Transparency in the Laboratory

Precision and hygiene are absolutely essential in a laboratory – whether in a medical, pharmaceutical, or environmental technology lab but many procedures also require visual process control. ACRYLITE® is a proven material for transparent components in laboratory and analysis technology – for both large components and miniature functional parts.

Completely transparent devices

Compared to glass, acrylic 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, ACRYLITE® acrylic 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, but the 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 ACRYLITE® sheets or tubes – with individual sizes, wall thicknesses, and shapes. Single components are bonded securely and almost invisibly using the special ACRIFIX® adhesive for ACRYLITE®.

ACRYLITE® 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. The lines milled into the acrylic sheet, appear similar to a subway map with dozens of pathways, curves, and junctions.

“These are complex milled and joint parts made from transparent ACRYLITE® sheets,” comments plastics expert, Manfred Primke (Managing Partner at HECKER® Kunststofftechnik). Primke, also 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 rolling technique. This enables thicknesses of between .472 and 2.75 inches 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.

Fluid technology

Very small and very efficient: The manifold with fine channels consists of ACRYLITE® sheet that has been pressed together.


Laboratory medicine

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


Environmental technology

Tailor-made ACRYLITE® acrylic connector components for water analysis, as seen left.


Double filling funnel

Transparent funnels like this one are used in various sectors. An example of use for this funnel is to check the pourability of powders.


Flow blocks made from ACRYLITE® acrylic block

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 pressed ACRYLITE® sheet, the flow blocks are constructed from ACRYLITE® block. 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 ACRYLITE® acrylic allows it to be formed into many other custom components with a wide variety of functions for laboratory technology.

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Transparency in the Laboratory