Funnel: characteristic types, prices, uses …

November 2, 2021

The funnel is a laboratory material whose main function is in the chemical area. There is a wide variety of funnels, in all sizes, colors, shapes and for different uses. However, over time, the applications of the funnel have become more specialized and chemical scientists have seemed to find a certain purpose.

Among the different types of funnel we find the filter funnel, thistle, which has a flower shape and the drip funnel, which has stopcocks so that the liquids can flow through a flask. In the case of solid funnels, they are usually shorter and more appropriate because they are not easily clogged. This is good, although they cannot be used for large experiments or liquid transfers. It is necessary that each funnel, whatever its function, has a minimum of precision or an adequate reading of the results will not be possible.

The funnel can be combined with filter paper , this known as a Buchner or Hirsh funnel, and they generally have the function of removing fine particles from a liquid. This process is known worldwide in science as filtration. In case you want to give it a more demanding use, it is possible to use the filter paper in the last two sections to replace it with a sintered glass frit. The separating funnels, in this case, are used to extract liquid.

Next, we will break down in detail each of the main features of this interesting laboratory tool. That, like the beaker, or one of its versions, which is the Buchner Funnel , is used in the chemical area. Join us to learn more!

What is a Funnel?

The funnel can be defined as a tube-shaped material that is wide at the top of its composition, while at the bottom it is narrower. It is generally used to guide liquid, or powder, into an opening that is smaller and therefore needs assistance.

The funnel is made of a variety of materials including:

  • Stainless steel
  • Aluminum
  • Plastic
  • Glass

The material used for its construction has to be strong enough to support the weight of the substance that is transferred to the other object. It is also important that you do not react negatively to the substance that is being applied across the gap. This is extremely important, since if you alter the substance in any way, the results that are intended to be extracted through the experiments will not be adequate. Even in a more mundane environment, such as when it is necessary to transfer water, or juice, it is necessary that the funnel support the load that is being exerted on it.

For the reasons given above, stainless steel, or glass itself, is one of the most resistant materials when transferring dangerous liquids, such as diesel. While, on the other hand, the plastic funnel has a more kitchen or household use. Sometimes disposable paper funnels are used as they are not able to clean properly. One of these signs is motor oil.

There are other types of funnels known as drip funnels, which have a tap that allows the liquid that is locked in the object to be released. On the other hand, we find the flat funnel, that the material is polypropylene, it uses live hinges and walls to unfold.

Where does the term funnel come from?

In general, the funnel can refer to any chimney-shaped object on a steam locomotive or ship. From what you can see, it is not only used for laboratory materials, but the term is applied to other oddly shaped objects like a smoking pipe or a food container. There is even a funnel in the marketing world that has functions of improving the company.

Construction of the funnels

The preferred material from which funnels are constructed is glass, whose applications in the laboratory have been acclaimed for its inertness. This in comparison with other materials such as metal or plastic, which are also the materials used to make the tool. However, the plastic funnel , which is made of polyethylene, is non-reactive and is generally used to transfer solutions that are aqueous. Regular plastic, on the other hand, is most often used for powder funnels that don’t come in contact with any type of solvent.

What is the general function of the funnel?

The laboratory funnel has been adapted to different shapes as they have been needed in special situations. One of this is filtration. In general, they are ubiquitous in the laboratory. The funnels that are equipped with filter paper, such as the Buchner funnel or the Hirsh funnel, are capable of eliminating fine particles, although it suggests a glass frit that is synthesized for applications where filtering requires more use. precise. It is necessary that these funnels have the traced material, since if they are not tailored, the main function will not be able to be performed.

The filtration methods have always been the main function of the funnel. Whether in their plastic, glass, metal or porcelain version, these have been used, and will continue to be used for filtration needs in the laboratory. Regarding the recommendations, it is necessary for everyone to know that plastic funnels for nothing in the world should come into contact with solvents to transfer powders. As for those of polyethylene, they can be used in the transfer of solutions, or solutions as it is also known, aqueous.

On the other hand, the glass funnel is characterized by having a good inertia and that is why its function goes beyond the others. The main virtue of the metal funnel is that it will not chip easily, much less break or corrode, so its function is to pass through small strong liquids.

Funnel types

Simple funnel

This is a laboratory tool that comes in various dimensions. It can be small in case the object where the liquid or solution is going to be transferred does not require using one as large as we are used to. The general characteristic of this funnel is that their necks are longer, or shorter, there is no middle ground, since it will depend on the person who wants to use it.

Filter funnels

The characteristic that sets this funnel apart from the rest is that the neck, which is usually a capillary tube, is thin and ribbed that gradually increases the effectiveness of the filter papers. Therefore, it speeds up the filtering process and takes less time to get the results. It is acclaimed by many scientists and therefore it is usually the best to use.

Powder funnels

The appearance of this laboratory tool consists of a small, but wide neck, which is used for quick pouring of powders . It is used for the normally named material and no type of paper is needed for filtering, since the dust passes by itself. As you can well imagine, unlike the rest, this is to pour solids into a pre-mentioned glass or any other type of container.

Separation funnel

The exciting thing about this funnel is that it is pear-shaped, contains a lid, and the neck is shorter than the rest. The fluids pass uniformly, and are used to decant two immiscible fluids. Although its function is essential, it is not very common to say in chemistry laboratories. However, it is a fundamental piece that cannot be missing.

Hirsch’s Embu

This is the one that most closely resembles the simple funnel , but unlike these they contain synthesized holes that serve as the basis for leaks. This particularity provides the funnel that is faster. It is often confused with Buchner’s, but they have essential characteristics that separate it.

Drip funnel

Also called a cylindrical funnel, it is a standard ground glass. It is often used to supply a pressure equalizer.

Buchner funnel

They may be the most popular laboratory funnels, they are constructed of porcelain and include a synthesized glass as a plate. They are used in low pressure filtration with a flask.

Crucible funnels

Like the other funnels, it is used to filter , the bottom is a porous glass surface and allows the material to be completely trapped. Ratings vary depending on size.

Funnel needs

Regardless of the type or shape of the funnel, it is necessary that it meets some conditions to be used. These funnel needs include:

  • The funnel must have a thermal resistance according to the volume of the liquid or solid to be deposited.
  • Also, the funnel must have good chemical resistance, including corrosion resistance.
  • Another of the needs that the funnel must meet is that they must withstand significant amounts of voltage. And if there is voltage in the process, it should not be damaged and serve its purpose.
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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