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A Quick Guide to Commonly Used Flasks in the Laboratory

No laboratory can function as it should without the use of proper tools and equipment. These tools have been in existence for quite some time now. As the years passed, these tools have undergone important developments and changes. Today, you will find that these instruments have become much more reliable and accurate.

When you check out labs, flasks are considered as the most popular instruments inside. If you talk about laboratory flasks, you can find several types of them. Aside from containing and storing liquids, this kind of lab glassware also helps in performing an array of lab processes like cooling, heating, condensation, precipitation, and mixing. These laboratory flasks come in an array of uses, materials, and sizes.

Inside the lab, you will find commonly used flasks. Aside from volumetric flasks, you also have Erlenmeyer flasks, Florence flasks, fleakers, Buchner flasks, retort flasks, and Schlenk flasks. Below are some facts that you can read more about them.

One of the most common lab flasks is the Erlenmeyer flask that is also called a conical flask. As its common name implies, this flask comes with a conical base that extends into a tiny cylindrical neck. This shape enables lab personnel to seal the flask using a bung so that they can heat it. In addition to heating, researchers will not have to worry about spilling the liquid when they stir or shake the flask. Aside from boiling, heating, and mixing liquid chemicals, you can also measure and hold samples inside.

Another flask that you will come across in labs is the sidearm or Buchner flask. It appears like an Erlenmeyer flask with an extra small tube that extends from the side of the neck. The bottom part is still conical in shape with a short neck where you can find the small tube. The whole flask often comes in a thick glass material. From the tiny sidearm tube, you will find a hose barb. This is a section that catches a flexible hose. With this design, the Buchner flask can easily create vacuums with the use of a Buchner funnel.

One other lab instrument that you should be aware of is the fleaker, which is a combination of a flask, particularly the Erlenmeyer flask, and beaker. Having a cylindrical body, the tool ends with a neck that goes inward through a curve and flares out through a rounded opening. Despite the fact that the function of fleaker is more or less similar to an Erlenmeyer flask, they are usually intended for dealing with liquids.

Lastly, you have the so-called Florence flask or boiling flask that is a round and big sphere of flaks with a rim opening that is slightly flared and a thin and long neck. With this rounded bottom, you can easily heat solutions found in the flask using your Bunsen burner. Florence flasks with rounded bottoms require proper support for standing upright. No need for support for flat-bottom flask variants.

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