There are no “good vibrations” when it comes to your mass spec. Every new generation of mass spectrometer brings forth more sensitive machines that produce increasingly finer spectra. However, this increase in analytic power comes at a cost to the lab, which must maintain these sensitive machines in progressively more solid and stable lab conditions.
Keeping the damaging effects of vibration at bay can be done. Making sure you have the right lab furniture is key, but there are several other techniques smart labs use that we’ll share with you as well.
Sources of Sound and Vibration
First, let’s think about all the places vibrations can originate from. There are plenty of common sources of noise and movement in and around your lab environment that generate subtle but impactful vibration. With super-sensitive, modern mass spectrometry, even walking down a nearby hallway or closing a door can cause undue vibration. Vibrations can arise from cars going by outside the building and mechanical devices within it, such as elevators, HVAC units, compressors, pumps, etc. Buildings sway in response to weather and small movements of the earth, not to mention larger seismic activity. Even exhaust fans can contribute to bad vibrations if they become unbalanced.
Avoiding Bad Vibrations for Good Mass Spectrometry
Take a look at the Quiet Wing, created by the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory. This lab space was specifically engineered to minimize noise and vibration. Not every lab is in a position to build such a protected building from the ground up, but there are some easier and less expensive changes that can be made:
- If possible, locate your mass spectrometry labs on the lowest floors of your research building to decrease the effect of building sway, weather, and seismic activity.
- Keep sensitive mass specs far away from elevators, HVAC systems, compressors, etc.
- Installing acoustic tiles and other sound-absorbing materials on walls and ceilings can help minimize vibration.
- Incorporating signage that reminds lab personnel of the importance of keeping noise and physical activity down whenever possible.
Minimize Vibration with Good Laboratory Furniture
Vibration not only impacts the performance of sensitive mass specs, it can also shorten the lifespan of their components, especially the turbomolecular pumps. The irony is that vacuum pumps also create vibration, challenging mass spectrometry teams to create the vibration free environment needed for their research.
The surest solution is to invest in dedicated laboratory furniture with isolating vacuum pump enclosures, like the IonBench MS. Our enclosures reduce vacuum pump noise by a guaranteed 15 dbA, eliminating the miniscule, but measurable, vibrations created by significant noise.
These enclosures are mounted on patented dampening springs which absorb 99% of vibration transfer. We believe every lab can benefit by utilizing mass spectrometry laboratory furniture that both isolates noise and eliminates vibration—regardless of the building or environment in which it is set. IonBench MS tackles the noise and vibration issues at the source itself.
To learn more about how our laboratory furniture eliminates bad vibrations, contact us today to request a quote or to get your questions about integrating IonBench MS into your lab answered. Your mass spec will thank you for it.