How does a Chamber Vacuum Sealer work? Its Uses & Benefits
Chamber vacuum sealers are appliances designed to remove air from packaging bags or containers to create an airtight seal. Unlike external vacuum sealers, chamber vacuum sealers operate within a sealed chamber, making them versatile and efficient in various applications.
Chamber vacuum sealers preserve and protect a wide range of products, from food to medical supplies. They offer convenience, cost savings, and sustainability benefits in today’s fast-paced world. Whether individuals are chefs looking to enhance culinary skills or businesses aiming to optimize packaging processes, chamber vacuum sealers can be used in both industries and households.
Understanding Chamber Vacuum Sealers
Chamber vacuum sealers are designed for vacuum packaging applications requiring maximum air removal to extend shelf life. Due to their adaptability and effectiveness, the packaging machines are frequently used in sous vide cuisine (an innovative cooking technique in which food is vacuum-sealed and slow-cooked in water at constant low temperatures until it’s perfectly cooked through), supermarkets, and the commercial industry.
These vacuum sealers come with a transparent lid with a deep-drawn stainless steel chamber (no welded corners), providing optimal hygiene. A quick change seal bar allows for easy maintenance and reduced downtime. Furthermore, they also can be equipped with various options, including gas flush for modified atmosphere packaging and vacuum level sensors to ensure the same vacuum level is achieved every cycle. A typical chamber vacuum sealer comprises several essential components:
- Vacuum Chamber: This is the heart of the machine, where the sealing process occurs. It is a hollow chamber with a sealing bar and a transparent lid that allows users to monitor the sealing process.
- Vacuum Pump: The vacuum pump creates a vacuum within the chamber by removing air. It draws air out of the chamber and creates the necessary low-pressure environment.
- Sealing Bar: The sealing bar, often made of heated metal, is responsible for sealing vacuum bags or containers. It melts the bag’s opening, creating an airtight seal once the air is evacuated.
- Control Panel: Modern chamber vacuum sealers have user-friendly control panels that allow users to set parameters such as sealing time, vacuum strength, and sealing temperature.
- Vacuum Gauge: A vacuum gauge visually represents the vacuum level inside the chamber, ensuring precision during the sealing process.
Importance of Vacuum Sealing
Explanation of Operation
The operation of a chamber vacuum sealer is a precise and systematic process that ensures the creation of an airtight seal. Firstly, fill a vacuum bag with goods and place it inside a specialized vacuum bag or container. If the product is not too heavy, use the insert plates to ensure the load is accurately positioned on the seal bar and a faster vacuum cycle. Ensure that the open end of the bag or container is positioned within the vacuum chamber, ready for sealing.
When the bag sticks out of the chamber during the sealing cycle, the air inside the bag cannot escape as the surrounding pressure is reduced. If the pressure inside the bag exceeds the pressure inside the chamber, the bag will appear to swell. If the two differences become too significant, the bag will rupture, causing a mess.
Next, close the transparent lid of the vacuum chamber securely. This step is crucial to create a sealed environment within the chamber. When the lid on the machine is closed, the pump extracts air from the vacuum chamber and oxygen from the package. The entire chamber will be vacuumed, resulting in equal pressure inside the vacuum bag and across the chamber.
Simultaneously, the sealing bar within the chamber heats up and engages with the open end of the vacuum bag or container. The bag must be sealed shut at the end of the vacuum-sealing cycle to prevent air from re-entering the bag. The heat generated by the sealing bar melts the bag or container’s opening material, creating a hermetic and airtight seal. This process ensures that no air can re-enter the sealed package.
The valve opens when the sealing is complete and the chamber is refilled with air. Air cannot enter the bag because it is sealed tight, and atmospheric pressure causes the plastic bag to collapse securely over the product, completing the sealing cycle. Once the sealing process is complete, the vacuum pump stops drawing air out, and the chamber gradually returns to atmospheric pressure.
After these steps are completed, the vacuum-sealed package is revealed inside the chamber, with its contents now protected from external air and environmental factors. For various sizes and types of bags, multiple seal configurations are achievable.
Chamber vacuum sealers operate systematically, involving components like the vacuum chamber, vacuum pump, sealing bar, and control panel. This process ensures the creation of airtight seals, preserving the quality and freshness of various products.