Thiele’s tube

November 1, 2021

Thiele’s tube is an instrument whose appearance closely resembles a test tube , differentiated by having a kind of handle that remains part of the tube (not something external). However, its function is different from that of the test tube, as it is used to determine the melting point and can be found easily in laboratories.

What is the Thiele Tube?

The Thiele Tube is the instrument used to determine the melting point , but what does this mean? The melting point is the point at which an element changes from a solid to a liquid state, this point is found by applying heat and it is there where the particular anatomy of the Thiele tube becomes present.

The tube may have a part that looks like a handle, but this is actually the least suitable place to hold it, since that is where the heat is applied. Prior to the application of heat, there must be an oil in the tube and due to the shape of the tube, this, when heated, will proceed to circulate through it in a uniform way.

What is a Thiele Tube for?

If the function of the Thiele tube is to determine the melting point, this then serves to change an element from solid to liquid state. This procedure many times even occurs naturally as you can see when ice in water or room temperature melts.

The Thiele tube itself serves to heat a glycerin or oil bath and by this action determine the melting point. The tube also contains a capillary tube and a thermometer, in the capillary tube goes the sample and the thermometer is to measure the temperature and thus determine the melting point.

How does the Thiele Tube work?

Thiele’s tube must contain oil or glycerin, because it requires a liquid with a high melting point . Then the capillary is introduced with the sample inside and the thermometer next to it. An important point is not to let the capillary tube or the thermometer touch the wall of the Thiele tube during the test, it must be submerged without coming into contact.

The last step is to heat the liquid by applying fire to the side arm of the tube. The Thiele tube is also used to determine the boiling point, this is when the liquid becomes gaseous, that is, when it begins to boil and the temperature point at which it boils is taken as the boiling point.

The shape of the Thiele tube makes the oil circulate and the temperature is kept uniform by the convection currents that occur. These currents carry heat and to carry out the process properly the temperature must increase slowly and progressively.

Uses of Thiele Tube

Uses of the Thiele tube are limited to the laboratory. It is a very specific instrument with a clearly defined purpose. For an element to reach its melting point, it is not enough to subject it to heat, said temperature must always be constant and that is where the particular design of the Thiele tube intervenes.

Among the fields in which the Thiele tube is most used are organic and inorganic chemistry, as well as the biotechnology sector that uses it to analyze the properties of the elements it uses.

It is even used to determine the purity of materials, the higher the melting point the material, the purer it is considered. In fact this is also used to classify compounds.

The determination of the melting point of various materials has served for technological development, one of the most notable cases is in metallurgy. Where the melting point of metals is a crucial knowledge to be able to use the various metals in use for the manufacture of different tools.

Types of Thiele Tubes

Thiele’s tube comes, so to speak, in its only presentation. The size can vary but beyond that there are no different types. What there are are modern devices that perform their function, that is, they determine the melting point. These are automated and provide great precision in the analysis of the samples.

Thiele Tube Features

The Thiele tube is made of glass and comes in different sizes, although a standard stocking is 150 mm long and has a volume of 40 ml. Apart from the tube, it brings with it a lid with two holes where the capillary tube and the thermometer are inserted. Another instrument that is associated with the use of the Thiele tube is the bunsen burner, since it is the one used to heat it.

The Thiele tube remains unchanged since its creation in 1917 by Johannes Thiele, the German chemist who gives the instrument its name. So they are all basically the same, so you will have no problem recognizing it when you need it.

Importance of the Thiele Tube

The Thiele tube is a crucial instrument in laboratory use. Finding the melting point of materials is necessary to be able to work with them. Either because it seeks to change its state to a liquid one to maneuver with it or to prevent this from happening.

Within the classification of organic compounds, the determination of the melting point is equally important and these classifications are essential for the use of the compounds.

Currently there are advanced equipment that measures the melting point of the elements automatically so why continue to use the Thiele tube? Mainly for its ease of use and its accessibility . The educational sector in fact employs the use of it for these reasons and many keep them in their laboratories for it.

Each instrument is necessary and its application marks the development of various procedures that have meant advances in the fields of different sciences.

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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