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Cryogenic Storage and Transportation Dewar Flasks
A cryogenic storage dewar (named after James Dewar) is a specialised type of vacuum flask used for storing cryogens (such as liquid nitrogen or liquid helium), whose boiling points are much lower than room temperature. Cryogenic storage dewars may take several different forms including open buckets, flasks with loose-fitting stoppers and self-pressurising tanks. All dewars have walls constructed from two or more layers, with a high vacuum maintained between the layers. This provides very good thermal insulation between the interior and exterior of the dewar, which reduces the rate at which the contents boil away. Precautions are taken in the design of dewars to safely manage the gas which is released as the liquid slowly boils. The simplest dewars allow the gas to escape either through an open top or past a loose-fitting stopper to prevent the risk of explosion. More sophisticated dewars trap the gas above the liquid, and hold it at high pressure. This increases the boiling point of the liquid, allowing it to be stored for extended periods. Excessive vapour pressure is released automatically through safety valves. The method of decanting liquid from a dewar depends upon its design. Simple dewars may be tilted, to pour liquid from the neck. Self-pressurising designs use the gas pressure in the top of the dewar to force the liquid upward through a pipe leading to the neck.