Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Six Must-Have Features for Laboratory Refrigerators and Freezers

Laboratory refrigerators and freezers are used to store a variety of samples and specimens and these can range from tissue samples, blood plasma and other blood products, to vaccinations, viruses, bacteria, chemicals or flammable materials – and each and every one of these needs to be kept in a carefully controlled environment. 

At Porkka we manufacture cold chain equipment and commercial appliances, including high grade laboratory freezers and refrigerators suitable for a variety of environments from blood banks to chromatography applications (a process which involves the separation and analysis of the contents of gases and solutions). 

The operating requirements for laboratory freezers and refrigerators are notably different compared to standard food storage equipment, and also to the fridges and freezers used for medical and/or pharmacy applications. In this blog we shall look at the six design features that laboratory refrigerators and freezers must have to meet these specialist requirements including security alarms and data logging, and high accuracy temperature control.

Laboratory Refrigerators – Click here to view our range of products.

Spark Proof

Laboratory freezers and refrigerators are often used to store hazardous materials such as flammable and explosive chemicals. If sensitive materials are stockpiled in a refrigerator, it is important that the appliance is designed in such a way that it does not become the source of sparks and present a fire hazard.

Porkka have a line of spark proof models (our Lab Line models) specifically for laboratories that require the storage of gases or combustible materials.  Spark proofing not only protects the actual appliance, but also safeguards its contents...and more importantly, eliminates any risk to laboratory staff.

High Accuracy, High Stability Temperature Control

Specialist laboratory appliances require accuracy to  within 1 degree as chemicals, bacteria and other substances need to be kept in a controlled environment. Any variations in temperature will upset the biological or chemical make-up of samples used in highly controlled research and test environments, and the consequences of this are both significant and costly – as some sample stocks are irreplaceable. Our appliances provide the vital, high accuracy required in a laboratory environment.

Fridge doors are opened frequently in some laboratories and it is essential that even despite this,  the chemicals and samples are kept at a steady temperature, to reduce any wastage and to ensure longevity of the product. With Porkka appliances, fans mounted inside and at the top of the laboratory refrigerators will automatically deactivate upon the door opening, which serves to minimise any temperature changes and to prevent cold air escaping.

High Temperature Range

Laboratory freezers and refrigerators need a much wider temperature range than appliances used for food applications. The temperature on some of our laboratory appliances can vary from -10 C up to + 40 C.  Porkka’s line of RF 720 and RF 520 (freezers) for example, have an operating range from -10C to -30C and the RC 520 and the RC 720 (refrigerators) have an operating range from +2C to +40C.

This temperature range is vital for laboratory appliances so they are suitable for a variety of businesses and organisations, from life sciences to laboratory and research sectors. Samples and compounds need to be kept at a precise, even temperature throughout the chamber, to ensure accuracy.

Alarms and Data Logging

Alarms and data logging are important features, to warn if temperature or security is compromised.

As well as alarms on the units themselves, Porkka’s line of laboratory refrigerators and freezers are available with the ability to connect to a general building alarm if required. In addition to this, data logging provides evidence of accurate temperature control, and warns of any time periods where this may have been compromised.

Clean Room Compliant

Specialist laboratory fridges and freezers must meet the high standards required in operating theatres as they are used for a variety of research applications, such as pharmaceuticals, pathology, etc.

Porkka appliances are made from hygienic materials such as stainless steel, polyester coated sheet steel, transparent PVC (shelving) and glass, so they are easy to clean both inside and out. Our appliances are moveable (with castors), or have good clearance from the floor (witth legs), to gain access underneath and behind units for cleaning.

Other features to look out for in a laboratory fridge are smooth surface back walls to prevent the accumulation of dust or bacteria.  Internally, specialist lab refrigerators and freezers should have no internal protrusions so as to minimise the opportunities for contamination.


If security is compromised in any way, the effects of this are considerable – in terms of cost and time, and the fact that some samples can never be replaced. Laboratory appliances should therefore have lockable doors to prevent unauthorised access.

Porkka offers different levels of locking security, such as coded locks, for ease of use, or electronic key locks, for precise logging of the time the appliance is opened and to reveal the identity of the person who has opened the equipment.

All Porkka laboratory models meet our strict criteria of security, cleanliness and accuracy, including the LAB 300 and 75 models, the RC 520 and RF 520, the RC 720 and RF 720 and our chromatography refrigerators such as the CT1422 GD and the CT722 GD.

Laboratory Refrigerators – Click here to view our range of products.

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