Monday, 17 February 2014

Hard glass equipments to handle chemicals safely

The study of the numerous chemicals which exist on this Earth is called chemistry. These chemicals are further divided on the basis of their properties into bases and acids. Acids can deteriorate the human skin and cause burns when touched with bare human skin. Bases, on the other hand, can cause nasty looking blisters and may even leave a permanent scar on the surface of the skin.
Prevention of accidents caused by chemicals
Hard glass containers should be used while handling these dangerous and corrosive chemicals. These containers safely store chemicals and prevent them from getting contaminated by reacting with their surroundings. The hard glass that is used to manufacture the scientific glassware is chemically inert in nature. This means it does not react with chemicals, and hence, the glass is not corroded by them. The glassware that is manufactured to be used in a chemical laboratory is very sturdy, and they do not break easily even when they are heated and then cooled down quickly. Normal glassware has the potential to react with the chemicals that they may be used to store them.
Types of hard glass containers that are used in the laboratory
To fulfill the various requirements, one might have in a chemistry laboratory, hard glass containers are divided into four categories. They are:
·         Flasks- One can safely assume that the simple flask is the most common form glassware used in any chemistry laboratory as it holds chemicals that are in their liquid state. The flasks are manufactured in various shapes and sizes based upon the function that they may be required to serve. Round bottom flasks have a spherical base; conical flasks are shaped in the form of a cone. They are generally used to heat the chemicals stored in them. Volumetric flasks are also used in most laboratories
·         Burettes- They are used to accurately measure and dispense liquids in the laboratory. Burettes are basically long glass tubes made of hard glass. They have graduations made on them to aid in measuring the liquid that will be stored. Taps are present at the bottom of the burette to help dispense the liquid.
·         Beakers- These are basically cylindrical in shape. They are manufactured to withstand high temperature and corrosive action. Hence, they are used to store chemicals for long periods of time.
·         Test tubes- They are used to temporarily store and mix chemicals. These tubes are cylindrical in shape and have a round shaped bottom. This aids in better heating of the chemicals they hold. Hence, the humble test tubes can also be used to effectively heat chemicals.
Basic properties of hard glass containers
While selecting hard glass containers, one must keep an account of certain factors like resistance to high temperatures, and chemical corrosiveness.  A container made of thin glass with low alkalinity is more durable than one made of normal glass. Only products that have been certified for use in laboratories must be used to prevent accidents.

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