Metalware

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Metalware or metal ware is the name used for all lab items or tools made of metal or metallic alloys, that are not used as reagents, but rather as tools or lab equipment. Electronic or complex (read: multiple individual components) mechanical-powered equipment are excluded from this category.

General

Metal ware items are commonly made of corrosion resistant metals or alloys, such as stainless steel, nickel, titanium, platinum, gold, iridium, etc. Plain steel items are also used, but due to its moderate chemical resistance they are more commonly used in areas where corrosion isn't that much of a problem or in consumable products. Brass and copper vessels are sometimes used in distilling ethanol from fermented fruits.

Basic metalware

Aspirator pump

Similar to the glass and plastic type, they are used in vacuum filtration. Generally made of stainless steel or brass.

Cork borer

Metal tool for cutting a circular hole in a cork or rubber stopper, to insert glass tubing.

Crucible

Metal crucible, made of nickel, titanium are commonly used to calcinate organic compounds and melt materials with relative low melting point. Crucibles made of refractory metals, such as tantalum, tungsten, iridium are commonly used in single-crystal growth techniques.

Dipper

Useful when retrieving items or wastes from a hot solution. May not be useful for corrosive solutions.

Forceps

Handheld, scissors-like tools used to grab and hold various items. They are commonly made of hardened stainless steel.

Funnel support

Similar to test tube racks, they have an opening which allows you to place the funnel from sideways, similar to open ring supports

Grid stand

Similar in function to retort stands, grid stands are useful when needing many screw clamps for complex installations.

Hoffman clip

Used to close the flow of liquid through a tube, it is similar in construction to a screw clamp.

Hypodermic needle

Come in various sizes, in both diameter and length. While most types of needle have their base made of plastic, all-metal needles also exist. Long or very long needles are commonly used in air-sensitive methods, to transfer air-sensitive or even pyrophoric chemicals from their storage bottles to the reaction flask. Syringe needles are almost always made of stainless steel.

Inoculation loop

A tool consisting of a wire with a loop at one end, used mainly by microbiologists to retrieve an inoculum from a culture of microorganisms. The wire is made of platinum, titanium or nichrome.

Inoculation needle

Commonly used in the field of microbiology to transfer and inoculate living microorganisms, as well as biological cultures.

Kettle clamp

Used for holding glass reaction vessels.

Lab tongs

Used for grabbing and holding beakers, flasks and crucibles. The appear like scissors, but its grabbers are rounded or bent for holding said vessels.

Mohr clip

Also known as pinch clamps, they squeeze the tube by default and to release it, you will have to press against the two heads releases the hose, which allows the fluid to flow through the tube.

Mortar and pestle

Although metal mortar and pestles are uncommon, such items are sometimes used in pharmacies and in kitchen to grind very soft materials. Stainless steel is commonly used as construction material. Such items are easy to scratch, which makes them unsuitable when grinding anything that has abrasive particles like sand. Full metal mortars are also very heavy.

Pinch clamp

Spherical joint pinch clamp are commonly used in holding the rotary evaporator collecting flask, as well as holding the filtration tube and fritted glass disk from filtration units.

Retort stand

Retort stands consist of a heavy metal base and a sole metal rod placed vertically, most often welded to the base. They are commonly used as stands for holding clamps and bossheads. The heavy base can be either a flat piece of metal or a tripod.

Scalpel

Used to cut soft materials.

Scoopula

Spatula-like scoop utensil used primarily in chemistry lab settings to transfer solids in lab.

Spatula

Spatula is a stainless steel spoon-like item, consisting of a rod with one end cup-shaped, while the other end it generally flattened, though some spatulas come with both ends either flat or rounded. They are the most common and important lab metal item, widely used to transfer reagents from one bottle to a weighting scale or in a reaction vessel. Metal spatulas are incompatible with a variety of solid reagents, such as metal halides (wet or hydrated) or iodine, and if used in a flame, they should not be heated to the point of red-hot.

Sterilizing can

A type of metal can used for sterilizing medical and biological equipment. Sterilization is done in an autoclave.

Syringe

All-metal syringe are commonly used in medicine and by vets.

Test tube brush

Used to clean test tubes and other tubular glassware.

Test tube holder

Similar in appearance to pinch tweezers, test tube holders are commonly used for holding test tubes when heating them.

Test tube rack

Test tube racks consist of one or two metal plates where circular holes are cut inside for the test tubes.

Tray

Useful to carry various fragile or heavy objects around. It's advised not to carry corrosive reagents, like acids or halogens with it.

Tripod

A three-legged platform, made of carbon steel, stainless steel or aluminium, used to support or hold flasks, beakers or sometimes funnels during experiments. Often is used to hold a wire gauze in order to allow beakers and flasks to be placed on top of it, while a Bunsen or Teclu burner can be placed underneath to heat them up.

Tweezers

Used to grab small objects.

Wire gauze

A wire gauze is a wire mesh-like fabric with a ceramic or asbestos fabric woven in its middle.

Advanced metalware

Bosshead

Also known as clamp holders, they are used to hold various metal rods and extension clamps, like iron rings or other utility clamps. Generally made of stainless steel, brass, aluminium or zinc.

Burette clamp

Used for holding burettes. They generally have rubber knobs for holding the burette without scratching it. Often made of aluminium, but cast iron is also sometimes used.

Fisher burette clamp is a common model, due to it's simple construction and use.

Dewar

Used for storing cryogenic fluids.

Electrode

Metal electrodes, made from zinc, copper, iron, nickel, tungsten, lead, titanium, either plated with platinum, rhodium, other noble metal or metal oxide are commonly used in electrochemistry.

Iron ring

Iron rings are used for holding funnels or (rarer and not recommended) flasks. Some models have a built-in screw clamp, while others do not but can be inserted in a screw clamp.

Some iron rings are open, which allow you to place the funnel on it without dripping potentially corrosive reagent on the metal ring.

Jack

A useful lifting device, which can be used to hold various flasks or installation at a desired height.

Screw clamp

Used to hold various reaction vessels, like the lid of an autoclave. G-type clamps are the most common.

Bossheads are a special type of screw clamps.

Sieves

Metal sieves, like plain steel or stainless steel sieves are commonly used to sieve powders.

Thermometer clamp

A special type of screw clamp, it is commonly used for holding thermometers.

Utility clamp

Used in labs to hold flasks, more often glass joint flasks. It's composed of 3 parts: 2 or 4-prong adjust, metal rod, and a screwed clamp. Extension clamps lack the screwed clamp, and need a bosshead. Also referred to as

Tools

Anvil

A vital tool for any metalworking.

Box cutter

Used for cutting boxes, paper, thin wood and plastic.

File

Used to grind hard materials, they are useful when making powders, though the resulting particles will have a large size.

Glass cutter

Used for cutting glass plates, though with enough skill can be used to cut other types of glass items.

Glass tube cutters are a pipe cutter-like cutting tools, which is designed for cutting glass tubes, like test tubes and more.

Hammer

Useful for beating stuff.

Heat gun

A very useful and versatile tool when it comes to heating and drying items and materials. It is also a handy device when it comes to desoldering electronics.

Ice pick

A good tool when trying to break apart hardened reagents inside bottles.

Micrometer

Useful for measuring very thin objects, it is more sensitive and precise than a Vernier caliper.

Pincers

Useful for pulling nails when doing woodwork.

Pipe cutter

Useful for cutting pipes and other tubular materials, like batteries.

Pliers

A very useful tool, which should not be missing from your toolbox. Lineman's pliers is a must. So are tongue-and-groove pliers.

Scissors

Hand-operated shearing tools, commonly used for cutting paper, tubings, parafilm, or plastic items.

Screwdriver

While not very often used in lab, it is a very important tool that should not be missing from anyone's inventory. Can be useful for breaking and removing hardened solids.

Vernier caliper

Useful to measure various small items.

Vise

Useful for holding various objects in a tight grip.

Wire brush

Good for removing thick rust from corroded steel items.

Other

Beakers, flasks and others

Basic glassware items, such as beakers, flasks, dishes, funnels, Buchner funnels, bowls, storage bottles, jugs, are also available in metal form, almost always made of stainless steel, or rarer titanium. They are often used when working with alkali.

Buckets

Metal buckets don't have much use in lab work, but can be filled with water and used to quench hot bodies or hold sand as extinguishing powder.

Hose clip

Useful when closing tubing.

Handling and storage

Metal items should be kept away from volatile corrosive reagents, as they are susceptible to rusting and corrosion.

They should also be kept in a different place from glassware, plasticware, ceramic and wood items, as there is a risk of damaging the former items if improperly handled. A tool cupboard is a good storage place, as is a tool rack.

When washing them, make sure you do not use acids, so avoid putting them in the acid bath after holding them in a base bath. Aluminium, brass, bronze, copper, steel and zinc items are incompatible with both washing bases, and organic solvents like acetone, alcohol (ethanol, isopropanol) or esters (methyl formate, methyl acetate, ethyl acetate) should be used instead to clean them.

References

Relevant Sciencemadness threads