While lab freezers might look like the freezers we have at home, these are used to store very critical materials which can be hazardous and at the same time, materials for saving lives. Temperature is important for these critical materials because any temperature change can diminish their effectiveness and this is why lab freezers need to have constant regulated temperatures. Some lab freezers are small and can fit underneath a counter, some are regularly-sized upright freezers and there are those that are extremely large similar to a walk-in freezer. The lowest temperature that a lab freezer should be kept is a slow as -85 degrees Celsius, way below the average house hold freezer temperature range which is between 0 and -10 degrees only.
There are many uses of lab freezers. Serums and tissues samples, samples of DNA and RNA, bacteria strains, and protein extracts are some of the materials that are placed inside a lab freezer. In hospitals, lab freezers are used to preserve organs and blood while pharmacies use their freezers to keep medicines. Some of the specimens that are kept in the lab freezer can degrade over time and so it is important to keep them preserved and stable.
You can also find a general purpose lab freezer which is similar to a home refrigeration unit. They also have shelves both in the unit and in the door, and rubber gaskets to prevent the cold from escaping, just like a home refrigerator. But, these freezers are kept at very low temperatures usually between -15 to -25 degrees Celsius. These lab freezers have a locking device and in order not to keep opening the lab freezer to check its temperature, it comes with an LCD temperature display so that temperatures can be monitored constantly.
You will find different types of lab freezers for different purposes. There are low temperature freezers that can store thousands of samples in many freezer racks and reach very low temperatures. There are also super low lab freezers which can reach cryogenic temperatures of -150 degrees Celsius without having to use liquid nitrogen.
Lab freezers are also used for storing flammable materials. You can also find freezers that are specially designed for volatile materials. These freezers meet OSHA standards but they need alarms, monitors, and back up features if freezing critical items or high value life science materials.
There is also a freezer call the blood bank freezer used to store blood and plasma. You cannot use an ordinary refrigerator for this purpose because you cannot properly maintain the balance of temperature when the doors are opened. Blood bank freezers are durable and require very little maintenance because of their importance in saving lives and blood has a very short shelf life.