Unlike other fields of study, science is distinguished by its emphasis on experimental verification, with experiments typically conducted using a variety of specialised laboratory equipment in carefully regulated environments. So, it’s essential to use the proper lab equipment and take all necessary safety precautions when performing these experiments, although they can be a lot of fun and intellectually stimulating.
Essentials for Any Lab
The following is a list of items that should be present in any laboratory:
- Protective Gear
Working with chemicals and other substances in the laboratory risks splattering onto the user and causing injury. And because of the potential for spills, splashes, fires, and other injuries, the proper protective gear must be worn at all times. To that end, wearing protective gear like gloves, lab jackets, aprons, protective glasses, and face shields is recommended.
- Tools for Weighing Materials
In a laboratory setting, it is crucial to accurately weigh chemicals and other substances. A watch glass, a concave circular piece used for various purposes, including evaporating liquids, holding solids to be measured, and even heating minuscule quantities of substances, is named for its resemblance to a wristwatch. You can also use a weighing dish to measure your ingredients, but this one is better suited for larger quantities.
- Heater Safety Gear
To understand the properties of chemicals, it is often necessary to heat them. And because of the risk of explosion, not all laboratory canisters can be merely exposed to flame. Directly placing a test tube or beaker over a Bunsen Burner will produce mild, almost instantaneous heating; a crucible should be used for more intense heating.
Any liquid in a flask or beakers can be heated on a hot plate. As such, it is possible to avoid burns and other injuries by using a test tube holder or clamp to secure the equipment before heating it.
- Instruments for Chemical Handling and Mixing
Beakers, measuring cylinders, test tubes, and flasks are just a few examples of the various types of glassware used for mixing and storing chemicals. Beakers, pipettes, and flasks can heat substances directly on a stovetop if they are made of high-quality, heat-resistant glass. Besides, laboratory glassware of high quality is typically made from borosilicate glass, which is highly resistant to thermal stress.
- Fluid-Handling Gear
The safe management of potentially toxic fluids and chemicals is not always easy. Experiments in the lab necessitate the careful storage, measurement, centrifugation, and transport of chemical fluids from one carton to another. As such, burettes and pipettes are ideal for measuring chemical liquids precisely and clearly.
- A Fire Extinguisher
An extinguisher is a crucial lab protective gear because fires are possible whenever electronic items and flammable substances are handled. Its importance cannot be overstated and should be stored where all lab workers can easily access it. Fire extinguishers of the appropriate type for potential lab emergencies should also be readily available.
Each of the four primary fire extinguishers serves a slightly different purpose. Typical combustibles require a Class A extinguisher, while flammable gases and liquids require a Class B extinguisher. Meanwhile, fires involving electrical equipment require a fire extinguisher of Class C. And in contrast, those involving combustible metals or metal alloys require a fire extinguisher of Class D. Hence, it’s essential to use the correct extinguisher for the fire at hand, as any other could backfire and make things worse.
Only high-quality lab equipment from reputable manufacturers should be purchased for maximum efficiency, user safety, and low upkeep costs. And products from trusted manufacturers can be found in any laboratory.