The Importance Of Cryogenic Equipment

By Grace Rivas

Realistically, the word "cryogenic" is not commonly used in everyday situations. Therefore, most people don't have much of an idea of what it means. Here is some information about what cryogenic means, how cryogenic equipment is used and what makes these important.

Two Greek words make up the compound term "cryogenics". The first part means very cold temperatures, or "Kryos". The second part of the word is "genes" which is also from the Greek language. It means "generated". This provides a word meaning described as a material that has the property of extreme coldness.

Certain gases become liquids when held in precise environmental conditions. They remain in a gaseous state except when subjected to very low temperatures and precise atmospheric pressure. There are several reasons why a liquid state for a gas might be important.

Several known gases are considered to fall into the cryogenics category. These include nitrogen, helium, hydrogen and liquid oxygen. The boiling point of these elements is set at minus 51C or 60F. Of these gases, nitrogen is the most common because it is plentiful and easy to obtain. To work with the products, a special environment is required.

Research in this field today is available in several areas. There may be a desire to preserve organic substance in the best possible condition. Other research is centered on how organisms react to cold temperatures. Sometimes, cold is used during surgical procedures. There is electronics research being conducted regarding magnet fields and super-conductivity. Liquid gases might be helpful when the study of materials in extreme conditions of temperature is going on. Drastic cold might be appropriate when working with highly flammable materials. Liquid gas might be a fuel source.

One common object used in research locations to handle super-chilled materials is the Dewar Flask. This object was invented by James Dewar who is credited with being the first individual to successfully bring hydrogen to a liquid state. The flask consists of a double wall with glass inside. The second layer helps to protect the researcher from the damage to skin that could occur otherwise. Both protection against cold and a structure that maintains the right pressure are offered by this device.

The transfer pump is a special device used to transfer the liquid gases to the equipment. The pump must operate in extreme cold and sometimes under significant pressure. Pressure vessels are specific storing and cooling devices that can operate under extremes of cold and pressure. To maintain the air purity in laboratory conditions, there may be devices known as lab purifiers. Cold traps are another device that helps in cleaning under vacuum conditions. Specialty valves may come in a variety of sizes, shapes and materials to match the specific use being demanded of it.

Researchers working with gases in a liquid state need the right cryogenic equipment in order handle the substances safely. Devices that function under extreme conditions are needed in order to assure accuracy in the research that is being done. Choosing high quality equipment is a requirement for optimum results.

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