Glass Reactors and Glass Flasks – Usage and Process

The entire world of glass and its multitude of usage is so big that it is quite easy to get confused with how everything works, especially for a layman. Think about reading in detail on one particular aspect of the glass industry or glass in general, and another one pops along to make you wonder in awe and amp up your intrigue levels.

Those intrigue levels add to the excitement and the confusion levels build because we simply do not have a clear thought about what to expect from glass and its multifaceted uses. Today is another one of those days as we take a dive into the world of glass reactors and glass flasks, their usage and a bit of information on what goes on with their manufacturing and making.

Glass Reactors

Essentially, The Glass Reactor is a generic term for a type of vessel widely used in the process industries. It is used for a variety of process operations such as dissolution of solids, product mixing, chemical reactions, batch distillation, crystallization, extraction and polymerization.

A typical glass reactor consists of a glass vessel with an agitator and integral heating/cooling system.  The  borosilicate glass vessels come with sizes from 50ml up to 200L.  Liquids or solids are fed via connections at the  top cover of the reactor. Vapors are discharged through  the  connections at the top and the wastes are usually discharged out from the bottom.The advantages of the glass reactor lie with its versatility and visibility. The application of glass reactors is another intriguing aspect as what they do is sort of magic.

High temperature reaction(the max temperature can reach 300℃),low temperature reaction(the min temperature can reach -80℃),Vacuum for negative pressure reaction,Solvent synthesis at constant temperature,distillation and reflux reaction,vacuum distillation reaction,extraction separation reaction,purified reaction,concentration reaction,stirring reaction etc.users can adjust the temperature and pressure to adopt to different experimental environment according to different operation conditions and requirement.

The glass reactors can be fused or normal but fused glass reactors come with a certain level of disadvantage. Fused Jacketed Glass Reactors are at a huge disadvantage in case of damage to the system due to mechanical impact that is not repairable and have to be discarded. This is not the case with jacketed glass reactors. The flexibility at the end of jacketed glass reactors makes it a more durable option for a lot of the companies and makes it a more valuable option.

Glass Flask

When we talk about glass flasks, they are usually referred to as laboratory flasks and fall under the category of glassware used as laboratory equipment. On a personal side of things, these glass flasks were a big enemy back in school during those chemistry practicals. But unlike my case, glass flasks are actually extremely useful and for a multiple number of reasons. In laboratory and other scientific settings, they are usually referred to simply as flasks.

Flasks come in a number of shapes and a wide range of sizes, but a common distinguishing aspect in their shapes is a wider vessel “body” and one (or sometimes more) narrower tubular sections at the top called necks which have an opening at the top. Laboratory flask sizes are specified by the volume they can hold, typically in metric units such as milliliters. Over the years however, a cheaper source of competition has arrived in the form of plastic flasks, but glass flasks have managed to hold on to their dominant place in the market.

What makes flasks such a widely used glassware product in the field of science is their wide variety of differentiation. There are reaction flasks, multiple neck flasks, distillation flasks, round-bottom flasks, cassia flasks and so many others that show the wide manufacturing range of the glass industry.

These are two of those products from the glass industry whose usage rate is very high and they will be in demand for as long as science progresses at the rapid rate it has been over the years. Multiple usages, different styles and ways in which they get incorporated in labs and businesses make glass reactors and glass flasks among the most widely recognized glassware products today.