

Cost-effective solution

Direct heat transfer

 

What is your motivation?

Simplicity.

Simplicity is an art only very few people understand. As Albert Einstein already said, "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.” We take him at his word and made it our mission to create simple products and simple explanations to help you save your time and nerves.

Bottomless

VChamber portable vacuum oven

One of the core features of the VChamber is its bottomless design, which on the one hand, enables mounting it on every hot plate and on the other hand, allows to prepare the sample in-situ without error-prone sample moving.

Two advantages in one.

Preparation

Moving

Conventional

Measurement

Small footprint

The VChamber consumes very little space within the laboratory compared to conventional vacuum ovens and can be used highly flexible in different places thanks to its handy design and adaptability.

VChamber footprint
Even for small labs.
oven.png

Vacuum oven

Conventional

Requires 1 m lab bench

VChamber direct heat tranfer

The VChamber seals directly to the hot plate, allowing a direct heat transfer from the hot plate to the sample. Fast temperature changes are possible allowing short drying times and reducing the risk of degradation to a minimum.

Direct heat tranfer

Saving time.

Conventional

Inertia
VChamber time efficiency
VChamber saving money

Cost effective solution

Saving money.

When it comes to figures, the VChamber has one big buying argument. You can use your already existing elements in combination with the VChamber family. Bring vacuum drying to your lab for a fraction of the costs for a conventional system.

Conventional

VChamber - saving money
 

Interested in VChamber?

Shop it online.

Browse our online shop and find the best solution to address your needs. Click below to access our online store.

VChamber Online Shop

Get your portable vacuum oven today

Will it survive on the moon?

Test it in our lab.

MeltPrep VChamber allows you to simulate moon atmosphere in your lab, watch the videos and see what happens when we apply vacuum. Temperatures on the moon can go up to 127 °C, that can be easily simulated by the VChamber.

VChamber marshmallow test

Before

After

 

What can it be used for?

For more than one expects.

The materials can be melted directly on your existing hot plate, which gives you the opportunitiy to proceed right on and prevents moisture uptake and aging effects. For example, samples can be molten on your rheometer under vacuum directly. Subsequently, the VChamber is removed and one can proceed with the measurement.

VChamber portable vacuum oven