How to choose my lab equipment?

In the lab, knowing well the equipment and choosing it wisely is essential: it is part of the good practice. It is a prerequisite in order to obtain reliable analysis results.

Among the equipments available in a chemistry lab, the glassware is very important. Several types of glassware exist.
The distinction is made between:

  • The ordinary glassware: it provides a very approximate information (order of magnitude) on the volume
  • The precision glassware: it provides an estimate of the volume with more or less precision according to the glassware.

About the precision glassware, the distinction must be made between:

  • Graduated glassware: it gives a volume estimate with limited accuracy
  • Volumetric glassware: the only one providing a very precise measure of volumes.

Furthermore, there is a precision glassware to measure a precise contained volume (noted In, for Inside) and a precision glassware to measure a precise delivered volume (noted Ex, for Expulse).

In addition, depending on the level of precision of the glassware, there are two classes:

  • class A glassware: the most accurate (tolerance < 0.2% on the indicated volume)
  • class B glassware: tolerance twice as high as for class A (tolerance < 0.5% on the indicated volume).

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The accuracy of the volumes is determined for a given temperature, generally 20°C. So you should never use precision glassware for hot liquids or heat precision glassware!
There are different types of glass: some are more resistant than others to shock or heat... There is also brown glass, very useful to protect against light.
In case of broken or chipped glassware: it must be recovered and thrown in a bin dedicated to glass.

For some applications (e.g. with glass-attacking liquids such as hydrofluoric acid), it is better to use plastic material instead of glass.

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