Greek Researchers Prefer Microbalance Kits
Jun 01 2010
Based in Athens, NCSR (National Centre for Scientific Research) Demokritos is one of Europe’s leading research establishments, undertaking work in a variety of fields. It comprises eight institutes, several of which have designed and built specialist apparatus incorporating microbalances from CI Electronics in the UK.
Unlike other suppliers of microbalances, CI Electronics offers the devices in kit form, which is especially useful in research applications where the microbalance needs to be built into bespoke apparatus. Most of the kits supplied to NCSR Demokritos contain, in addition to the microbalance head, components such as the DISBAL control unit, temperature control option, LabWeigh software package, cables and accessories. A popular option is PTFE coating for the microbalance head.
Typical of the microbalance applications is that of George Pilatos, a chemical engineer working in the MESL (Materials and Membranes for Environmental Separations Laboratory) within the Physical Chemistry Institute. The microbalance head is being used for carbon nanotube formation studies and has been adapted within the lab (following the detailed instructions supplied by CI Electronics) to enable it to be used at pressures of up to 10 bar.
The chemical vapour deposition (CVD) apparatus in which the microbalance is used includes a flow system - with three mass flow controllers and a digital back-pressure controller - and a high-temperature stainless steel tube inside a vertical tubular oven. Readings from the microbalance indicate the exact time at which the carbon depositions begin to form and the rate of weight gain.
George Pilatos stated: "We have bought several microbalance kits from CI Electronics since 1997 because the purchase price is good, the heads are reliable and they are simple to integrate with other equipment such as flow systems, valves and ovens.”
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