Laboratory Equipment For Heating

Whether you need to perform distillation, the kinetics of chemical reactions, or the Determination of physical parameters, heating is an essential part of laboratories. There is a large number of laboratory equipment for heating available and preparing the list is depend on the certain operation you’ll perform in the lab. 

Below are some common laboratory equipment used for heating along with their usage and safety precautions.

Laboratory Equipment for Heating

Bunsen Burners

A Bunsen burner is common yet handy laboratory equipment for heating found in most school science labs. It’s usually used for heating liquids in small beakers and test tubes to induce chemical reactions. 

However, if the heating is performed nearby of explosive materials or flammable liquids, it can cause fire and explosions. Hence many laboratories don’t allow open flame heating because of the risks connected to Bunsen burner. 

The Bunsen burner is made of a mixing tube that is used to produce a mix of air and gas. After being lit, the strength of the flame can be adjusted by closing or opening an adjustable air hole. The disadvantage of the Bunsen burner is that it can’t control the heat accurately like the electronic heater.  

Hot Plates

It’s basic laboratory equipment for heating. The hot plates are fairly lower in price. Despite it’s need to check the hot plates before use. And the process starts with checking if the current supply is off or not. Another thing to remember is that if you notice the plate is hot it means the plate received the current supply recently.  

Despite this, the top plate shouldn’t have any cracks, spills, or other damage and the power cord shouldn’t be close to the heating plate. You should also take special care particularly if you are using old pates as they can cause sparks. In addition, you must keep the hot plate away from any volatile flammable materials. The hot plate is usually used when the required temperature is over 100 degrees C and prefers a safer option than typical open flame heaters. 

Heating Mantles

This laboratory heating equipment is used for heating circular bottom flasks for distillations or solvent extraction in the rotary evaporation process. It also needs to inspect the heating mantles before use as there may be any fault in the insulation material. 

There can also be solvent or spillage of water on the mantle. In this case, you should use the heating mantles after cleaning and inspecting them properly. During operating the heating mantles, make sure you don’t exceed the input voltage. Otherwise, the mantles can get damaged due to overheating.

Hot Air Ovens

The hot air ovens are used to determine the involved loss in drying research and drying of cleaned lab glassware. Remember, you cant use a lab oven for warming food can increase the risk of serious contamination. 

You should also keep the volumetric flasks unstoppered to avoid causing breakage because of the inside hot air’s expansion. In addition, don’t forget to wear heat-resistant gloves during handling hot air ovens. Another important thing to remember is that don’t heat any volatile organic liquids as they can cause volatile formation or toxic vapors inside of the oven.

Hot Baths

Hot baths offer a heat source that can be controlled at a constant temperature. Though salt and sand are in use, oil bath is popular in most cases. Many laboratories use paraffin oil to heat up to 200 degrees C and silicone oil to get the temperature up to 300 degrees C. When using an oil bath, some precautions need to take. Some of them are:

  • Volatile hot material shouldn’t spill into the bath. Otherwise, it can cause a splatter of hot material and end up causing burn injuries to the people present in the laboratory. 
  • Don’t overfill the bath as it can cause spillovers because of the expansion on heating. 
  • Don’t overheat as it can cause smoke to build up and increase the risk of oil ignition. 
  • Check the oil temperature regularly. You can cut off the provided electrical circuit breaker to avoid overheating. 
  • There should have an oil stirring arrangement to prevent local hotspot formation on the heating element and ensure uniformity of temperature. 
  • Wear heat-proof gloves to handle the hot bath. 
  • Mount the bath on stable support and make sure it’s easy to remove in case of emergencies. 

Muffle Furnaces

The muffle furnaces can reach temperatures up to 1800 degrees C and they should house in a separate room to keep away from combustible materials or inflammable materials. Don’t put ordinary glassware inside the muffle furnaces. In addition, use handle-wearing heatproof mittens and suitable tongs to remove heat-resistant crucibles. 

Microwave Ovens

Microwave oven is highly helpful laboratory equipment for heating and provides a safe, faster, and more efficient way to carry out prolonged digestion. Its design feature is quite different from the typical microwave oven used for household cooking. 

This lab microwave oven has integrated safety features like overshoot prevention of pressure and temperatures.  Following are some safety precautions to take during using laboratory microwave ovens. 

  • Don’t use lab microwave ovens for cooking or heating food item as it can cause contamination.
  • Don’t leave any objects or metallic containers inside of the oven as it can create arcs and cause the combustion of flammable materials.
  • Don’t exceed recommended heat as it can lead to the rupture of sealed tubes because of high-pressure buildup. 
  • Don’t forget to remove metal screw caps from the oven before putting tubes inside of it. 

Laboratory Incubator

A laboratory incubator is used to heat the biological sample at a certain temperature that has been set to enhance the sample’s growth. It mainly comes in two types including microbiological and gas incubators.  The gas incubator forces a set concentration of carbon dioxide into the space of the incubation. This way it controls the humidity, pH, and temperature. 

Conversely, microbiological incubators don’t pump has into the incubation space. Instead, this laboratory oven works between 5 to 7 degrees C. Hence microbiological incubators are helpful for the growth and storage of bacteria that don’t need any certain pH conditions and humidity. 

Final words

Hope you’ve got some of the essential laboratory equipment for heating. Remember, before choosing any applicable heating device, you should understand the nature of the samples and the nature of the heating requirements. Lastly, always opt for the recommended safety equipment and check the precautions properly to avoid accidents. 

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