Chemists and laboratory technicians work with basic lab equipment on a daily basis. Beakers, flasks and watch glasses are among the most recognised ones, but the world of chemistry apparatus doesn’t end there. Every laboratory needs its glassware as well as reagents to conduct both basic and more advanced experiments. The question is, what are the most important pieces that should be found in every lab?
Glassware for laboratory
Beakers, pipettes, funnels – glassware has been used in labs for years now and is trusted to be one of the most versatile and durable materials. Glassware is used to measure, mix and store chemical substances. It can be exposed to heating, cooling, corrosive chemicals and endures various reactions conducted inside. There are many examples of lab glassware, but some of them are more basic then others. As mentioned before, beakers, pipettes and funnels play a huge role in any laboratory. Crucibles, which are used for holding chemicals during heating to very high temperatures are another staple. Don’t forget watch glasses, test tubes and graduated cylinders – they are highly useful too.
Reagents are chemical substances or compounds added to a system to cause a chemical reaction or check if a reaction occurs. Reactants include solvents and catalysts and a staple in every laboratory. Acetone, an organic compound, is one of the most commonly used solvents. Other basic solvents include butanone, chloroform, diethyl ether, dimethyloformamide and ethanol. On the other end of the spectrum are the catalysts that increase the rate of a chemical reaction. Iron particles are among the most common catalysts in laboratory environment.
Balances, beaker tongs, Bunsen burners – no chemical lab can work properly without utensils supporting the reactions. Used to measure, hold and store substances and glassware, those tools are a staple in any basic laboratory equipment. Clamps, ring stands, thermometers, test tube racks and scoopulas come in handy while conducting any reactions. Striker, which is used to light a Bunsen burner is a laboratory must have. Same rule applies to forceps, tongs, bulbs and burets.
All the utensils mentioned here are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to chemistry lab equipment. Nevertheless, those are the staples that all chemists and laboratory technicians should know and remember about. Taking all the safety precautions in a lab is key and using the equipment made for the particular purpose is a way to ensure that no harm will be caused.