Which vacuum pump is right for you?

Vacuum pumps are a necessary component of freeze dryers, controlled atmosphere glove boxes and vacuum concentrators. Labconco’s pump offering includes a diaphragm pump, rotary vane oil pump and combination pump. How do you know when you need one over the other? Let’s discuss the pros and cons of each.

Diaphraghm vacuum pump, also known as membrane vacuum pumpDiaphragm Vacuum Pump

Pros: A diaphragm pump is low to no maintenance. Because it is oil free, oil changes are not required. Some diaphragm pumps have PTFE-coated components, which are designed to withstand solvent and acid vapors. Newer diaphragm pumps are much quieter than old style diaphragm pumps.

Cons: The ultimate vacuum of a diaphragm pump is not enough for lyophilization, which requires an ultimate vacuum of 0.002 mbar.

Final thought: A diaphragm pump is great for acid or solvent applications using the CentriVap® or the RapidVap® Vacuum System.


Rotary Vane Vacuum Pump

Pros: A rotary vane pump pulls a deep vacuum, required for lyophilization and evaporation of high boiling point samples.   

Rotary vane pumps are quieter than diaphragm pumps.

Cons: Regular oil changes are required.  The oil changes can take up to 30 minutes, pulling the pump off line until maintenance is complete. 

Final thought: A rotary vane pump is required for the freeze drying process because of the depth of vacuum. To extend pump life, check the pump oil for contamination and change the oil as needed.


Combination Hybrid Rotary Vane/Diaphragm Pump

Pros: A hybrid pump pulls a deep enough vacuum for lyophilization and evaporation of high boiling point solvents. The diaphragm portion of the pump purges contaminants from the rotary vane portion, inhibiting contamination of the oil. Less contamination results in fewer oil changes with less down time of the pump.

Cons: Hybrid pumps are more expensive than traditional rotary vane or diaphragm pumps and require synthetic oil for optimum performance.

Final thought: A hybrid pump is perfect for mixed solutions in a freeze dryer, including solvents and acids. Because contaminants are purged, the oil lasts longer, and fewer oil changes are needed.

Video: Lyophilizer Vacuum Trouble Shooting

Jenny SprungBy Jenny Sprung, Product Manager
On Wednesday, July 17, 2013
In Labconco News

Is your freeze dryer not performing at it's best? Watch Labconco's Freeze Dry Vacuum Trouble Shooting video to learn how to get your freeze dryer up and running at optimum in no time.


Video: Introducing the Labconco Mini Stoppering Chamber

Jenny SprungBy Jenny Sprung, Product Manager
On Monday, July 15, 2013
In Product Announcements

When you only need to stopper a few samples, Labconco’s new Mini Stoppering Chamber is the perfect accessory for your freeze dryer. The Mini Stoppering Chamber connects directly to a port on your...




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