A heating mantle, as the name suggests, is a piece of equipment used in chemistry & biology laboratories for heating and stirring operations. The equipment precisely fits the boiling and distillation flask with a round bottom providing consistent and controllable heating. Using a heating mantle is a relatively safe way for heating organic liquids. Organic liquids have a tendency to burst when exposed to direct heat. A mantle avoids such dangers with its enclosed heating systems.
Types of mantles
Heating mantles are either found in fabric or rigid form. Fabric mantles are flexible and can be molded to accommodate a wide range of flask sizes. When it comes to rigid mantles, they are designed to fit a particular flask size or can be simply filled with sand to accommodate varying sizes. The sand also helps in uniform heating of the liquid.
Metal-housed mantles are suited for laboratory settings including research and development labs. The metal-housed heating mantle is made to fit flasks with capacities between 50 ml to 6,000 ml. They provide high-temperature capabilities up to 450° C. Metal-housed heating mantles are available in tabletop designs and have built-in controllers.
How do mantles work?
Heating mantles produce energy by converting AC voltage. Intense energy is consumed to generate a high degree of required heat. This can result in blowing of the socket or melting of the fuse. For this reason, one should never connect the mantle directly to a wall socket, instead, a transformer can be used. Note that the mantle takes a while to heat up so you can pre-heat it if required. Remove the flask from the mantle once you turn off the heat for letting it cool down.
Safety tips while using a heating mantle
- To be able to control the input voltage, always use a heating mantle with a variable autotransformer and do not plug it directly into a 110 V line.
- Always stick to the recommended input voltage level by the manufacturer. Exceeding the voltage level may result in melting of the fiberglass insulation due to overheating.
- Do not use a heating mantle for vacuum distillation of heat sensitive or unstable materials as it is difficult to control precise temperature levels.
- If you are using an older version of a heating mantle, be aware that it might have asbestos insulation rather than fiberglass. Dispose off this insulation in the right way and replace it with fiberglass.
Also read: Benefits of a bottle-top dispenser
If you are looking for a high-quality heating mantle, we are here for you! At Science Equip, you’ll find quality laboratory equipment and consumables. We are committed to providing the best customer service and quality products at an economical price. For any assistance related to laboratory equipment, do get in touch with us.