A Complete Guide to Laboratory Beakers
A beaker is commonly used lab equipment to hold, store, heat, mix and stir liquids. It has a cylindrical shape with a flat bottom. It also has a small sprout or a beak, allowing the user to pour the liquid from one container to another or dispose of the liquid. Beakers are also referred to as flasks.
The beakers are available in different sizes to hold liquids of volume 5 ml and above. Some beakers have markings on them for the user to measure the volume accurately.
Let’s take a look at different types of beakers:
On the Basis of Purpose
These are known as boiling beakers. They have a thick, uniform wall thickness distribution ideal for heating. The bottom part is round in shape. The narrow neck helps to hold it securely with a clamp.
These beakers are also called conical or titration beakers because they have a conical shape. They take their name from the German chemist Emil Erlenmeyer. These beakers have cylindrical, narrow, and vertical neck. They taper in size as they go up. They are useful when heat from the experiments needs to be retained instead of letting it evaporate. It can be ideally used for all types of liquid handling processes.
These beakers are ideal for preparing solutions. They are not suitable for heating. They have a long, narrow neck and a bulbous bottom. They have markings on the outer side for precise measurement of the volume of liquid. They can be sealed or stoppered to prevent evaporation from changing the concentration of a stored solution.
These beakers look similar to their round bottom version. They have a long sidearm or tube which projects from their neck. They are used to separate the components of liquids based on selective boiling and condensation temperatures. They are also called fractional or fractioning beakers.
These beakers come in handy in the rapid filtration of liquids. They have a tapered neck, a conical body, and a sidearm for vacuum filtration. They resemble almost Erlenmeyer beakers.
On the Basis of Materials
Glass beakers are usually made from borosilicate material which contains boron trioxide. Owing to its material, it can withstand extreme changes in the temperature of up to 400 degrees Celsius. It also has outstanding resistance to chemicals.
Metal beakers are rarely used as lab equipment. They are made from aluminum and stainless steel with the ability to resist temperatures up to 340 degrees Celsius and 550 degrees Celsius respectively.
Plastic beakers are also uncommon in the lab. But, they are available in different types of plastic material depending on the chemical compatibility and heat requirement.
On the Basis of Height
Named after English chemistry enthusiast Joseph Griffin, these beakers are short and squat. They are also called low-form and have a wide, flat bottom. They are 1.5 times taller than their width.
These beakers owe the genesis of their name to the Swedish chemist Baron Jöns Jacob Berzelius. They are also called tall-form beakers. They are 2 times taller than their width.
When purchasing different types of beakers, make sure to buy only from reputed manufacturers or suppliers.