Depending on their usage and function in the lab, glass instruments come in a variety of forms, sizes, and sorts. Glassware is perfect for use in laboratories because it won't react with chemicals, ensuring that test results won't be tampered with. Glass is also transparent, making it simple to monitor and withstand high temperatures.
In order to select glassware that is compatible with your chemical process and your chemicals, you will need to determine its compatibility, otherwise, glassware can be damaged by the reaction of some chemicals with the glass.
When working with laboratory glassware, there are some safety precautions everyone should take to avoid injuries. Here are some of them:
We all know that cleaning glassware, as well as drying glass equipment is crucial because if not done properly, can tamper with our results. So here are some tips to keep in mind when cleaning and drying your glass equipment:
To achieve effective sterilisation of glassware you should saturate it with steam. Before starting the process of sterilisation all contaminated materials must be cleaned, and the lids of the containers must be opened. For effective steam sterilisation all contaminated areas must be reached otherwise, microorganisms may not be destroyed. Be aware that chemicals can damage the product’s surface.
When working with plastics ensure they are vertical during autoclaving to prevent deformation.
When working with glassware you should be aware of temperature changes that equipment has to endure, so it’s advised that in the start you consult your glassware manufacturer to determine safe temperature use. Most glass materials can only be exposed to certain high and low temperatures, and when you use glassware outside of these ranges it can cause damage or breakage to the glassware. Although this damage may not cause visible damage to the glass immediately, it can cause breakage and injury later on.
The walls of the vessel must be able to withstand pressure differences. If the container is not durable enough, the container may burst to avoid that you should always use a round-bottomed flask or heavy-walled bottles.
Glass materials designed for vacuum or pressure operations are graded according to certain pressure limits. To avoid any accidents never pressurise glassware that has not been designed for this purpose. In case glassware has been repaired and shows signs of defects or damage it cannot be used in vacuum systems.
When installing a vacuum system, protective measures should be taken:
When setting up glass apparatus and sets you will be pushing glass tubes through a cork or stopper. With that comes a high risk of injury to your hands from breaking a glass tube, rod, or pipette. We recommend a few safety steps to avoid injuries and breaking glassware:
All glass materials are subjected to thermal stress during uneven heating or sudden temperature changes and the result is fractured glassware. Place your glassware in a cold drying cabinet or sterilizer and heat slowly. After drying or sterilization, the material should be allowed to cool slowly in the cabinet. Do not heat volumetric products on the hot plate.
When dealing with hazardous and/or valuable materials, coated bottles are highly recommended. They feature the same technical specifications as clear and amber bottles. The coating on the body of the bottles is a special formulation that reduces impacts, acting like a protective glove and keeping broken parts together. This coating also prevents leakage, keeping the solution inside the flask body. It is highly transparent and can withstand temperatures up to 135°C for up to 30 minutes. Additionally, these bottles can be cleaned at 95°C and can be autoclaved repeatedly at 121°C. It's important to note that coated bottles should not be exposed to open flame.
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