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LAB MATERIALS & their functions (2023)

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La última actualización de esta entrada fue hecha el 14 junio, 2024 por Hernán R. Gómez

Introduction for Lab Materials Knowledge

Knowledge of laboratory materials and their functions is essential for safety and accuracy in the workplace. The practice of chemistry and other experimental sciences relies heavily on the use of a wide variety of laboratory materials. These materials are essential for conducting experiments and analyses, and their proper use is crucial for obtaining accurate and reliable results. That’s why knowing laboratory materials and their functions is of utmost importance for any student or professional working in a laboratory.

Firstly, it is important to know laboratory materials to ensure safety in the workplace. Many of these materials can be dangerous if used incorrectly or carelessly. For example, some chemical reagents can be toxic or flammable, while others may react violently if combined with certain materials. By knowing how to handle these materials safely and properly, accidents and injuries can be prevented.

Furthermore, knowledge of laboratory materials is crucial for the accuracy of experiments. Each material serves a specific function, and their incorrect use can affect the results of an experiment. For instance, using an Erlenmeyer flask instead of a volumetric flask can alter the concentration of a solution and affect the final outcome.

Let’s explore in this article the most common laboratory materials in your school or university.

Lab Materials and their functions

Material de laboratorioFunción
BeakerUsed to contain liquids and perform chemical reactions.
PipettePrecisely measures and transfers a specific volume of liquid. Used for accurate dispensing and transferring of solutions.
BurettePrecisely measures and dispenses variable volumes of liquid. Used for precise titrations and controlled dispensing.
Test tubeHolds and contains small quantities of liquids or substances. Used for small-scale reactions and observations.
Test tube rackHolds multiple test tubes in an organized manner. Used for storage and stability during experiments.
FunnelAssists in pouring or transferring liquids or substances from one container to another. Used for filtration or decanting.
Watch glassFunctions as a shallow container to hold small amounts of solids or liquids. Used for evaporation or as a cover.
Analytical balancePrecisely measures the mass of substances. Used for accurate weighing of samples or compounds.
ThermometerMeasures the temperature of liquids or gases. Used for temperature control and monitoring in experiments.
Bunsen burnerProvides a controlled and adjustable flame for heating substances. Used for various heating applications.
Crucible tongsUsed for securely holding crucibles during high-temperature heating. Provides safe handling of hot crucibles.
Alcohol burnerProduces a small, controlled flame for low-temperature heating. Used for gentle heating or sterilization of equipment.
Stirring rodUsed for mixing or stirring substances in solutions. Facilitates the mixing of reactants and speeding up of reactions.
Mortar and pestleUsed for grinding and crushing solid substances into fine powders. Enables the preparation of powdered samples.
MicroscopeAllows observation of small objects or biological samples at high magnification. Used for detailed examination of specimens.
CentrifugeSeparates components of a mixture based on density using centrifugal force. Used for separation and purification of substances.
Lab materials Table and their functions.

Other materials and their functions

preparation for chemical experiment with test tubes and flask. Lab materials.
Lab materials.1
Lab materialFunction
Volumetric flaskUsed to accurately measure an exact volume of liquid.
Non-volumetric flaskUsed to contain and mix liquids. It does not have an exact volume measurement.
FlaskUsed to contain liquids and perform chemical reactions. Its spherical shape facilitates liquid agitation.
Distillation flaskUsed to distill liquids and separate their components. It has a spherical shape and a side tube for vapor outlet.
Erlenmeyer flaskUsed to contain and mix liquids. It has a conical shape that facilitates liquid agitation.
Filter flaskUsed to filter liquids and separate solids from the liquid.
TriangleUsed to hold crucibles or porcelain dishes during substance combustion.
Vacuum pumpUsed to reduce the pressure in a system and facilitate vacuum distillation and filtration.
Asbestos matUsed as thermal protection for heating glass containers on a tripod.
CrystallizerUsed to crystallize substances dissolved in a liquid.
Graduated cylinderUsed to measure liquid volumes with some precision.
CondenserUsed to cool vapors and liquids during distillation.
Fractional distillation columnUsed to separate liquids with different boiling points during fractional distillation.
Separatory funnelUsed to separate immiscible liquids by decantation.
RingUsed to hold hot glassware on a tripod.
Measuring cyllinderUsed to accurately measure an exact volume of liquid.
SpatulaUsed to scoop small amounts of solids.
TripodUsed to hold hot glassware over a Bunsen flame.
Porcelain dishUsed to heat substances and perform chemical reactions on a small scale.


In summary, Professionals and students working in a laboratory must be familiar with the materials they use in order to perform experiments and analyses efficiently and safely. By being acquainted with different laboratory materials and their proper usage, accurate and reliable results can be ensured.


Here are five resources where it is possible to find simulations or virtual labs related to laboratory materials:

  1. PhET Interactive Simulations: PhET provides a wide range of interactive simulations for various science topics, including virtual labs for chemistry and physics. You can explore their Chemistry section to find simulations related to lab materials and experiments. Link: PhET Interactive Simulations
  2. ChemCollective Virtual Lab: The ChemCollective offers virtual lab activities and simulations for chemistry education. They have a collection of virtual labs that cover different topics, including lab techniques and equipment. Link: ChemCollective Virtual Lab
  3. Virtual Chemistry Experiments: This website offers a collection of virtual chemistry experiments and simulations. You can explore their lab simulations to learn about different lab materials and their functions. Link: Virtual Chemistry Experiments
  4. LabXchange: LabXchange is an online platform that provides interactive science resources, including virtual labs and simulations. They offer virtual lab experiences for various topics, including laboratory techniques and equipment. Link: LabXchange
  5. Labster: Labster offers a range of virtual lab simulations for biology, chemistry, and other scientific disciplines. They provide realistic virtual lab experiences that allow you to interact with lab materials and perform experiments. Link: Labster

Note that some of these resources may require a subscription or registration to access certain content.

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