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What are the Differences Between an Economy Freezer Rack and a Regular Freezer Rack, and Does it Matter?

Posted by Stellar Staff on

Your lab has just purchased a new freezer and now its time to get it organized with laboratory freezer racks. 

Outfitting a new freezer with a full set of racks can be costly. Depending on the number of racks and type of rack chosen, the price tag can soar into the several thousands of dollars range.

To trim costs for budget minded labs, many manufacturers of freezer racks offer an economy freezer rack. 

What is an economy freezer rack and how does it differ from other lab freezer racks? 

An economy freezer rack offers a lower price point because the manufacturer has reduced the amount of stainless steel used in its construction, somewhere between 10-15%.

This means the metal is often thinner and lighter.

Economy freezer racks also tend to eliminate some of the supports found in other freezer racks. 

For example, a standard stainless steel lab freezer rack feature a solid base to support the cryo boxes that are inserted into each slot location. 

An economy freezer rack does not have a solid base, but rather thin rails upon which the freezer boxes are slid and inserted. 

By removing each shelf, the rack becomes significantly lighter and easier to move, and requires far less metal, resulting in a much less expensive freezer rack. 

As to be expected, there are some drawbacks to economy freezer racks. 

As cryoboxes become more full, and sometimes covered with ice, the weight of these boxes can stress the support rails and have been known to cause warping and buckling. 

Ice covered freezer boxes can also make it difficult to quickly slide in and remove boxes from the freezer rack. 

Perhaps this isn't a major concern if the economy freezer rack is being used in a -20C freezer and storing things like reagents and other less mission critical substances. 

A lab that stores rare and irreplaceable tissue or human samples in a -80 ULT, where it is essential to minimize each door opening, might find reason to reject choosing economy freezer racks because of the added difficulty in accessing these freezer boxes.

It is becoming more common for ULT manufacturers to offer a free set of freezer racks when purchasing a new Ultra Low Temperature freezer. 

Be sure to inquire if those freezer racks are economy freezer racks or one of the more standard variation of racks. 

With more than two thousand different configurations of stainless steel freezer racks in our catalog and the ability to build custom racks to your specification, Stellar Scientific has the knowledge and capability to keep your lab organized and your samples safe.  

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