Glassware is known to come in practically all sizes and shapes and is found in abundance even today in laboratories. Even though there is a growing preference for substituting glass vessels for relatively more durable, cheaper, and definitely less fragile materials mostly plastic, there are still certain applications and experiments that necessitate the use of glassware.
The reasons to still use glassware in the laboratory are manifold. First of all, we know that glass is supposed to be relatively inert, implying that it would not be reacting with chemicals or any other substances that are placed in it. Glassware would never upset the outcomes. Moreover, glassware is transparent that helps in monitoring the procedures more easily. Glassware boasts of having the property of high-resistance. Laboratory glassware allows for high temperatures.
In order to gain maximum performance and flawless outcomes from your lab glassware, it is imperative to handle them correctly and with utmost care. It is important to learn how to use lab glassware carefully and efficiently enough to optimize its life span and performance.
General Precautions that You Must Take While Using Lab Glassware
- It is recommended that all lab glassware is actually washed thoroughly before using them for the first time.
- Before using any glassware item in the lab, it is mandatory to meticulously examine it for ensuring that it has no flaws and is in perfect condition to be used for the experiment. Never think of using any glassware that is chipped, scratched, etched, or cracked. Defects such as these would severely weaken the glass’s mechanical strength and make it break while in use.
- You must consider the safe disposal of defective or broken glassware. Use a good quality purpose-designed bin which is clearly labeled and puncture resistant for safe disposal. Borosilicate glass should not under any circumstances be disposed of in your glass recycling stream for domestic glassware since its really high melting point would be incompatible with all other glass that goes for recycling.
- Avoid using excessive force for fitting rubber bungs firmly into the particular glassware’s neck. Always make it a point to verify if you have chosen the right size of the bung.
- You must avoid lifting or carrying large glass bottles, beakers, or flasks, etc by the rim or neck as that could prove to be really dangerous. You must always try providing adequate support from the sides or the base.
- While stirring solutions in your lab glass vessels, you must be careful in choosing a stirring rod so that it does not have any sharp ends that could scratch or damage the glassware and cause it to weaken.
Safety Tips for Cooling & Heating with Glassware
- The maximum suggested working temperature for lab glassware is supposed to be 500-degree centigrade. However, when the temperature goes beyond 150-degree centigrade, you must take extra care to make sure that the heating and thereafter, cooling of the lab glassware is attained in a uniform and slow manner.
- Always heat lab glassware gradually and gently for avoiding sudden temperature changes that may make the glass break because of thermal shock. Likewise, let the hot glassware cool down gradually and at a place that is not near the cold draughts.
When you need to use such an extensive spectrum of glassware in your workplace where you need maximum precision in all experiments, it is essential for you to keep them in top condition. Remember even though glass seems to be resistant to chemicals and heat, prolonged use could lead to degradation.