The Laboratory Guide: Materials, Equipment, and Techniques--Overview and Article Index

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1. Materials in the Lab

1.1 Glass

1.2 Flexible Tubing

1.3 Corks, Rubber Stoppers, and Enclosures

1.4 O-Rings

2. Measurement

2.1 Measurement: The Basics

2.2 Length

2.3 Volume

2.4 Weight and Mass

2.5 Temperature

3. Joints, Stopcocks, and Glass Tubing

3.1 Joints and Connections

3.2 Stopcocks and Valves

3.3 Maintenance and Care of Joints, Stopcocks, and Glassware

3.4 Glass Tubing

4. Cleaning Glassware

4.1 The Clean Laboratory

5. Compressed Gases

5.1 Compressed Gas Tanks

5.2 The Regulator

6. High and Low Temperature

6.1 High Temperature

6.2 Low Temperature

7. Vacuum Systems

7.1 How to Destroy a Vacuum System

7.2 An Overview of Vacuum Science and Technology

7.3 Pumps

7.4 Traps

7.5 Vacuum Gauges

7.6 Leak Detection and Location

7.7 More Vacuum System Information

8. The Gas-Oxygen Torch

8.1 The Dynamics of the Gas-Oxygen Torch


Section A. Preparing Drawings for a Technician

Section B. Polymer Resistance

Section C. Manufacturers

Section D. Recommended Reading

The purpose of this guide is to provide some basics on the materials, equipment, and techniques required in a laboratory. In addition to the information on how various procedures are done, I've also added historical and other background information to better explain how and why these procedures, equipment, and theory evolved. Some readers may not find all the answers they need, whereas other readers may wonder why obvious information is included. Unfortunately, no manual of this type can be all-inclusive, and what may be obvious for one may be new for another. I apologize for omissions of information which you hoped to find, and I encourage those of you who found little new to please share your knowledge.

Proper operation of all equipment should be taught to all potential users. Such knowledge should never be assumed. The most dangerous person in a laboratory, to both equipment and other personnel, is the person who through pride, ego, or ignorance, claims knowledge that he or she does not have. It is up to the professor, group leader, or research director to monitor the quality of technical support and provide additional training as required. A simple laboratory procedure to provide information to those who need it can be provided by photocopying all equipment manuals, no matter how seemingly trivial, and placing these copies in binders for storage in a specific location in the lab where equipment is used. The originals should be placed in the research director's office and not removed unless new copies are made as needed.


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Updated: Wednesday, 2019-07-03 10:21 PST