A glove box is a tightly sealed container that allows one to manipulate substances in a different, controlled atmosphere. There are gloves built into the side of the glass box so the user can perform tasks inside the sealed box without breaking containment. A glove box can be of 2 types – containment or isolation.
Containment glove boxes protect the users and the environment from dangerous materials. Isolation glove boxes are also known as nitrogen glove boxes and are used to maintain an inert atmosphere for experiments.
Types of Glove Boxes
Isolation Standard Glove Box
These glove boxes are usually made of acrylic and used for general processing. It has an airlock to minimize nitrogen loss or contamination inflow when parts are being changed. There are two internal access doors made of stainless-steel frames that increase the structural rigidity. A gasket back wall, a built-in fluorescent light and a tempered glass front window make up this type.
Compounding Aseptic Isolator
This has a sterile and positive pressure atmosphere for compounding of non-hazardous materials and drugs. There is a unidirectional airflow that goes through a HEPA filter. It sterilizes the workspace and the antechamber and minimizes cross-contamination.
Portable Glove Box
This is a small glove box made of PVS or acrylic. The front window has a stainless-steel frame and it can be lifted up to open it. The glove ports have stainless steel clamps and there isa gasket back to remove larger items.There is one internal access door made of stainless-steel frame that increases the structural rigidity. This is small enough to be moved around easily.
Compact Glove Box
The glove ports are located on the sides of the box, instead of on one side together. It is in an enclosed chamber that has a large front access door. There is a tilt-up window for accessibility and convenient viewing. Gas ports are optional. These are lightweight and as such portable.
Closed Loop Filtration Glove Box
This filters the internal atmosphere by recirculation and the percentage of fresh air that enters can be set by a valve. There is a HEPA filter to remove particles and an impeller blower as well.
ESD Safe Glove Boxes
These don’t attract contaminants and prevent contamination for manufacturing operations. Best for electronic or conductor manufacturing industry. The material used for construction prevents electrostatic discharges on the surface of the box.
Considerations while looking for Isolation Glove Boxes
We have discussed general types of glove boxes available in the market. All of them are used for isolation and have different features that will either meet your needs or not. Some are small and some large, some have portability. If you need portability in a glove box, choose a small and portable one. One model has gloves on the sides and you can use that if you need it. The number of access doors also vary from model to model, some are ESD safe and some have an option for recirculation. These are some features you can look into when buying an isolation glove box. Choose the one that suits your application the best.