Test Tube

November 1, 2021

The test tube is one of the most iconic and representative laboratory materials in the scientific area , being also one of the most used for multiple tasks such as experiments or tests in which it must contain substances or materials to which you want to perform a change, generate a reaction or prepare a mixture.

As in all laboratories many materials, liquids, chemicals, among others, are handled, this type of tools greatly facilitate their transport and use, avoiding direct contact with fluids and objects that may be dangerous or that must be kept out of human contact. , thus helping to manipulate these.

What is the Test Tube?

It is a laboratory instrument, used both in teaching at school and university levels, as well as at the most professional level of science. Its objective is to contain solids or liquids and then carry out activities related to experiments such as chemical reactions, tests or the preservation of the contained substance.

In general terms, the test tube is a container, with the appropriate characteristics to carry out chemical reactions, either by combining chemical elements or by inducing heat directly into the test tube, although it is also useful for collecting samples and culturing. of certain materials such as bacteria and plants, which with its transparent surface offers a complete view of its interior.

What is the Test Tube for?

This tool basically serves to contain substances, usually liquid, that can be dangerous for the integrity of the person or that must also remain free of any contamination that we can transmit on contact, to be able to handle, transport and mix it more easily.

Thanks to the design, the test tube is easy to handle , so transporting these substances that will be taken to tests and experiments is extremely safe, taking into account the length of the instrument requires a considerable inclination to be able to accidentally dump the contents, while that the shape taken by the mouth of the tube facilitates its transfer to other containers.

In addition to containing the substances, the test tube serves to subject the contents to high temperatures. In these cases, to manipulate the instrument, commonly wooden tweezers are required, to avoid contact with the tube that will be at high temperatures.

How does the Test Tube work?

This laboratory material works just like a container, because it is used to introduce materials both for their preservation and to submit them to experiments, facilitating the transport and transfer of the content.

It also works to subject substances to high levels of heat, without the need for another container as it is designed to withstand heat and expansion. For these types of activities it is necessary to use tweezers, to be able to manipulate the test tube without problems or contingencies.

With these two functions, basic at first glance, the test tube is used in the vast majority of tests and experiments , since the transport of substances is a constant in laboratory work, which is why this material facilitates the task in big measure.

Test Tube Uses

This tool, due to its dimensions, represents one of the simplest laboratory materials to use, since it will generally be used to be a container for materials. Its use is based on containing liquids or solids, so it could be considered as a container, and as such, we only have to introduce the material into the tube or also make mixtures in it, in search of generating a reaction.

The test tube usually comes with a rack, which is where the instrument is kept serving as a support, or also where we will collect the samples or mixtures with which we work.

When working with temperature changes, it is essential to handle the tube with wooden tweezers to avoid contact with heat. Something important to add is that the tube, no matter how resistant it is to heat, violent changes in temperature, whether from heat to cold or cold to heat, can generate fractures or even the complete breakage of the tube.

When using any measuring instrument, it is important to take precautions, to know properly how it should be used and in this way to obtain the best results in the measurements of your investigations.

Test Tube Types

In this case, we do not have different test tubes, although there are variants designed with test tube characteristics such as the Erlenmeyer flask, volumetric flask, beakers, among others, but they are not really test tubes. On the other hand we have a feature that separates the test tubes.

  • Plastic test tube

These test tubes are made with a material called thermoplastic, so that it can withstand the chemical attack that arises from the mixtures that are prepared in the instrument. They are the most economical type of test tube but they have a disadvantage that limits their use within the laboratory, since they are disposable, that is, for single use.

  • Glass test tube

This instrument is made with borosilicate glass, capable of withstanding the high temperatures that are required in many of the experiments and activities for which it was designed and, in turn, is resistant to expansion for optimum performance in the laboratory.

This material offers test tubes a long useful life and good performance , even so this will depend directly on the use that is given, since although it withstands high temperatures, it does not withstand violent changes in temperature.

This is the only classification that we can present of the test tube, since it has no other variable. These two types of test tube are ideal for activities in school laboratories, as they offer materials for professional use and also resistant materials for a more academic use for a first contact with a laboratory instrument.

Test Tube Characteristics

This laboratory instrument was designed to have all the ideal qualities for the scientific field , focusing on its use to generate chemical reactions, strong temperature changes due to knowing the changes of the material with which it is experimented, or the transport and manipulation of substances harmful or must remain free from germs and human contact.

  • Design

At first glance we can see that it is a tube with a single opening, located at the top and a rounded base, resembling the shape of the letter ” U ”, generally measuring about 10 mm or 20 mm wide and a length between 45 cm and 15 cm. These qualities   help to reduce the propagation of vapors that may exist in chemical reactions, increased temperature or evaporation of the material itself.

At the same time, the mouth of the tube has a slight flare, whose function is to facilitate the transfer of liquid substances without presenting unintentional spills.

  • Material

The test tube, being the container used for chemical reactions, needs to be made of a material that supports these types of tasks that present abrasive chemicals and in turn is resistant to expansion since it can also be heated to high temperatures by chemicals or an external heat source.

For these reasons, the main material with which the test tubes are manufactured is borosilicate glass, which meets all the aforementioned requirements. On the other hand, we can also find plastic material test tubes, such as plastic thermos, but these have the disadvantage of being single-use.

Its design was thought to be an ideal tool for scientists and teachers, it is compact and easy to handle, which helps the performance of experiments, and due to the resistance of its material, we can be sure that its use will be easy and profitable.

Test Tube Importance

The importance of this laboratory material is found in its characteristics and in the function it fulfills in the experimental area of ​​science. Due to the fact that it is used to contain substances and mix chemical components for the purpose of a reaction or to expose it to heat to obtain a change, it is extremely important, also taking into account the perfectly compactness of the instrument.

With the size of the instrument we can easily transport substances without having direct contact with it, and in case of exposure to heat, with tweezers according to the size of the test tube we can continue to manipulate it without exposing ourselves to direct contact.

It can be said that the importance of the test tube is to allow the easy handling of abrasive or sterile substances, to later expose them to changes in temperature in order to obtain a result or to mix it with another material to obtain a reaction. Thus, it is an instrument that represents in many aspects what is done daily in a laboratory.

This laboratory material is a representative icon of science, for its practical use it is used in scientific and academic laboratories, being essential in the inventory of any science practitioner , giving it a very high place among the main instruments of a laboratory.

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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