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Fritted glass is finely porous glass through which gas or liquid may pass. It is made by sintering together glass particles into a solid but porous body.
Fritted glass is often disc-shaped, and consists of microscopic glass particles carefully sintered together to have porosity of various sizes.
Porous metal frits are the metal equivalent of fritted glass. They can sometimes be found in drying columns and in various industrial applications.
Glassware with fritted glass
- Büchner funnel (and Hirsch funnel)
- Chromatography column
- Gas dispersion tube
- Schlenk frit
- Other common glassware items that may have fritted glass: gas inlet adapter, gas washing bottle, bongs, etc.
Fritted glass is notorious for being hard to clean. If a base bath is used, the fritted glass should not be left in it for more than a day, as the base will begin to dissolve the glass bonding between the fritted glass particles. A strong oxidizing solution, like chromic acid, aqua regia, or in extreme cases piranha solution can be used to remove even the most persistent stains. They are one of the few reagents that can destroy graphite, which is known to be a nightmare to remove.
Fritted glass with fine pores is frangible, and can be damaged it scratched with a hard object. Always use plastic when scraping off the precipitate from the frit, and only use metal as last resort, especially since metal will also scratch on the glass particles.