Round Bottom Flasks Are Robust Laboratory Staples
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Date Added: 27th April 2012
The Duran Group produces a wide range of round bottom flasks (also known as boiling flasks or Erlenmeyer Bulbs) that vary in capacity from 50ml to 20,000 ml. The flasks come with different neck diameters and the larger necks (>64 mm) have a reinforced ‘beaded’ rim. They are made from glass renowned for its chemical inertness and are USP standard.
However, the quality of the Duran Group’s round bottom flask can best be appreciated by asking a couple of pertinent questions concerning its temperature resistance. Do not worry. There will not be a test later.
Question 1. What is the maximum short-term operating temperature of the glassware?
Question 2. What is the lower minimum work temperature of the glassware?
Please award yourself a maximum ten points if you answered anything near to 500 °C for question 1. However, award yourself 20 points if you realised that the Duran round bottom flask can also be used in conjunction with liquid nitrogen (approx. – 196 °C). This remarkable temperature range is a reflection of exactly how well made these flasks are, the unvarying wall thickness and the geometry that permits uniform heating and controlled cooling.
As with any other precision piece of lab equipment, especially glass, care should of course be taken with its use and maintenance. Cooling and heating should be carried out carefully, usually in a stepwise manner, and for very low temperature work it is best to freeze in the smaller volume flasks, with the contents tilted, and the flask not completely filled. Cleaning should be carried out carefully without the use of abrasives or prolonged exposure (soaking) in very alkaline solutions. With automated cleaning make sure you keep your glassware well spaced so as not to chip or scratch your glass.
Take good care of your round bottom flask and it will provide years of faithful service. Remember you have a precious piece of equipment in your hand, versatile and in its way quite remarkable – it just looks like an ‘ordinary’ piece of laboratory glassware.