Home> Technical Library > FAQs


Frequently Asked Questions along with answers are listed below.  If you have any questions that are not answered here, please feel free to contact us.  We′d love to hear from you!

1. Why is the Aquos™ BC-8 Benthic Chamber made of cast acyrlic and not regular extruded acrylic?

A. While extruded acrylic is not as expensive as cast acrylic, the latter has significant advantages.  Cast acrylic is stronger, has excellent optical clarity as well as outstanding tensile strength and impact resistance.  What does this mean to you, the user of a benthic chamber?  The cast acrylic construction of the Aquos BC-8 Benthic Chamber makes the chamber very durable and resistant to impacts, offering longer life expectancy compared to regular acrylic products.

Cast acrylic is also easier to drill, cut, machine and polish to very smooth finishes than extruded acrylic.  Cast acrylic allows us to cut, machine, drill and finish parts of the benthic chamber to very high tolerances and excellent surface finishes.

2. What are the advantages of a Stepper Motor over a regular DC motor?

A. The most common type of DC motors are DC 'Servo' motors and normally feature brushes.  Brushes have a finite life and they wear out and need servicing.  DC servo motors reach their full power at higher speeds, which in turn requires mechanical gears to reduce speed for benthic chamber applications.  DC servo motors are also prone to heating, and ventilated motors are vulnerable to contamination. 

Stepper motors on the other hand are brushless, and are virtually maintenance free.  They run cooler than servo motors and are able to develop the needed torque even at low speeds, which makes them ideal for benthic chambers.  Since stepper motors offer very precise control of rotation, it is possible to get the low speeds needed to stir benthic chambers without having to used gears which increase expense, occupy more room, need lubrication and are vulnerable to breakdowns.  For these reasons, the Aquos BC-8 Benthic Chamber offers a stepper motor to stir the water inside the chamber.

3. How can I clean acrylic?

A. Acrylic surfaces are easy to clean.  Use lukewarm water, with a mild soap or detergent, lather and rinse with fresh water.  Dry off with a soft cloth.  Do not use ammonia, cleaning solvents, gasoline, kerosene, petroleum, benzene or carbon tetrachloride to clean acrylic. 

4. Are the metal fittings on the headplate of the Aquos™ BC-8 Benthic Chamber made of stainless steel?

A.  The bolts holding down the headplate to the main chamber are made of stainless steel.  The nuts, bolts and washers holding the Motor Chamber to the headplate are also made of stainless steel.  The ports are made of nickel-plated brass.  Stainless steel ports are available as an option. 

5. Is stainless steel rust-proof and stain-proof?

A. When exposed to air containing oxygen, carbon steel rusts.  The rusting process is very active because the process continues in the presence of oxygen, and more rust accumulates.  Stainless steel contains a certain amount of chromium and thus does not rust, corrode or stain as easily as carbon steel.  On initial exposure to oxygen, stainless steel forms an oxide layer on the exposed surface, but this layer protects the metal below from further oxidation.  That said, stainless steel is not rust-proof or stain-proof.

6.  Is the Motor Chamber in the Aquos™ BC-8 Benthic Chamber waterproof?

A.  Yes, the Motor Chamber in the Aquos BC-8 Benthic Chamber is waterproof up to a depth of 100 feet.  It is sealed on the lower end with an O-ring and the cable entry point on the top is triple-sealed against water ingress.

7. Can I get custom penetrations for additional ports in the headplate of the Aquos™ BC-8 Benthic Chamber?

A. Yes, we would be happy to customize the Aquos BC-8 Benthic Chamber to suit your requirements.  We use CNC machining and fabrication at our plant and welcome the opportunity to discuss your custom requirements.

8.  What is a benthic chamber?

A.  A benthic chamber is a device, usually made of plastic, that is used to isolate and confine an area of sediment and the column of water directly above it to study the benthic exchange or flux that occurs between the water and the sediment.  The benthic chamber or benthic flux chamber as it is also known, attempts to maintain the same hydrodynamic conditions inside the chamber that prevail outside it.  The benthic chamber must also not contaminate the water and sediment inside it, and the materials used to fabricate such a chamber must be inert, so as to ensure that they are not a source of chemicals that can 'leach' into the water confined inside the chamber.  The benthic chamber allows the user to directly test the water for any chemical of interest or allow a sample of water to be withdrawn from the chamber as needed, for testing in a laboratory. 

9.  Is a benthic chamber and a benthic flux chamber the same thing?

A.  Yes, a benthic chamber and benthic flux chamber are one and the same: they both isolate an area of sediment and a column of water above the sediment to study benthic flux between the water and sediment.