What are the different uses of Vacuum Ovens?

Vacuum ovens may work differently from your standard ovens, but these specialised equipment help with many functions needed for medicine, electronics, engineering, and even aerospace purposes. Unlike standard ovens, a vacuum drying oven performs thermal processes that occur in an airtight chamber. This is where a desired level of vacuum has been applied using an external vacuum pump. 

With a vacuum oven, the entire application could take place under vacuum or a controlled atmosphere could be created through the introduction of an inert gas. Vacuum ovens could help in the prevention of surface reactions (such as oxidation), decontaminating samples (removing lubricants for example) as well as for speeding up the outgassing process. 

When determining the process you will use for a vacuum oven bear in mind that you will need to size a pump to meet this application. This requires defining the appropriate chamber size, the level of vacuum desired, and how quickly you will need to reach that desired vacuum level.

Below are some sample vacuum oven applications:

  • Butane/ethanol evaporation
  • Moisture determination
  • Outgassing solids
  • Ageing tests
  • Plating
  • Chemical resistance studies
  • Drying of paper, rubber, and textiles
  • Desiccating
  • Dry sterilisation
  • Outgassing liquids
  • Vacuum storage
  • Electronic process control

A vacuum oven could function for many different applications: 

Medical Devices

One of the primary uses of a vacuum oven for medical  fields is sterilisation. This is to remove any trapped chemicals or evaporate any liquid and decrease humidity from lab equipment. A vacuum drying oven also known as a vacuum oven is chosen to remove or kill any pathogens that may remain on the equipment. 


Vacuum ovens function to delicately separate one element from another. A vacuum oven for electronics is used to separate moisture from components without exposing them to destructive heat. This is used to cure epoxy coatings and remove water from moisture-laden electronics. A vacuum oven could also be used for phones or watches that have accumulated too much water and may require removing moisture without damaging the devices’ components.

Battery Manufacturing

A vacuum oven is also used for battery manufacturing. After the electrode manufacturing process, the electrode materials and a conductive binder mix to form a uniform slurry. This is then coated on both sides and then placed into the vacuum drying oven to evaporate the solvent, followed by a calendering process. Using a vacuum oven ensures that the batteries’ physical properties of the electrodes are not compromised in the long, drying procedure.

Aerospace Manufacturing

A vacuum oven for aerospace manufacturing could be especially useful to aerospace engineers, especially in researching how particular items and devices will react to the presence of high vacuum pressure. For example, the parts that make up a self-assembling satellite must work correctly in a vacuum if the satellite is to deploy successfully. Additionally, a vacuum oven could also be used to cure anything that engineers send into space. This lowers the risk of every component off-gassing when it hits a real vacuum, which could cause numerous hazards and unpredictable problems.

How does vacuum drying work?

When a vacuum oven is used for drying, it creates a controlled environment of reduced atmospheric pressure. This lowers the boiling point of water and other solvents. Because of this, the reduced pressure effectively decreases the vaporisation temperature of moisture within the sample. 

As the oven heats the material at lower temperatures in comparison to conventional ovens, the moisture evaporates, leaving the substance dry. This minimises the risk of thermal degradation that can affect equipment or other substances. 

The vaporised moisture is then removed through a vacuum pump. This process ensures that even heat-sensitive and delicate materials can be effectively dried without compromising their quality or experiencing the damaging effects of high temperatures. This is what makes vacuum ovens a critical tool for preserving sample integrity during drying procedures.

Uses of Vacuum Ovens

A vacuum oven is a valuable piece of laboratory equipment designed to perform a wide range of processes and experiments within a controlled environment. Because of its unique ability to reduce heat and pressure, vacuum ovens can be used for various functions such as the following:

1. Drying 

Vacuum ovens effectively remove moisture from heat-sensitive materials. By reducing pressure and distributing heat at lower temperatures, they thermal degradation or compromising quality of samples, devices, and equipment during the drying process.

2. Degassing 

Vacuum ovens are crucial for eliminating air bubbles from materials like resins, adhesives, and epoxies. This brings a smooth and even finish for the final product and lowers chances of imperfections.

3. Outgassing

When certain substances or processes release moisture or chemical vapours, this can compromise quality and even cause a product or electronic component failure. Vacuum ovens help prevent moisture on equipment and materials by releasing the vapour without causing any damage.

4. Ageing Studies

Researchers use vacuum ovens to accelerate the ageing processes in materials. This is to simulate long-term stability and check for any signs of possible degradation, helping to better predict how substances will perform over time.

5. Sterilisation

Vacuum ovens are used for decontamination purposes. Vacuum ovens effectively sterilise laboratory glassware and equipment as well as other devices through a specialised process of controlled heat and reduced pressure conditions.

6. Heat-Treating

Vacuum ovens facilitate controlled heating and cooling cycles to enhance the properties of various materials, particularly in the field of metallurgy, where metals can be annealed or hardened.

Comparison: Vacuum Oven vs High Temp vs Microwave drying

Drying Device

Vacuum Oven

High-Temperature Oven


Creates a controlled environment with reduced pressure, lowers boiling points in liquids

Uses high temperatures to evaporate moisture from samples

Heating Temperature




Ideal for heat-sensitive materials, prevents heat damage, guarantees integrity

Faster drying process, does not require a vacuum pump


Slower drying process, not suitable for all materials

Not suitable for heat-sensitive or delicate materials or equipment, can potentially compromise quality, may alter material properties

Choosing between a vacuum oven, high-temperature oven, or microwave oven may depend on the drying method required for the nature of the material and the specific requirements of the application. 

Vacuum ovens are best for preserving quality and sample integrity whereas high-temperature ovens offer speed but can be harsh on materials. Lastly, microwave ovens are fast drying and energy-efficient but may not be suitable for all substances. It’s important to carefully consider these factors when selecting the most appropriate drying method for your laboratory work.

How to set up a vacuum oven

Setting up a vacuum oven in your laboratory involves several key steps to ensure a safe and effective operation:

Choose a well-ventilated area with sufficient space and access to electrical power. Be sure the environment can handle the heat and exhaust generated by the oven.

Check the voltage and power requirements of the vacuum oven to ensure compatibility with your electrical supply. Install the necessary electrical outlets and grounding as per manufacturer guidelines.

If necessary, set up exhaust systems to manage any fumes or gases produced during vacuum oven operations. Additionally, this may include connecting the oven to a fume hood or exhaust system.

Ensure the vacuum oven is on a level surface to prevent any instability during operation. 

Attach the vacuum pump to the oven using the provided connections. Ensure these are in a secure, airtight fit. The pump should be properly lubricated and in good working condition.

Calibrate the vacuum gauge to ensure accurate pressure readings. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for this process.

Include the appropriate shelves or trays for your specific application and ensure they are secured in place.

Turn on the vacuum oven and allow it to reach the desired operating temperature. This may take some time, so be patient.

Always prepare your samples for processing in the vacuum oven. Ensure these are properly arranged on the trays or shelves and adequately spaced for efficient drying, degassing, or other applications.

Set the vacuum level and temperature according to your specific needs. Monitor the process carefully and make adjustments as necessary.

Always follow safety guidelines and wear appropriate protective clothing when handling materials or operating the vacuum oven.

Maintain accurate records of the parameters used during each operation, such as temperature, pressure, and processing time.

By following these steps and following the manufacturer's instructions, you can safely and effectively set up a vacuum oven in your laboratory for various applications like drying, degassing, ageing studies, and more.

Where to buy a vacuum oven - how can we help?

Across International offers vacuum drying ovens in Australia, and are perfect for heat-sensitive or delicate materials, devices and equipment. We offer several sizes for vacuum oven models, shelves, and necessary vacuum oven parts such as stainless steel vacuum bellows, door gaskets, dual power switches, and many more. We guarantee quality, service support, and up to two years of warranty for your vacuum oven. For more information and enquiries, contact us at 1300 118 228.