Dry Baths

Dry Baths

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The dynamic dry baths are used to heat samples. The term dry bath intends to differentiate from other techniques of heating by means of a liquid medium. The laboratory dry bath is generally utilized to thaw, boil, incubate and warm specimen for utilizing in molecular biology, microbiology, assay preparation, tissue/cell culture, biochemistry, genetic studies, and proteomics.

Also known as dry block heaters, these devices utilize a small amount of space and are extremely reliable. There are two major categories of dry baths including digital dry baths and analog dry baths. The digital dry baths are set apart from analog dry baths as they incorporate a microchip into the model. This enables the user to control the temperature of the bath by means of the digital interface whereas analog dry baths are not equipped with microchip technology. While the use of microprocessors and a digital display in the contemporary dry baths makes it easier to select and validate temperatures, however, it may not provide precision. For obtaining exact precision, it is advisable to use a temperate probe or external thermometer given that the digital display only shows the temperature within the block and not the sample being heated.

The dry bath can easily be accommodated directly on the benchtop where testing is performed. The capacity of these baths is estimated in blocks. According to the size of the block, a specific number of tubes can be placed inside each block. The heating blocks can also suit different tube sizes. The most widely recognized sizes for blocks are 1, 2 and 4 block models. Blocks of different measurements may be selected to suit diverse testing modalities. These blocks are fast and easy to change in the majority of units. Custom blocks are likewise accessible with numerous units, to meet particular requirements for vessel shape or size. Blocks are produced using high-grade supplies, often aluminum, and specifically machined for optimal heat exchange.

Temperature stability is another ordinary factor for heat blocks. The range of temperature is typically within 2 centigrade. The temperature inside the walls of the heat block is consistent. In general, dry baths have been utilized mostly for heating purpose. However, the latest series has been equipped with compressors which consider cooling a few degrees below ambient room temperature.

Apparatus and Equipment

The digital dry bath typically consists of a stainless-steel chamber, aluminum blocks, microprocessors, and a digital display. It also includes several customizable features that can provide an advantage over conventional dry baths. Among these characters is a removable transparent hinged lid, capacity to examine real temperature of the sample, a sophisticated microprocessor control, and a timed or consistent function.

The device offers rapid, constant heating and can handle a diverse range of tube sizes (0.2 to 50 ml). The strong microprocessor enables the device to provide exact temperature control (provides an expansive temperature range – from 5oC to 150oC) which removes the requirement of an external thermometer or timer. A compatible block is not included and is sold separately from dry baths

The temperature accuracy/uniformity of the dry bath equipment is ± 0.3ᵒC. It includes a timer within the range of 1 minute to 99 hours and 59 minutes. The dimensions of the device are 6.3” x 14” x 5” (16 x 36.5 x 13 cm). Its weight is 10lbs. (4.5kg). The electrical usage is 115V or 230V, 50-60Hz.

Mode of Operation

The innovative dry baths with heat blocks have become a necessary part of labs today. Dry baths are available with a wide range of blocks to fit various sized tubes to suit the particular needs of a researcher. It is possible to obtain different blocks with the dry bath apparatus in order to broaden and extend the uses for one unit. This will enable the researcher to take full advantage of the device.

Primarily, the digital dry baths aim to heat samples in the absence of a liquid medium. To ensure that the device performs its task efficiently, set the device on a durable, horizontal surface in a safe, dry area, at a distance from laboratory traffic. Next, plug the power switch into a grounded outlet of suitable voltage. The next step is to choose a metal block according to the sample requirements and place the block along with the samples inside the unit. Turn the power switch on.

To adjust the device according to the required temperature, utilize the up or down keys. Now, to begin the heating process, push the start key. If the need to alter the temperature during the heating process arises, push the start button again to deactivate and change the temperature. Push the start button again to activate heating. If setting the time for heating is necessary, enter the time setting mode. The time display window will show the previously set time value. Then, press the up or down button to alter the time according to requirements. The dry bath will now ‘auto-stop’ once the time is over.

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Dry baths are imperative for heating and cooling purpose in a wide range of laboratory methods, so a first-rate dry bath incubator is vital for a research facility. The instrument is generally used in a variety of areas such as molecular biology, histology, genetic applications, biochemistry, and clinical, environmental and industrial settings.

Additionally, dry block heaters play a fundamental role in incubation and activation of cultures, coagulation studies, inactivation of Sera, and Polymerase chain reaction, etc. Its uses include restriction digests, denaturing DNA, BUN, incubating melted agar, studies involving coagulation, hybridization, and hot start thermo-cycled effect. It might also be utilized for different tests, for example, AHG crossmatch and antibody ID’s.

Moreover, dry bath incubators provide a controlled dry heat environment for test tubes holding in-vitro diagnostic which is utilized to carry out tests on the specimen like blood, urine and so forth. The device was created to help the heating of thermally conducting blocks manufactured to maintain the test tubes places inside the block. It provides steady, precise temperatures to the test tube material by contacting the walls of the blocks.

Dry baths are also widely utilized for incubation of enzyme reactions, the melting and boiling points, and furthermore for a vast range of other research center procedures. Applications for the device cover a wide range of areas such as incubating DNA samples, cross-matching, and screening in blood donation center, residue tests for milk and extending all the way to include serology, hematology and so on.

Some modern dry baths even combine heating and cooling in one device, and these frameworks are suitable for molecular biology samples that require near freezing medium.  The dry baths are instruments used to create and uphold microbiological societies. The heat blocks maintain the perfect temperature, moisture, and distinctive conditions, for instance, the carbon dioxide and oxygen of environment inside. It has outstanding heating and cooling rates.



A major advantage of the dry bath is the superior hygiene of the instrument.  Majority of labs place cleanliness as high on their list of priorities. However, there are a few applications where extra steps are required to sustain a clean environment. In such a situation, dry baths hold a considerable advantage over water baths since the probability of the dry bath becoming contaminated is pretty low. Most have a machined metal block that can easily be removed and autoclaved. The absence of liquid additionally makes it harder to transfer impurities between the block surfaces and the specimen holder. This improves dry baths suitability for areas where aseptic conditions are fundamental.

Dry baths also have an additional advantage of consuming less power than water baths. The presence of liquid in the water bath means that it will take more time for a water bath to be heated up to the required temperature which implies that the water bath will utilize more power than the dry bath over time. Furthermore, dry baths are generally smaller in size as compared to water baths, so they heat up much faster and the majority of are all set to use in approximately 15 to 30 minutes.


Like any other laboratory instrument, the dry baths come with their own set of limitations. First, dry bath blocks are unable to store as much heat as water does. Also, as dry baths can’t physically circulate warmth as water can, they are less consistent in their temperature allowing for more fluctuations. Additionally, dry baths can only hold a specific kind of container, so it requires different blocks for different kinds of containers.


  • Dry baths are essential laboratory instruments used for heating samples.
  • The applications of the device extend to fields such as molecular biology, microbiology histology, genetic applications, biochemistry, and clinical, environmental and industrial settings.
  • The instrument consists of a stainless-steel chamber, aluminum blocks, microprocessors, and a digital display with timer and temperature control.
  • A key benefit of the dry bath is the superior hygiene of the instrument with less probability of sample contamination.