Watch Glasses – A watch glass is a circular concave piece of glass used in chemistry as a surface to evaporate a liquid, to hold solids while being weighed, for heating a small amount of substance and as a cover for a beaker.
Types of watch glasses
- Glass watch glasses – This can be reused after it is sterilized in an autoclave or a laboratory oven. The glasses made provide high resistance to thermal shock, chemical resistance and withstand mechanical durability.
- Plastic watch glasses – These are disposable watch-glass used in laboratory work to avoid any cross-contamination while preparing the samples. They are very good at implementing in low-temperatures and have an operating span of −57 to 135 °C it can also resist UV light degradation. These plastic watch glasses are less expensive and light in weight
Uses of watch glasses
- One of the generic uses of a watch glass as mentioned previously includes as a lid for beakers. In this case a watch glass is placed above the container, which makes it easier to control and alter vapour saturation conditions.
- A watch glass is often used to house solids being weighed on the scale. Prior to weighing desired amount of solid, a watch glass is placed on the scale, followed by taring or zeroing the scale so that only the weight of the sample substance is obtained.
- Watch glass can also be used for drying solids. When further drying is required, a watch glass is often used in cases where a particular type of solid needs to be separated from its comparatively volatile solvent. The solid is spread on a watch glass and, often time, a folded filter paper is placed above to keep out airborne particles from contaminating the product.
- To maximize the drying rate, a watch glass can be placed inside a fume hood to provide good air circulation for an adequate amount of time. Another technique used in chemistry laboratories to increase the drying rate is passing a gentle stream of dry air or nitrogen gas over the watch glass from an inverted funnel clamped above it.