Oven Applications: Bake, Cure, Dry…Let Us Explain How

While oven applications are very diverse, it is possible to break down their uses into three main categories:

  1. Drying
  2. Baking
  3. Curing

Like George Sheldon (president of Shel Labs) says, ” Most people think they only have one oven in their home, but everyone I know has two. The oven in your kitchen for baking and the oven in your laundry room for drying clothes.”


The goal is to remove moisture from the chamber as quickly as possible in order to dry samples. The more air you are able to move over samples along with the more air you are able to evacuate from the chamber the faster you will be able to dry. This is why the Shel Lab ovens come with adjustable intake and exhaust ports for quick evacuation of chamber air when necessary.


The object is to heat samples over a period of time without drying them out. This is best accomplished by keeping the exhaust port closed. The other key to this process is minimizing heat loss because the heated air is holding the moisture necessary. For this reason, Shel Lab ovens use a unique wrap-around insulation method that leaves no seams or gaps for air to escape.


The process of slowly heating materials to alter chemical or physical properties. In other words, this method is aimed at baking samples while slowly drying as well. Again, the amount of air allowed to evacuate the chamber plays a key role in the success of this process.

The Shel Lab families of ovens range in size from 2 cubic feet to 40 cubic feet with multiple levels of performance.

High Performance Horizontal Air Flow Ovens

This line of industrial duty ovens are designed for precision thermal processing applications. Equipped with 24-step ramp and soak controller for applications requiring multiple temperature set points, this series of ovens are rugged and convenient. A high volume blower system circulates air through stainless steel air ducts, providing horizontal one pass air flow. This horizontal airflow provides superior temperature uniformity and fast heat-up capabilities. Shel Lab’s precise horizontal airflow delivers performance even under maximum capacity oven loads.

High Performance Specialty Application Ovens

These ovens share the same design benefits as the High Performance Forced Air Ovens but have unique application-specific features. The model CR1-2 is built to meet the needs of the Class 100 (ISO 2) Cleanroom. This unit comes standard with a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter to screen out 95% of the airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns. To further minimize surface particulates, the cleanroom oven has a stainless steel exterior. The model HF2-2 is designed for inert atmosphere applications. This unit is similar to the CR1-2 minus the stainless steel exterior and internal HEPA filter.

General Purpose Lab Ovens

These ovens are sometimes referred to as Laboratory Ovens and are used in a variety of applications including general lab work, component testing, drying glassware, and sterilizing. The models CE3 & CE5 are available in both Forced Air Convection and Gravity Convection configurations. Gravity Convection units are preferable for applications with lightweight samples (powders, lightweight films and granular materials) because they do not have an internal fan that will blow these samples around within the chamber.

Large Capacity General Purpose Lab Ovens

The Shel Lab FX14-2 features 14 cubic feet of general purpose space. The FX28-2 at 28 cubic feet is the largest general purpose oven on the market. These large capacity units are perfect for high volume sample processing and drying applications including production processes.

Oven Applications

  • Batch Testing
  • Aging Tests
  • Sterilizing
  • Electronic Burn-In
  • Conditioning
  • Preheating Process
  • Components Processing
  • Stability Testing
  • Glassware Drying
  • Asphalt Testing

Lab ovens and other products can be found here. >

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Mel Meadows

Mel Meadows

Mel Meadows is a product specialist with over 13 years of experience. She’s a central source of expertise for thousands of industrial and critical-class products featured on the Production Automation web store. By working directly with manufacturers, Mel deciphers technical documentation and outlines product use in real-world environments. View her profile to learn more about proper techniques, protocol, and product usage in both industrial and cleanroom facilities.

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