Laboratory flasks

November 1, 2021

Laboratory flasks are containers that have a wide variety of functions. Not only are they useful for safely containing liquids, but they are used in processes such as distillation or filtration.

What is it?

It is a laboratory instrument that consists of a glass container with different shapes, depending on the type of flask, where chemical solutions are mixed. They are generally spherical in shape and have a straight, narrow neck.

It is one of the most common instruments in laboratory equipment.

They usually specify the volume they can hold, typically in metric units. They are usually made of glass, but they can also be found in plastic. Exterior ground glass gaskets can be found at the top.

Some have a plug to seal the opening at the top of the neck. Some have a conical ground glass stopper and others have rubber and cork stoppers or can be insulated with hydrophobic cotton.

What is it for?

The uses of the flask will depend on the type of flask:

Volumetric flask

It is used to accurately measure the volume of a given liquid. The graduation mark is located on the glass neck. It is used to prepare solutions of known and exact concentration.

Erlenmeyer flask

It is used to mix by stirring and to evaporate a liquid in a controlled way.

Florentine flask or Distillation Balloon

It is designed for uniform heating and can be found in different thicknesses for different uses. It is generally made of borosilicate glass.

Its rounded base allows the contents to be easily stirred and a substance to be heated uniformly in order to carry out a distillation.

Kitasato flask

It is used for distillation tests, vacuum filtration of pasty and solid substances and gas collection in a hydropneumatic tank (volume displacement). It is made of thick glass in order to resist pressure changes.


It is used to heat only liquids. It resembles an Erlenmeyer flask and a beaker. Its body is cylindrical and culminates in a neck that curves before opening into a rounded opening.


It is used for distillation and its design is exclusive for this purpose. It has the shape of a teardrop with an inclination of almost 90º. The bulb contains a liquid solution and facilitates heating until condensation. The condensate rushes down the angle towards the entrance of the tear and from there, towards the opening.

It can be considered a simplified distillation apparatus.

Schlenk flask

It is shaped like a pear or tube and extends to form a long and thin neck that has a lateral arm, which has a valve that allows the release of pressure or gas.

Reaction flask

They are spherical and have necks with glass gaskets at the ends to connect them to equipment, such as a condenser or drip funnel. They allow you to save reactions in a vacuum or at a specific pressure.

Reagent flask

They are flat bottom and do not withstand pressure or temperature changes. They have a glass stopper or an automatic dispenser. They serve to contain reagents.

Cassia flask

It is used for the analysis of essential oils and the determination of aldehyde.

Dewar flask

It has a double wall and a gap between the two. It comes in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Some are tube-like.

Powder flask

It is used for drying powdered substances. It is pear-shaped and has a socket.

Culture flask

It is used in biology laboratories for growing cells. They are specially designed to improve aeration through the use of baffles when placed on a shaker table.

Dr. Loony Davis5
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Born and raised in Brussels in an English family, I have always lived in a multicultural environment. After several work experiences in marketing and communication, I came to Smart Water Magazine, which I describe as the most exciting challenge of my career.
I am a person with great restlessness and curiosity to learn, discover what I do not know, as well as reinvent myself daily, someone who is curious about life and wants to know. I enjoy sharing knowledge.
This is my personal project but I also collaborate in other blogs, it is the case, the most important web on water currently exists in the US, if you are interested you can read my articles here.

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