16.2.5 Testing the CAT Scientific MCX-66 Stirring Hotplate

 

Thermolyne Cinarec 2 and CAT MCS-66 stirring hotplates

Truth is shorter than fiction!  As a measure of how we voted with our feet after we tested the CAT MCS 66, we liked it so much that we all three got one.  

Stirring hotplates are handy for any number of uses but alas our superannuated Thermolyne was unable to accurately maintain temperatures in the 18C/85F to 46C/115F range, so we were looking for something requiring less monitoring.

Wowza, imaging our surprise after putting the CAT MCS 66 through numerous applications in both upper and lower ranges, and seeing how rock solid it holds set points in both the upper and lower ranges.  

Indeed it sat at 46.0C for two days without the reading changing even 0.1 degrees, and the 46C agreed with our control lab thermometer as close as we could read it, as well as correlated within 0.1 of our dual laser infra-red optical thermometer. 

 

Set point vis a vis actual no load

The MCS 66 also comes with an immersion thermocouple, so that you can monitor both the temperature of the hot plate surface, and the temperature of the solution separately.

In our own correlation test, a 500 ml beaker of water on a 36C hotplate, stabilized and held unwavering at 28.5C.

 

Set point with load vis a vis actual

 

Set point of plate versus actual of probe in 500 ml beaker

Another impressive thing was its stirring ability.  It was able to spin the stir bar sitting ambient temperature vegetable glycerin, through the stainless steel bain marie pot, where our ancient Thermodyne wouldn’t spin it in a glass beaker of the same solution.

Here is a picture that I took of the vortex it created in a beaker of water just idling at less than half throttle.  

 

Stirring Vortex

It is of course a purdy thang with its easy to clean membrane keypad and LCD display, but not just another pretty face.  Typical of German design, it marries form and function in a sturdy clean no nonsense package, which is easy to operate and performs like a thoroughbred. 

The controls include hot plate temperature and rate of ramp up, immersion thermocouple temperature, stir rpm, container volume, timer, and upper process limits. 

  

 

 


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