Shakers

Shakers are pieces of laboratory equipment to mix, bend or agitate substances in tubes or flasks by shaking. They are slowly being replaced by magnetic stirrers although they are still preferred for volatile substances or simultaneous agitation. There are a wide variety of shakers. A vortex shaker is a small device to mix small vials of liquid substances. The vials are put on a shaking platform and the speed is adjusted manually by a switch. Platform shakers consist of a table board which oscillates horizontally. The substances are held in beakers or jars or sometimes in test tubes which are nested into holes in the plate. The orbital shaker makes a circular shaking motion at relatively slow speeds (25–500 rpm). It is often chosen in laboratories because it does not create vibrations. Incubator or thermal shakers maintain optimal conditions for growth; cultures are shaken to ensure even distribution. A vortex mixer is a small device and consists of an electric motor which drives the shaft vertically. Shakers are found in all laboratories, especially those concerned with chemistry and biology. The orbital shaker is ideal for general mixing and culturing microbes whilst the incubator shaker is more suitable for incubating microbes and DNA replication.

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