Porcelain Crucible

November 1, 2021

The porcelain crucible is a very important laboratory instrument for developing gravimetric processes; analysis that you use to determine the proportion of an element in a sample, extracting substances that interfere with the analysis. This instrument acts as a container for the sample in the process prior to the analysis of the components.

Crucibles have been used for many decades, among their first uses is that of a container for metals that must be melted. However, over time neither its composition nor its shape have undergone major changes, mainly because its design is adequate to fulfill its functions.

What is a Porcelain Crucible?

A crucible is a concave container that is used to deposit elements or substances that must be subjected to high temperatures in order to produce changes in their physical state. There are different types depending on the area and therefore the element to be treated, but in laboratories, to work with chemical substances the favorite is the porcelain crucible.

Porcelain is a material produced from the conjunction of kaolin, silica and feldspar. Silica is what reduces the plasticity of the clay, preventing the piece from deforming during firing. Later it is covered with enamel and fired to give it its semi-waterproof quality.

It supports a maximum temperature of use of 1050 ° C , a good resistance to thermal shock and also to corrosion.

Because the laboratory works with various substances and requires a material that has resistance to acids and bases with low porosity, porcelain is the material that works perfectly under these conditions: The porcelain crucible being the container for these elements to casting procedures.

What is a Porcelain Crucible for?

As I mentioned, this laboratory material is used to contain elements that will be subjected to high temperatures; either to melt, heat, mix or calcine these elements. Its uses are many due to the versatility of the instrument. With great resistance to high temperatures, you do not run the risk of damage or deformities when performing these processes.

Likewise, as it is not a porous material, it does not allow residues of the substances to penetrate the material, which would create an inconvenience when analyzing the remains of the substance or even contaminating subsequent samples when they come into contact with said remains. Which makes the crucible material essential to fulfill its function in the laboratory.

Use of the Porcelain Crucible

The porcelain crucible is a versatile instrument that can be used in different procedures that require subjecting a substance to heat. However, it has a specific area where it is frequently used, which is gravimetric analysis . This is a chemical analysis to determine the proportion of an element in a sample.

It is done through the atomic and molecular weight of a pure substance; which to be able to be extracted, that is, to separate the element to determine its weight. It needs to go through a process of precipitation or volatilization in which the crucible is used to incinerate the sample and thus be able to use the ashes for gravimetric analysis.

Crucible Types

The crucible is an instrument that has been used for a long time, for this reason there are different types, because over the years more models have been created, adapting to the needs of each investigation.

The difference is centered in the material with which the crucible is made and this changes depending on the area of ​​use. Not all elements should be treated in the same way. There are currently three different types of crucibles:

  • Porcelain crucible

Used in the laboratory for its properties as it is an excellent material for working with chemical substances.

  • Graphite crucible

This is one of the most used, graphite is a polymorph of carbon and is used as a crucible due to its non-stick properties and its resistance to heat, withstanding temperatures of up to 1500 ° C. It is used for metal casting.

  • Silicon Carbide Crucible

Silicon carbide is a semiconductor material almost as hard as diamond. It has a good thermal conductivity that makes it have a better heat distribution. They also have resistance to chemical erosion. They are mostly used in metal casting, although they tend to be more expensive than porcelain or graphite.

Porcelain Crucible Characteristics

The porcelain crucible is an instrument that is used for a specific function, although thanks to its design it is also highly versatile. Crucibles have similar characteristics, even if they are made of different materials, but an advantage of the porcelain crucible is its easy production and therefore affordability, without compromising its quality.

In fact, currently, the most widely used crucible is the porcelain one, so if you need to make one this is an excellent option. Although it largely depends on the use you are going to give it; in the same way, it is important that you take into account its characteristics:

  • Porcelain is a translucent off-white material
  • It is a concave container
  • There are models that come with a lid, it must be of the same material
  • High heat resistance up to 1050 ° C
  • Its surface is smooth, it does not present porosity
  • Offers you resistance to chemical corrosion

Something important to note is that corrosion resistance is not as good for HF acids . Also among the presentations of the same you can find models in different sizes but the most used are around 30 to 50 ml and among aesthetic preferences there may be different colors but this varies depending on the manufacturer.

Importance of the Porcelain Crucible

The porcelain crucible is a very useful instrument; Thanks to its thermal resistance, it can be used as a container for heating, melting or calcining various samples. Without this process, many of the tests and analyzes of substances would not be possible to carry out, at least not optimally, because the conjunction of the characteristics of the crucible is required for this.

There are other instruments that are used to heat substances in the laboratory such as the thiele tube, however, it could not be used to fulfill the functions of the crucible, it would end up with corrosion or deformedness, for reasons like this you must remember to give the proper use to your instruments .

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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