Chemistry Laboratory Glassware Gallery

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Chemistry Glassware Photos, Names, & Descriptions

A well-equipped chemistry laboratory includes many different types of glassware.
A well-equipped chemistry laboratory includes many different types of glassware. WLADIMIR BULGAR / Getty Images

Glassware used in a chemistry laboratory is special. It needs to resist chemical attack. Some glassware has to withstand sterilization. Other glassware is used to measure specific volumes, so it can't change its size appreciably over room temperatures. Chemicals may be heated and cooled so the glass needs to resist shattering from thermal shock. For these reasons, most glassware is made from a borosilicate glass, such as Pyrex or Kimax. Some glassware isn't glass at all, but inert plastic such as Teflon.

Each piece of glassware has a name and purpose. Use this photo gallery to learn the names and uses of different types of chemistry laboratory glassware.

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Beakers

Chemistry labs have beakers.
Chemistry Laboratory Glassware Chemistry labs have beakers. TRBfoto/Getty Images

No lab would be complete without beakers. Beakers are used for routine measuring and mixing in the lab. They are used to measure volumes to within 10% accuracy. Most beakers are made from borosilicate glass, though other materials may be used. The flat bottom and spout allow this piece of glassware to be stable on the lab bench or hot plate, plus it's easy to pour a liquid without making a mess. Beakers are also easy to clean.

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Boiling Tube - Photo

Boiling Tube
Boiling Tube. Digital Vision/Getty Images

A boiling tube is a special variety of test tube that is made specifically for boiling samples. Most boiling tubes are made of borosilicate glass. These thick-walled tubes are usually about 50% larger than average test tubes. The larger diameter allows samples to boil with less chance of bubbling over. The walls of a boiling tube are intended to be immersed in a burner flame.

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Buchner Funnel - Photo

A Buchner funnel may be placed on top of a Buchner flask (filter flask).
A Buchner funnel may be placed on top of a Buchner flask (filter flask) so that a vacuum may be used to separate or dry a sample. Eloy, Wikipedia Commons
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Buret or Burette

Student science fair projects can make a difference.
Chemistry Laboratory Glassware Jenny Suo and Anna Devathasan test the vitamin C content in the Ribena drink at Pakuranga College, March 29, 2007 in Auckland, New Zealand. They are using a buret to titrate into an Erlenmeyer flask. Sandra Mu/Getty Images

Burets or burettes are used when it is necessary to dispense a small measured volume of a liquid, as for titration. Burets may be used to calibrate the volumes of other pieces of glassware, such as graduated cylinders. Most burets are made of borosilicate glass with PTFE (Teflon) stopcocks.

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Burette Image

A buret or burette is graduated tube of glassware that has a stopcock at its bottom end.
A buret or burette is graduated tube of glassware that has a stopcock at its bottom end. It is used to dispense precise volumes of liquid reagents. Quantockgoblin, Wikipedia Commons
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Cold Finger - Photo

A cold finger is a piece of glassware used to form a cold surface.
A cold finger is a piece of glassware used to form a cold surface. A cold finger is most commonly used as part of a sublimation procedure. Rifleman 82, Wikipedia Commons
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Condenser - Photo

A condenser is a piece of laboratory glassware used to cool hot liquids or vapors.
A condenser is a piece of laboratory glassware used to cool hot liquids or vapors. It consists of a tube within a tube. This particular condenser is called a Vigreux column. Dennyboy34, Wikipedia Commons
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Crucible - Photo

A crucible is a cup-shaped piece of glassware used to hold samples which are to be heated.
A crucible is a cup-shaped piece of laboratory glassware that is used to hold samples which are to be heated to high temperatures. Many crucibles come with lids. Twisp, Wikipedia Commons
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Cuvette - Photo

A cuvette is a piece of glassware that is intended to hold samples for spectroscopic analysis.
A cuvette is a piece of laboratory glassware that is intended to hold samples for spectroscopic analysis. Cuvettes are made from glass, plastic, or optical-grade quartz. Jeffrey M. Vinocur
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Erlenmeyer Flask - Photo

Chemistry Demonstration
Chemistry Laboratory Glassware Chemistry Demonstration. George Doyle, Getty Images

An erlenmeyer flask is a cone-shaped container with neck, so you can hold the flask or attach a clamp or use a stopper.

Erlenmeyer flasks are used to measure, mix, and store liquids. The shape makes this flask very stable. They are one of the most common and useful pieces of chemistry lab glassware. Most erlenmeyer flasks are made of borosilicate glass so that they can be heated over a flame or autoclaved. The most common sizes of erlenmeyer flasks probably are 250 ml and 500 ml. They can be found in 50, 125, 250, 500, 1000 ml. You can seal them with a cork or stopper or place plastic or paraffin film or a watch glass on top of them.

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Erlenmeyer Bulb - Photo

An Erlenmeyer bulb is another name for a round bottom flask.
An Erlenmeyer bulb is another name for a round bottom flask. The end of the neck of the flask is typically a conical ground glass joint. This type of flask is often used when even heating or boiling of a sample is needed. Rama, Wikipedia Commons
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Eudiometer - Photo

A eudiometer is a piece of glassware used to measure the change in volume of a gas.
A eudiometer is a piece of glassware used to measure the change in volume of a gas. It resembles a graduated cylinder, with the bottom end immersed in water or mercury, the chamber filled with gas, and the top end closed. Skiaholic, Wikipedia Commons
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Florence Flask - Photo

A Florence flask or boiling flask can withstand temperature changes.
Chemistry Laboratory Glassware A Florence flask or boiling flask is a round-bottom borosilicate glass container with thick walls, capable of withstanding temperature changes. Nick Koudis/Getty Images

A Florence flask or boiling flask is a round-bottom borosilicate glass container with thick walls, capable of withstanding temperature changes. Never place hot glassware on a cold surface, such as a lab bench. It's important to inspect a Florence flask or any piece of glassware prior to heating or cooling and to wear safety goggles when changing the temperature of glass. Improperly heated glassware or weakened glass may shatter when the temperature is changed. Additionally, certain chemicals may weaken the glass.

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Freidrichs Condenser - Diagram

A Freidrich condenser or Freidrich condenser is a spiralled finger condenser.
A Freidrich condenser or Freidrich condenser is a spiralled finger condenser that offers a large surface area for cooling. Fritz Walter Paul Friedrichs invented this condenser in 1912. Ryanaxp, Wikipedia Commons
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Funnel - Photo

A funnel is a conical piece of glassware that terminates in a narrow tube.
A funnel is a conical piece of glassware that terminates in a narrow tube. It is used to transfer substances into containers that have narrow mouths. Funnels may be made of any material. A graduated funnel may be called a conical measure. Donovan Govan
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Funnels - Photo

Cornell Student Taran Sirvent prepares dried St. John's Wort for chemical analysis.
Chemistry Laboratory Glassware Cornell Student Taran Sirvent prepares Hypericum perforatum for chemical analysis. A glass funnel directs the plant matter into an Erlenmeyer flask. Peggy Greb/USDA-ARS

A funnel is a conical piece of glass or plastic that is used help transfer chemicals from one container to another. Some funnels act as filters, either because of their design of because filter paper or a sieve is placed on the funnel. There are several different types of funnels.

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Gas Syringe - Photo

A gas syringe or gas collecting bottle is used to insert, withdraw, or measure a volume of gas.
A gas syringe or gas collecting bottle is a piece of glassware used to insert, withdraw, or measure a volume of gas. Geni, Wikipedia Commons
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Glass Bottles - Photo

Glass Bottles with Ground Glass Stoppers
Chemistry Laboratory Glassware Glass Bottles with Ground Glass Stoppers. Joe Sullivan

Glass bottles with ground glass stoppers are often used to store stock solutions of chemicals. To avoid contamination, it helps to use one bottle for one chemical. For example, the ammonium hydroxide bottle would only ever be used for ammonium hydroxide.

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Graduated Cylinder - Photo

Chemistry class at King Edward VI High School for Girls (October 2004).
Chemistry Laboratory Glassware Chemistry class at King Edward VI High School for Girls (October 2006). Christopher Furlong, Getty Images

Graduated cylinders are used to measure volumes accurately. The can be used to calculate the density of an object if its mass is known. Graduated cylinders usually are made from borosilicate glass, though there are plastic cylinders, too. Common sizes are 10, 25, 50, 100, 250, 500, 1000 ml. Choose a cylinder such that the volume to be measured will be in the upper half of the container. This minimizes measurement error.

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NMR Tubes - Photo

NMR tubes are glass tubes used to hold samples used for nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.
NMR tubes are thin glass tubes that are used to hold samples used for nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. From left to right, these are flame, septum and polyethylene cap sealed NMR tubes. Edgar181, Wikipedia Commons
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Petri Dishes - Photo

These petri dishes illustrate the sterilization effects of ionizing air on Salmonella growth.
Chemistry Laboratory Glassware These petri dishes illustrate the sterilization effects of ionizing air on the growth of Salmonella bacteria. Ken Hammond, USDA-ARS

Petri dishes come as a set, with a flat bottom dish and a flat lid that rests loosely over the bottom. The contents of the dish are exposed to air and light, but the air is exchanged by diffusion, preventing contamination of the contents by microorganisms. Petri dishes that are intended to be autoclaved are made from a borosilicate glass, such as Pyrex or Kimax. Single-use sterile or non-sterile plastic petri dishes also are available. Petri dishes commonly are used for culturing bacteria in a microbiology lab, containing small living specimens, and holding chemical samples.

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Pipet or Pipette - Photo

Pipets are used to measure and transfer small volumes.
Pipets (pipettes) are used to measure and transfer small volumes. There are many different types of pipets. Examples of pipet types include disposable, resuable, autoclavable, and manual. Andy Sotiriou/Getty Images

Pipets or pipettes are droppers calibrated to deliver a specific volume. Some pipets are marked like graduated cylinders. Other pipets are filled to a line to reliably deliver one volume again and again. Pipettes may be made of glass or plastic.

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Pycnometer - Photo

The pycnometer is used to obtain accurate measurements of density.
A pcynometer or specific gravity bottle is a flask with a stopper that has a capillary tube through it, which allows air bubbles to escape. The pycnometer is used to obtain accurate measurements of density. Slashme, Wikipedia Commons
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Retort - Photo

A retort is a piece of glassware that is used for distillation or dry distillation.
A retort is a piece of glassware that is used for distillation or dry distillation. A retort is a spherical glass vessel that has a downward-bending neck which acts as a condenser. Ott Köstner
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Round Bottom Flasks - Diagram

This is an image of several round-bottomed flasks.
This is an image of several round-bottomed flasks. There is a round-bottomed flask, long-neck flask, two-neck flask, three-neck flask, radial three-neck flask, and two-neck flask with thermometer well. Ayacop, Wikipedia Commons
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Schlenk Flasks - Diagram

A Schlenk flask or Schlenk tube is a glass reaction vessel that was invented by Wilhelm Schlenk.
A Schlenk flask or Schlenk tube is a glass reaction vessel that was invented by Wilhelm Schlenk. It has a sidearm fitted with a stopcock that allows the vessel to be filled with gases or evacuated. The flask is used for air-sensitive reactions. Slashme, Wikipedia Commons
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Separatory Funnels - Photo

Separatory funnels are also known as separating funnels. They are used in extractions.
Separatory funnels are also known as separating funnels. They are used in extractions. Glowimages / Getty Images

Separatory funnels are used to dispense liquids into other containers, usually as part of an extraction process. They are made of glass. Usually a ring stand is used to support them. Separatory funnels are open at the top, to add liquid and allow for a stopper, cork, or connector. The sloping sides help make it easier to distinguish layers in the liquid. The flow of liquid is controlled using a glass or teflon stopcock. Separatory funnels are used when you need a controlled flow rate, but not the measuring accuracy of a burette or pipette. Usual sizes are 250, 500, 1000, and 2000 ml.

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Separatory Funnel - Photo

A separatory funnel or separation funnel is a piece of glassware used in liquid-liquid extractions.
A separatory funnel or separation funnel is a piece of glassware used in liquid-liquid extractions where one liquid is not miscible in the other. Rifleman 82, Wikipedia Commons

This photo shows how the shape of a separatory funnel makes it easier to separate components of a sample.

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Soxhlet Extractor - Diagram

A Soxhlet extractor is a piece of glassware that was invented in 1879 by Franz von Soxhlet
A Soxhlet extractor is a piece of laboratory glassware that was invented in 1879 by Franz von Soxhlet to extract a compound that has limited solubility in a solvent. Slashme, Wikipedia Commons
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Stopcock - Photo

A stopcock is a plug with a handle that fits into a corresponding female joint.
A stopcock is an important part of many pieces of lab glassware. A stopcock is a plug with a handle that fits into a corresponding female joint. This is an example of a T bore stopcock. OMCV, Wikipedia Commons
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Test Tube - Photo

Test tubes in a test tube rack.
Chemistry Laboratory Glassware Test tubes in a test tube rack. TRBfoto, Getty Images

Test tubes are round-bottom cylinders, usually made of borosilicate glass so that they can withstand temperature changes and resist reaction with chemicals. In some cases, test tubes are made from plastic. Test tubes come in several sizes. The most common size is smaller than the test tube shown in this photo (18x150mm is a standard lab test tube size). Sometimes test tubes are called culture tubes. A culture tube is a test tube without a lip.

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Thiele Tube - Diagram

A Thiele tube is a piece of laboratory glassware that is designed to contain and heat an oil bath.
A Thiele tube is a piece of laboratory glassware that is designed to contain and heat an oil bath. The Thiele tube is named after German chemist Johannes Thiele. Zorakoid, Wikipedia Commons
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Thistle Tube - Photo

A thistle tube is a piece of glassware with a long tube with a reservoir and funnel-like opening.
A thistle tube is a piece of chemistry glassware consisting of a long tube with a reservoir and funnel-like opening at one end. Thistle tubes may be used to add liquid through a stopper to an existing apparatus. Richard Frantz Jr.
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Volumetric Flask - Photo

Volumetric flasks are used to accurately prepare solutions for chemistry.
Chemistry Laboratory Glassware Volumetric flasks are used to accurately prepare solutions for chemistry. TRBfoto/Getty Images

Volumetric flasks are used to accurately prepare solutions for chemistry. This piece of glassware is characterized by a long neck with a line for measuring a specified volume. Volumetric flasks usually are made of borosilicate glass. They may have flat or round bottoms (usually flat). Typical sizes are 25, 50, 100, 250, 500, 1000 ml.

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Watch Glass - Photo

Potassium ferricyanide in a watch glass.
Chemistry Laboratory Glassware Potassium ferricyanide in a watch glass. Gert Wrigge & Ilja Gerhardt

Watch glasses are concave dishes that have a variety of uses. They can serve as lids for flasks and beakers. Watch glasses are nice for holding small samples for observation under a low-power microscope. Watch glasses are used for evaporating liquid off of samples, such as growing seed crystals. They can be used for making lenses of ice or other liquids. Fill two watch glasses with liquid, freeze the liquid, remove the frozen material, press the flat sides together... lens!

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Buchner Flask - Diagram

A Buchner flask may also be called a vacuum flask, filter flask, side-arm flask, or Kitasato flask.
A Buchner flask may also be called a vacuum flask, filter flask, side-arm flask, or Kitasato flask. It is a thick-walled Erlenmeyer flask that has a short glass tube and hose barb on its neck. H Padleckas, Wikipedia Commons

The hose barb allows a hose to be attached to the flask, connecting it to a vacuum source.

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Water Distillation Equipment - Photo

This is a typical equipment set up for double distillation of water.
This is a typical equipment set up for double distillation of water. Guruleninn, Creative Commons