Can I buy a replacement stirrer guide for a Lara Classic (i.e. serial number 1001 to 1060)?

Yes; the part number is:
  • LR171150: Lara Classic Stirrer Guide (serial numbers CLR-1001 to CLR-1060)
Please note, LR171150 stirrer guide is a new, improved PTFE stirrer guide, similar to the Reactor-Ready design. (Lara Classics were originally supplied with a metal stirrer guide.)

Can you provide baffles for my Reactor-Ready or Lara vessels?

We have a range of removable PTFE baffles for Reactor-Ready, Reactor-Ready Duo and Lara, specifically designed for each vessel volume and shape. For all current (flat flange) vessels, you will need the RR257100: PTFE Support Collar for Baffles & O-Ring to add PTFE baffles to a vessel.

Ready Reactor Baffles

RR257100 holds 3 baffles, and so all the Reactor-Ready/Lara baffles are supplied in packs of 3.

Reactor ready baffles

(Please note, we have recently redesigned our baffles and baffle collar.  All new baffles require the new baffle collar RR257100.  The previous baffle collar, RR157000, was used with older-style baffles.) We do not supply PTFE baffles for 100 ml vessels (the smallest size), as there is not enough space in the vessel. Alternatively, we can indent small baffles into the inner wall of the glass vessel itself as custom.

Can you supply Reactor-Ready or Lara vessels with a larger bottom outlet valve?

Reactor-Ready and Lara vessels have a 15 mm bottom outlet valve (BOV) as standard.  This is appropriate for the majority of customers. However, if you would prefer a 25 mm BOV for your particular application (for example, because you are working with slurries), then we can manufacture custom Reactor-Ready or Lara vessels with 25 mm BOVs.  (This option is not available for the smallest vessels.) The vessels of our larger jacketed lab reactor, Reactor-Ready Pilot, have 25 mm BOVs as standard.

I need to replace the blue conical part inside the stirrer guide. What’s the part number?

Blue conical Reactor Ready

Blue conical Reactor Ready

The blue conical stirrer grip inside the Reactor-Ready and Lara stirrer guide, which we refer to as a ferrule, is included in the following spare part pack:
  • RR121064: Stirrer Guide Ferrule & Shaft Seal B24 10 mm

Reactor Ready ferrule and shaft seal

As you can see, RR121064 includes the shaft seal (white washer with black O-ring) that sits with the blue ferrule inside the stirrer guide. It is normal for these parts to become worn/deformed with use, so it’s important to regularly check them and replace them if there’s any sign of deterioration. RR121064 is included in the RR121150: Reactor-Ready Maintenance Kit.  (For more information, please refer to the separate FAQ entry ‘How can I maintain the performance of my jacketed lab reactor? What are maintenance kits?’.) For the larger Reactor-Ready Pilot stirrer guides, the equivalent part numbers are:
  • RR121138: Stirrer Guide Ferrule & Shaft Seal B34 16 mm
  • RR210100: Reactor-Ready Pilot Maintenance Kit

Which hoses do you recommend to connect a circulator to a jacketed vessel?

If you are connecting a Huber Unistat or bath unit to a jacketed lab reactor such as Reactor-Ready, for almost all applications we recommend the insulated Huber hoses.

Huber insulated hose

For most hose sizes, you can choose between:
  • Metal-inner hoses
  • PTFE-inner hoses
In terms of which hose size (M16, M24 or M30), consider the hose connections on the Huber unit and on the reactor and select a hose of the same size.  For example, Reactor-Ready is M24.  If you use it with a Unistat 405, this is also M24, so you would use M24 hoses.  If you chose a Ministat 230, this is M16, so you would use M16 or M24 hoses with Reactor-Ready, with a size adapter where the size changes (described in further detail in a separate FAQ entry – search for ‘size adapter’). Determine the length of hoses you require, by considering where the Huber unit will be located relative to the jacketed lab reactor.

What causes static? How can it be minimised?

Static electricity is an imbalance of electric charge that builds up in/on a material.  It may be generated in a circulating fluid system. This is not a fault with the equipment, but an unfortunate and accepted occasional side effect of the method in general.  There are thousands of reaction systems in the field that are pumping oil around a reactor, and only a small number have static issues.
Possible causes of static
  • Generally, oil-based thermal fluids (heat transfer fluids) are not good conductors of electricity, and can therefore develop static charge. This is because, whilst in use, they are creating constant friction with the hoses, vessel jacket and the inside of the circulator (thermoregulator).  Some thermal fluids are more prone to static than others.
  • In some cases, the friction generated from the stirrer shaft turning in the vessel contents can also cause static, although this depends on the particular material being stirred.
  • Site and environmental factors, such as power supply wiring, can also cause static.
Possible solutions
If you do experience signs of static build-up within your system (such as erratic temperature readings), we would strongly recommend that this is discussed and reviewed with your own on-site process safety advisers, to check the earthing potential of nearby power supplies, and ensure that safe engineering practices are used to deal with static. The two most popular methods for reducing or eliminating the risk of static build-up in a system are as follows; in most cases it is recommended to adopt both:
  • The use of earthing lines, to connect all of the system components (vessel, framework, circulator etc.) to an earth line. This is often the accepted practice in process and plant installations.
  • Adding an anti-static additive to the thermal fluid, which helps make the thermal fluid a better electrical conductor, and dissipates build-up of electrostatic charge. It is important to ensure that the additive is compatible with the thermal fluid in use and that its concentration is maintained, even after thermal fluid changes.

Can I buy the red open screw caps and white split rings for jacketed vessel sidearms?

All Reactor-Ready (including Duo), Reactor-Ready Pilot and new Lara vessels are supplied with red screw caps and white split rings (sidearm couplings) on the vessel sidearms.  These are used to connect to the vessel-to-manifold hoses. Locking cap and locking ring They are not common consumables, but are available as spares if required. If you have old Lara Classic vessels that did not include these parts, you will need them if you want to connect the old vessels to new Lara vessel-to-manifold hoses. The part numbers are:
Red cap
  • For Reactor-Ready, Reactor-Ready Duo and Lara – RR166122: Locking Cap for Quick Release Hose Coupling – B29 (Pack of 1)
  • For Reactor-Ready Pilot – RR210054: Locking Cap for Quick Release Hose Coupling – B34 (Pack of 1)
Locking cap
White ring​
  • For Reactor-Ready, Reactor-Ready Duo and Lara – RR166120: Locking Ring for Quick Release Hose Coupling – B29 (Pack of 1)
  • For Reactor-Ready Pilot – RR210052: Locking Ring for Quick Release Hose Coupling – B34 (Pack of 1)
Locking ring

How can I position my PTFE Pt100 deep in the vessel without it touching the stirrer shaft?

For jacketed lab reactors with angled lid sockets (such as Reactor-Ready), you should bend the PTFE Pt100 temperature probe so that it doesn’t come into contact with the stirrer shaft and the tip is in the optimum position, as shown below.

Reactor Ready bent PT100

The probe can be bent by up to 45° without issue. Please make sure the section of the Pt100 secured in the adapter (in the socket) is straight not bent, to ensure a good seal.

I want to connect a chiller to a condenser. What tubing should I use?

You do not need the Huber metal-inner or PTFE-inner insulated hoses to connect chillers to cool condensers with water/glycol. There are multiple types of tubing that can be used, depending on the specific application/apparatus.

Huber Unichiller and Starfish Condensers

For StarFish, we offer RR95540: Tubing for Manifold inlets 15 m x 8 mm for between the chiller and a water manifold, and then RR95535: Tubing for Manifold outlets 15 m x 6.4 mm for connecting a water manifold to the condensers. An example jacketed lab reactor application would be connecting a Huber Minichiller to RR139009: Condenser Jacket Coil Rodaviss B29 + GL14 + fittings.  For this, you could use RR95540 as described above, together with the 8 mm diameter (NW 8) hose barb that comes with the Minichiller. The Heidolph 591-35000-00: Tube Set for Hei-VAP also contains water tubing appropriate for many applications.  Of course, it is suitable for use with Heidolph Hei-VAP rotary evaporators, but it is compatible with NW 8 hose barbs and GL14 fittings, so can additionally be used with jacketed lab reactors. Some customers source their own tubing for connecting chillers to condensers. Please note, it is vital to secure condenser tubing using a suitable hose clip. If you are running a condenser at low temperatures, you may want to insulate your tubing to help reduce condensation.  We offer Huber tubing insulation for this purpose:
  • HB6083: Tubing Insulation 13 mm ID x 7 mm Thick NW 8
  • HB6082: Tubing Insulation 17 mm ID x 7 mm Thick NW 12

What is the difference between a Pt100 and a Pt1000?

Pt100s and Pt1000s are two types of temperature probes (temperature sensors). They are both platinum resistance thermometers (hence the ‘Pt’), as opposed to thermocouples. The main difference between Pt100s and Pt1000s in general is the electrical resistance at 0⁰C, which is the number in the name: a Pt100 is 100Ω at 0⁰C and a Pt1000 is 1000Ω at ⁰C.  This makes Pt1000s more accurate for small temperature changes as they would result in larger changes in resistance when compared to Pt100s. In the context of standard Radleys equipment, Pt100s are the external temperature probes you plug into circulators (such as a Huber Unistat), typically to measure the temperature of the contents of a reaction vessel (e.g. in Reactor-Ready).  Our jacketed lab reactor vessel kits all contain a Pt100 of an appropriate length.  These Pt100 probes are PTFE-encapsulated, for excellent chemical resistance.  They use a LEMO connection as shown below.

LEMO connection

Again considering typical Radleys products, Pt1000s are the external temperature probes you can plug into a hotplate, and then insert into a probe hole in a Heat-On, Carousel base or StarFish Mono/PolyBlock, or alternatively into a flask.  All our current stirring hotplates are compatible with a Pt1000.  The standard Pt1000 material is stainless steel, but glass-coated sensors are also available for if the Pt1000 will come into contact with chemicals that corrode stainless steel.

Carousel hotplate with PT1000

What is your jacketed lab reactor leak testing procedure?

Our Reactor-Ready range of jacketed lab reactors, together with Lara, have been specially designed to greatly minimise the risk of any leakage compared to other reaction systems. This means that excellent vacuum levels can be obtained; moreover, the equipment lasts longer (due to reduced risk of chemical leakage and hence corrosion), health and safety is improved, and your valuable product is not lost. You can check the sealing of your Reactor-Ready system, and investigate the source of any leaks or chemical vapours, by following the guidance in our technical bulletin ‘TB 102 Reactor-Ready vacuum and pressure testing’, available to download here. Please also refer to the separate FAQ entry ‘What vacuum level can be achieved in Radleys jacketed lab reactors?’ for further details of factors that can influence the vacuum level you observe.

How does the Lara drain-down button work?

The Lara drain-down button facilitates the draining of thermal fluid back into the circulator. When the button is depressed, air is allowed to enter the circulator system through a gold-coloured filter situated above the button. This makes the draining process much faster.

Lara drain down button

You would first need to ensure that the circulator has enough space in its expansion tank to accept the oil.  (An additional external expansion tank can be added to a Huber if required.) The circulator would have to be positioned below the Lara, as gravity is used for drain-down. To drain the Lara vessel jacket:
  • Switch off the circulator.
  • Press the ‘drain’ button on the left hand side of the triangular Lara framework.
  • The button must remain depressed to completely drain the jacket.