While storing samples within a chest freezer or liquid nitrogen freezer, organization and convenience are the main concern for laboratory managers. With the assistance of freezer racks, peace of mind is brought to lab personnel by providing them with protective, organized storage and easy labeling for their research samples. To ensure the security of the storage boxes and the safety of the samples within, nearly all vertical freezer racks come standard with either locking rods or spring clips. But without a visual representation, or experiencing both options within your own laboratory setting, how does one truly distinguish which selection will work best?
Although both are designed to prevent storage boxes from sliding out of the freezer racks, the locking rod and spring clips have a huge difference. The purpose may seem obvious to most, but convenience is the true factor that separates the two.
The locking rod concept is simply a metal bar that slides down from the top of the rack through each shelf and then sets into place. This securely holds the boxes in position, preventing any sliding or falling and provides ultimate protection of the samples within. Sure this is effective in performing its duty, but it may not be the top solution that most lab personnel are looking for. To remove the locking rod, you must lift the metal rod as high as you need it to go in order to retrieve the specific box you are looking for. Although this may seem like a simple task, nearly all users will be wearing protective gloves which can make it difficult to grasp the rod. Ergonomics also comes into play when it comes to handling larger freezer racks of this type. The locking rod becomes even more irritating in a situation where you would be holding the rack with one hand while having to lift the rod with the other then finally remove the boxes. This can not only cause harm to the personnel using the equipment but it can potentially damage the samples being stored.
The spring clips on the other hand, perform the same job and are easier to handle. Even though the freezer racks remain the same size and shape, they are actually constructed slightly different. When viewing a chest freezer rack from the side, there are typically open areas on every shelf. The spring clips go in place of these open areas and are essentially metal tabs that are spot welded on, to perform a spring-like function that puts a small force on each side of the boxes in order hold them in place. This feature makes inserting and removing boxes in one simple slide-in or slide-out movement, a much easier task when wearing protective gear.
When making the decision on which style you would prefer, also note that the spring clip option comes standard with a locking rod. So even if you don’t feel the spring clips are working for you, you can always resort back to the locking rod or use both for extra security.
For more information on freezer racks and other cold storage related products, please contact our specialists at 1-800-521-0754 or visit www.labrepco.com.
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