28.3 I am here too - Washing baths

07/10/11

Nowadays washing baths are considered necessary pieces of equipment for any modern restoration lab.
As a matter of fact, washing or consolidation by immersion are often required in the fields of paper; fabric; wood and stone preservation and in the field of archeology as well.
Therefore, it is very important to choose the device that best attends to our expectations.
How to define a good design?

First of all, we need to distinguish standard industrial washing baths from the customized ones.
The first ones are pressed and shaped into middle size units, usually made of PVC, PP, or PE and also of stainless steel. Surfaces and contours are pretty smooth because there are no welding joints or finishing marks. Anyway, these kinds of standardized items show some limitations:
firstly, their size is fixed; secondly it is difficult to equip them with heating or exhausting systems or any other useful devices such as wheels; lids; drain pipes; grills /racks or partitions.
Tailor-made baths represent a better solution indeed, perfectly matching with the restorer's needs.

C.T.S. is specialized in design
ing and customizing baths and basins for different purposes.
Now let's have a look at the key characteristics for making a better choice:
-Dimensions_ It is important to adjust the inner size of the basin to the dimensions of the objects we use to deal with. Let's keep in mind the room limitations for the placement of the device.Three dimensions need to be considered: length, and width and height, distinguishing the total height (from the floor up to the border of the desk) and the depth of the basin.Another relevant parameter is the capacity of the bath; in other words, how much liquid is needed to fill it up (that is connected to the running costs, including those for warming and maintaining at a specific temperature, when required). If the basin is too deep it may be uncomfortable for the operator.
-Drain-pipes_Usually all the washing baths need a drain-plug. Anyway for some specific purposes it may be not necessary. C.T.S. recommends to equip the bottom part with a bypass drain pipe in order to separate the polluted from not polluted solutions fractions (so that you could collect the substance that needs special treatment before being discharged). An additional overflow control device can be installed, on demand.

-Covers_t
he device can be provided with a cover with handles on it.

-Wheels or feet_ 
Do you need a movable device? Do you have enough room for shifting the washing bath through gates and doors? Consider that adjustable feet are more convenient for leveling the carrying structure.

-Grills/racks_
the washing bath can be provided with inner grills and racks, proportioned to the weight and size of the objects being washed. (do you need some additional features for lifting and dripping the objects?)

-Compartments_
The bath can be split up into different compartments by means of movable or steady sectioning panels. Note that any 'guillotine' panel cannot be perfectly water-tight and, once is removed, the slide runners could interfere with other operations.

-Front panel_
The product can be equipped with a front panel with services features (taps for hot water/cold water/deionized water -compressed air- light-electric sockets, and so on).

-Storage box- 
A lower support shelf can be installed with side lock panels and front doors.

-Heating system_
the device can be equipped with thermal-heating elements and control-unit with temperatures display and safety thermostat when the restorer needs to control and maintain specif conditions of the liquid. If he just needs hot water, we suggest to connect the basin to a boiler.
Anyway we strongly recommend to check the t max for the liquids in use (paying attention to the limits for flammable, burning or explosives products).

-Exhausting system_
If the products in use release toxic fumes, it is necessary to install the “exhaust bath”, the innovative system that capture fumes through the bath upper border, by means of a bypass intake which protects operators from vapors arising from the chemical solutions. The restorer can work standing over the bath without problems. (the old fashion cooker hood is not effective instead: the operator may inhale the fumes when flowing upwards)

-Materials_
The most suitable materials for customized baths are stainless steel, polypropylene and PVC.

C.T.S. provides all those options according to the customer's needs and requirements. (the picture on the right side shows a stainless steel washing bath)

Keep in mind that a stainless steel 
tailor made washing bath may have welding joints and finishing marks (it is not shaped and pressed in a mold like the standardized one of your kitchen).
The welding joints may be attacked by the chlorine and metals coming from the tap water and go rusty. This could be a problem for some particular work.
Plastics (a PP bath is depicted on this side while a PVC one is showed below) cannot be suitable for all the substances and their thermal resistance is lower than that of steel.

On the other hand stainless steel cannot withstand strong acids.
So it is very important to well define the operational conditions before buying a washing bath.

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