Industry & Safety
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Greatest transparency in the laboratory

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Precision and hygiene are absolutely essential in a laboratory – whether in a medical, pharmaceutical, or environmental technology lab. Many procedures also require visual process control. PLEXIGLAS® has many properties which are vital here.

The original acrylic glass from Röhm is a proven material for transparent components in laboratory and analysis technology – for both large components and miniature functional parts. Manfred Primke, Managing Partner at HECKER® Kunststofftechnik in Dortmund, can easily name five benefits of PLEXIGLAS® in a laboratory environment: “It fulfills the requirements placed upon optical quality, hygiene, miniaturization, ergonomics and corporate design.”

Completely transparent devices

Freeze-drying machine with a cylindrical chamber made from acrylic glass
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Compared to glass, PLEXIGLAS® is sturdier and significantly lighter – two huge advantages in laboratory or hospital applications. Furthermore, its light transmittance of up to 92 percent means it is more transparent than glass. Wherever processes in a device need to be visible, the brand acrylic glass is perfectly suited for highly transparent device casings and viewing elements, as well as for completely transparent components – for example in freeze-drying machines.

Freeze-drying is a common procedure in food processing, and one which is well known from instant coffee and spices. This process also plays a significant role in the pharmaceutical industry. For example, it is used to extend the shelf life of liquid pharmaceutical products with sensitive active ingredients and to make them suitable for storage. Water is removed during this process. The vacuum chambers, in which substances dry over multiple levels, can be constructed from transparent PLEXIGLAS® sheets or tubes – with individual sizes, wall thicknesses and shapes. Single components are bonded securely and almost invisibly using the special ACRIFIX® adhesive for PLEXIGLAS®.

PLEXIGLAS® manifolds for fluid technology

The transparent manifolds used in fluid technology are highly efficient, miniature laboratory devices used to guide, dose or mix liquids. Manifolds are often no larger than a postcard. They appear as though a map of metro lines have been milled into a sheet of acrylic glass, with lines, curves and junctions.

“These are complex milled and joint parts made from transparent PLEXIGLAS® sheets,” comments plastics expert Primke, who goes on to explain how manifolds are manufactured in his company: “The sheets are drilled and fine channels milled into them. They are not glued together, but joined together to form multi-layer compounds using the patented PLEXIGLAS® rolling technique. This enables thicknesses of between 12 and 70 millimeters to be achieved.”

Miniature laboratory devices, such as manifolds, are an economical solution with multiple benefits for the user. They enable flat, space-saving components with small assembly depths to be manufactured. At the same time, manifolds enable efficient processes and safe handling without a confusing jumble of bulky hoses. This is possible as the liquid or gas feed lines are connected to the external edges with custom-fit threads. The manifolds then focus the liquid or gas streams in a small area and guide them to their destination.

Manifold for fluid technology made from transparent PLEXIGLAS®

Fluid technology

Very small and very efficient: This manifold with fine channels consists of PLEXIGLAS® sheets which have been rolled together.

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Laboratory equipment made from transparent PLEXIGLAS®

Laboratory medicine

Easy to handle: two halves of a piece of laboratory equipment made from PLEXIGLAS®, which can be used for DNA analyses and other applications.

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Component made from PLEXIGLAS® for water analysis

Environmental technology

Tailor-made PLEXIGLAS® component with connectors, for example for water analysis.

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Double filling funnel made from PLEXIGLAS®

Double filling funnel

Transparent funnels like this one are used in various sectors. They can be used to check the pourability of powders, for example.

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Flow blocks made from PLEXIGLAS®

Flow block made from PLEXIGLAS®
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Flow blocks function in a similar way to manifolds, and can be used to analyze the flow behavior of liquids. However, while manifolds are made from rolled PLEXIGLAS® sheets, the flow blocks are constructed from PLEXIGLAS® blocks. This enables the flow blocks to be manufactured in both small and large sizes. Fine channels are milled into the material during machining.

The flexible plasticity and different processing options associated with PLEXIGLAS® mean it can be used to manufacture many other custom components with a wide variety of functions for laboratory technology. The material is also ideal for crafting ergonomic shapes or fulfilling corporate design specifications.

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