Laboratory Tube Furnace
SH Scientific’s laboratory tube furnaces are the choice of research, engineering, medical, and specialty manufacturing facilities.
We’re proud to offer exceptionally uniform hot-zone temperature distribution, inside one of the most compact sliding tube designs on the market.
What Is a Tube Furnace?
A tube furnace applies extremely high heat to a small, cylindrical chamber. It’s a mainstay of labs that perform thermal testing, treatment, and processing.
The basic design dates back more than a century, but today’s models make extensive use of proprietary ceramics and alloys, digital controllers, and precise instrumentation.
Why Use a Tube Furnace?
Tube furnaces are used to treat small samples at ultra-high temperatures. They’re common for complex but low-volume processes in both industrial and academic settings.
Tube Furnace vs. Muffle Furnace
Both are capable of similar temperatures, and can be equipped with vacuums and inert gas management systems. They’re equally suited to delicate applications, like graphene production by CVD.
The key difference is muffle furnaces heat a relatively large chamber—ideal for samples that don’t readily fit in a tube furnace.
However, the cylindrical nature of a tube allows more precise and immediate control of temperature and gas flow. Its exposed ends are also conducive to managing temperature gradients, especially with the help of multiple controllers.
In both commercial and research facilities, tube furnaces often facilitate or produce:
Semiconductors and batteries
Thermocouples & mineral-insulated cables
Vacuum brazing and heat treatment
Vacuum curing and sintering
Water, waste, and soil testing
Aerospace ceramic and metals testing
Oil and gas analysis
Solid oxide fuel cells
Polymer composites and graphene
Types of Tubes
Our furnaces are available with one of three temperature-specific tube materials.
Quartz tubes are suitable up to 1200°C. They’re the most cost-effective option, and their transparency is helpful for some applications. However, quartz generally can’t withstand as many heat-cool cycles as other materials.
Alumina tubes can handle temperatures up to 1800°C. They’re much longer-lived and more durable than quartz, but are not transparent.
Finally, superalloy tubes like Inconel are available as a custom option. These are recommended for even more extreme temperatures, e.g., in the range of jet and rocket engines.
SH Scientific Tube Furnace Features
As an all-in-one system, your SH furnace ensures simple purchasing and administration, efficient service, and highly competitive pricing.
Unlike most other tube furnaces, ours include more than just a furnace body. We can supply a professionally pre-assembled gas management system including:
The furnace itself
Ball type gas flow meter or digital mass flow controller
Back pressure regulator
Gas flow line with valves
Aluminum sealing mask
Quartz or alumina tube
Unique among furnace suppliers, we can also configure a turn-key vacuum tube furnace package, including:
Recirculating chiller to protect silicone seals from hardening (and eventually leaking gas) due to high temperatures
Low-noise vacuum pump for quiet, focused working conditions
This distinctive and creative system enables scientists and researchers to experiment in a zero-oxidation atmosphere and under a changing atmosphere as needed (e.g., air → vacuum purging → gas filling).
Furthermore, all SH tube furnaces emphasize safety and usability.
Our uniquely compact sliding tube design facilitates rapid cooling and convenient loading/unloading, while saving space in tight quarters. Double housing ensures a low surface temperature of about 29-30°C while operating at 800°C.
All configurations offer some of the most uniform temperature distribution currently possible. Standard options include a tube size (i.e., diameter) of 50, 80, 100, or 120mm with a hot zone of 300 or 600mm. (Hot zones up to 900mm are available as a custom option.)
Our furnaces can use up to three programmable, digital controllers for exceptional uniformity and/or more precise gradients. This is particularly helpful for larger hot zones of 600mm and up.
Maximum temperatures are either 1200, 1500, or 1800°C—all produced by long-lasting heating elements made of Kanthal, SiC, or MoSi2.