Tiny Teardrops™ Aluminum Beads

A superior replacement thermal-conductive media for water baths and aluminum heat blocks.  Sold by volume (1 liter).

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Aluminium is noted for its good thermal conductivity and for its corrosion resistance.  With these properties, aluminum beads have become a popular substitute for water/ice in a laboratory bath.  There are several advantages:  Heated bead baths can be left on so they are always ready to use without monitoring and refilling; Cooling buckets can be left in a refrigerator or freezer until needed.  Vials or tubes inserted into the field of beads are firmly supported and do not tip over or sink.  And, there is no water to wipe off.

Aluminum beads can also replace solid aluminum blocks in some applications.  All alumimum blocks inherantly have a heat insulating air space between the wall of the block well wall and the outer wall of the vial.  This space compromises efficient heat transfer to the sample.  While spherical-, raisin- or cylindrical-shaped "beads" available from some suppliers offer modest improvements in this respect, the unique shape of BioSpec's Tiny Teardrops™ aluminum beads permit higher packing densities and 10X greater surface-to-surface contact.

For a recent review on Converting from Water to Aluminum Beads in Lab Baths or Ice Buckets see Mike May, Lab Manager, Vol.11, No.3, p.63 (2016).

  • Tiny Teardrops™ Aluminum Beads have a shape similiar teardrops or raindrops.  One end is spherical and the other end comes to a point.  The widest part is about 2 mm in diameter.  Because of this non-sperical shape they tightly surround tubes, microtubes, beakers, flasks and bottles, thus providing superior thermal transfer than bead shaped aluminum beads.
  • Packaged by volume (1 liter) rather than by weight.
  • Beads can be cleaned, dried and sterilized with drug-store 70% isopropanol.