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Conical Flask (Erlenmeyer flask) –  Diagram, Definition, Types, Uses

What is Conical Flask or Erlenmeyer flask? A Conical Flask is a flask with a cone-shaped body, a flat bottom, and a...

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This article writter by MN Editors on September 28, 2022

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Conical Flask (Erlenmeyer flask) -  Diagram, Definition, Types, Uses
Conical Flask (Erlenmeyer flask) -  Diagram, Definition, Types, Uses

What is Conical Flask or Erlenmeyer flask?

A Conical Flask is a flask with a cone-shaped body, a flat bottom, and a cylindrical neck.

  • The Erlenmeyer flask is a form of laboratory flask with a flat bottom, a conical body, and a cylindrical neck. It is also known as a conical flask (British English) or a titration flask.
  • It was invented by the German scientist Emil Erlenmeyer (1825-1910) in 1860 and bears his name.
  • Erlenmeyer flasks have broad bottoms and sides that taper to a small vertical neck.
  • They may be graded, and spots of ground glass or enamel are frequently used for labelling purposes.
  • It varies from the beaker in that its body is tapered and its neck is thin.
  • Depending on the application, they may be made of glass or plastic and come in a variety of sizes.
  • The Erlenmeyer flask’s mouth may feature a beaded lip that can be covered or stopped.
  • Alternately, the neck may be equipped with ground glass or an alternative connector for use with more specialist stoppers or coupling to other apparatus.
  • A popular design modification for filtering under vacuum is the Büchner flask.
  • Erlenmeyer’s flask is utilised for the preparation of concentration solutions and chemical analysis. It is primarily employed in the titration procedure and is hence also known as a “Titration Flask.”
  • The innovative shape of this flask allows it to be sealed with a stopper for heating while also allowing the experimenter to stir.
  • The flask’s tapered sides and narrow neck allow for easy mixing and swirling without the risk of spilling.
  • The conical flask may be used to measure the volume of liquids, however its measurements are not exact.
  • Using the cork, gaseous substances can be stored in the conical flask.

Features of Conical Flask 

  • Conical Flask has a Hollow Design.
  • Conical Flasks are Reliable.
  • These are Chemical Resistant.
  • Compact 
  • Conical Flasks are Durable. 
  • Available in Clear Glass and Amber Color
conical flask diagram
conical flask diagram

Sizes Available of Conical Flask

  • In addition to 25 ml, 50 ml, 100 ml, 125 ml, 150 ml, 250 ml, 300 ml, 500 ml, 1000 ml, 2000 ml, 3000 ml, 4000 ml, 5000 ml, and 6000 ml, conical flasks are also available in the following capacities: 50 ml, 100 ml, 125 ml, 150 ml Glassco produces flasks of different sizes.
  • The conical flask is constructed according to ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) and ISO specifications (International Organization for Standardization). 

Maintenance of Conical Flask

Cleaning  

  • Before using a conical flask, it must be sterilised and wiped clean with a dry cloth.
  • After doing the experiment, rinse the flask for 10 to 15 minutes in a warm detergent solution.
  • Then, rinsing it three times with tap water.
  • The flask is dried with a fresh cotton cloth.

Storage 

  • To prevent contamination, a conical flask should be stored in a box in a dry location.
  • It is preferable to store them in a cabinet.

Conical flask uses 

  • In bacteriology labs, conical flasks are used and also used in;
    • Hematology Laboratories 
    • Microbiology Laboratories 
    • All General Laboratories
    • Clinical Chemistry operations
    • Labs for Research and Development
  • Conical Flasks Used For
    • Conical flasks are the most frequent laboratory apparatus used in scientific study.
    • It is utilised to retain and quantify liquid chemical samples. Moreover, depending on the research, these substances can be heated, combined, and boiled in a conical flask.
    • This flask is commonly used in microbiology laboratories for the preparation of microbial cultures.

Types of Conical Flasks  

The conical flasks are available in two varieties:

  • Narrow Mouth – It is utilised to support filter funnels during experiments. Mixing the solution is as simple as whirling the flask. 
  • Wide Mouth – It is used for stirring liquids with a rod.

Pros of Conical Flask

  • Erlenmeyer flasks are ideal for mixing chemicals due to their wide base and ability to be spun without spilling. Since the base is broad, there is less chance that the liquid will rise to the top and overflow.
  • The Erlenmeyer filter flask has the added benefit of preventing overturning. In contrast to measuring cylinders and even breakers, its wide base prevents spillage. In contrast to its wide base, the flask’s tiny mouth reduces its centre of gravity.
  • Erlenmeyer filter flasks have the extra advantage of being able to be sealed with rubber bungs. This is not possible with a beaker. Because of this, samples or mixtures are typically not stored in beakers.
  • Due to the flask’s tiny opening, it can also be used to filter various substances with filter paper. Here, the Buchner flask/vacuum flask, a variation of the original Erlenmeyer flask, is employed. Additionally, it can be utilised to contain titrates. These characteristics make it suitable for recrystallization.
  • These characteristics also make the flask suitable for boiling processes. The flask’s conical shape permits the solvent to condense on its body. This prevents loss of solvent. These reactions must be managed, though. They cannot exceed a particular temperature because thermal stress could cause the flask to shatter.
  • Erlenmeyer flasks are constructed to be far more durable than typical laboratory flasks. They contain 25% more glass than standard wall flasks and hence have a longer shelf life.

Cons of Conical Flask

  • This flask is not used for measurement, as its primary use is to hold and mix liquids. Due to the flask’s irregular shape, it is not appropriate for measuring purposes.
  • Additionally, the flask is restricted to collection and storage. Due to its limited thickness, it cannot be employed in high-energy chemical reactions.
  • The Erlenmeyer conical flask is an essential component of any chemistry laboratory. Without it, no basic experiment is complete. Not only is it an excellent vessel for mixing and storing, but it is also excellent for filtering. Although its utility as a measuring device is low, it does its function admirably. Due to its broad base and small neck, the Erlenmeyer conical flask is particularly helpful. Therefore, it is ideal for handling caustic and delicate substances and preventing leakage.

References

  • https://www.glasscolabs.com/product-category/laboratory-glassware/laboratory-glasswares-flasks/conical-flask/
  • https://www.sigmaaldrich.com/IN/en/search/conical-flask?focus=products&page=1&perpage=30&sort=relevance&term=conical%20flask&type=product_name
  • https://www.sentek.co.uk/conical-flask-uses/
  • https://homework.study.com/explanation/what-are-conical-flasks-used-for-in-science.html
  • https://examplespedia.com/conical-flask/
  • https://www.scienceequip.com.au/blogs/news/types-of-flasks-used-in-laboratory
  • https://www.thomasnet.com/articles/instruments-controls/types-of-lab-flasks/
  • https://labproinc.com/blogs/laboratory-equipment/erlenmeyer-flask-and-filter-flasks-pros-cons-and-limitations
  • https://www.scientificglassservices.co.uk/glassware-in-focus-the-erlenmeyer-flask/
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