You can find a wide variety of glassware made to measure, pour, and hold liquids in any well-equipped lab. Various sizes and shapes of this glassware are available, ranging from beakers, which hold much larger volumes of liquid, to thin pipettes, which are used to deliver small amounts of liquid.
What tool is used to measure volume? There are different options, such as graduated cylinders, Erlenmeyer flasks, and other containers. In any situation, the specific glassware chosen will primarily depend on two things: the required volume and the accuracy required for the measurement.
Learn more about volume measurement by reading on.
Related Reading: What tool is used to measure mass?
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Tools For Measuring Volume
A wide range of sizes and shapes are available for the glassware used in lab settings. Here are a few of the most typical glassware items used for liquid measurement.
Glass beakers are cylindrical containers with a rolled lip and a pouring spout. They are present in almost all laboratories. Beakers are a piece of laboratory apparatus that can be used for a number of tasks, such as starting chemical reactions and warming liquids over a bunsen burner. The beaker’s side has measurements written on it.
These flasks have a flat, conical base and a narrow, cylindrical neck. They bear the name Emil Erlenmeyer after the German organic chemist who created the glassware in 1861. Solutions are frequently heated and mixed in Erlenmeyer flasks. Usually made of borosilicate glass, which can withstand high heat without shattering.
Florence flasks, which have a long neck over a round bulb with a flat bottom and are designed to withstand heating, are typically made of borosilicate glass.
Graduated cylinders are tall, cylindrical containers with a pouring spout, just like beakers. For measuring the volume of a liquid, they have hash marks (gradations) on the side. The majority of laboratories have graduated cylinders in a range of sizes. There are several common volume measurements (in milliliters): 10, 25, 50, 100, 500, and 1,000 mL.
Volumetric flasks, which are also known as Dewar flasks in honor of Scottish chemist and physicist Sir James Dewar, have a long, narrow neck and a rounded bulb with a flat bottom. To ensure accurate measurement at a particular temperature, a hash mark is printed on the side. They have been adjusted to hold a specific volume at a particular temperature. Typically, volumetric flasks are used for exact dilutions to create known solutions.
For a scientist, there is a significant difference between a volume of 25 milliliters (mL) and 25.00 mL. The measuring device only needs to be able to measure an actual volume that is within a few tenths of 1 mL for the first quantity, which only requires precision of 0.5 mL. However, to measure 25.00 mL accurately, a device that can measure a few hundredths of a milliliter is needed. “Volumetric glassware” is a term used to describe glassware with precision. This group includes burets.
Burets are also cylindrical glassware items with graduations painted on the side, but instead of graduations, burets have a valve at the bottom (referred to as a “stopcock”) that allows liquid to drain out of the bottom. To 0.01 mL or less, they are usually accurate. Burets come in sizes ranging from 10 mL to 100 mL, though 50 mL is the most typical size.
Pipets are thin tubes that range in length from 12 to 24 inches. A predetermined volume, like 25 milliliters or 10 milliliters, may be measured by them. They might also have graduations that enable the delivery of odd and fractional volumes; these are known as “Mohr” pipets. They are categorized as volumetric glassware because they are typically accurate to 0.02 mL. When you squeeze the rubber bulb on the pipet, the liquid is drawn into the pipet by suction created by the expanding bulb. The basic idea is the same as sucking liquid through a straw, but without the risk of having to make mouth contact with glassware, which is strictly forbidden in laboratories. Some pipets are single-use, plastic-made, throw-away gadgets.
How Do You Measure Volume With Tools?
- Verify that the equipment you’re using to transfer liquid is dry and spotless.
- Verify the temperature. The temperature in your lab should typically be 20.0°C (68°F).
- Fill the measuring device exactly to the line. When viewed at eye level, the meniscus’s lowest curve ought to intersect the line.
A precise measurement should be made with the help of these steps. The expected deviation will be printed on the side of the glassware if you are using volumetric glassware.
Potential Error When Measuring Volume
Dirty Glassware – Laboratory glassware needs to be spotless and dry in order for a measurement to be accurate. Liquid cannot drain properly if it is covered in dirt, film, leftover liquid, grease, or other contaminants. As a result, the measurement may be contaminated or may be greater or smaller than what was intended. Check that your lab equipment is dry, clean, and free of any residue before using. Rinsing the glassware with a suitable solvent several times is a good way to ensure the removal of fluid residue.
Meniscus Miscalculation – The level of the liquid must precisely match the fill-level hash mark when filling a pipette or volumetric flask to a predetermined volume. The surface of a liquid, known as a meniscus, is not perfectly flat. This may trick the eye. It’s crucial to verify the calibration mark’s accuracy by placing the flask on a flat surface at eye level and measuring the meniscus’s bottom at the curve’s shallowest point.
Wrong Temperature – Volume, temperature, and accurate readings are written on volumetric flasks. The T.D. mark, which stands for “to deliver,” specifies exactly how much will be poured out once any liquid that sticks to the inside has been taken into account. The temperature in celsius is then given, and the measurement’s accuracy is mentioned last.
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The Bottom Line: What Tool Is Used To Measure Volume
Not a single tool exists. We can use a variety of glasses, some of which are more precisely made than others. There are many important factors to take into account when setting up a lab.
You’ll need a variety of things, including expensive pipettes and expensive specialty equipment that could cost up to tens of thousands of dollars. Even though pipettes may initially not seem like much, these small costs can quickly add up and take a significant financial toll.