When you first think of laboratory equipment you may get visions of wild haired mad scientists handling steaming potions or perhaps putting together another Frankenstein. However, laboratory equipment is also used in various types of industrial environments as it is used during road construction to make sure that the roadway is strong enough to handle the compressive forces of cars driving on them.
Geotechnical assessments are often done before the design of a roadway project even starts. These tests are important as the strength of the existing soils factor in to the design process of a new roadway. The soil can affect things such as pavement design and tests need to take place to determine if any unsatisfactory soils have to replaced with more stable materials.
Some common types of laboratory equipment that are used for testing soils include a drying oven, a sieve and a shaker. Drying ovens are used to remove the moisture from the soil before testing it. Sieves are used to separate the soil by the size of its particles and shakers are designed to agitate the sieves during the separation process. Another item of laboratory equipment that is often used in testing soils is called a triaxial testing machine. This device is ideal for testing the strength of the soil as a soil sample is put into a rubber cylinder with specific drainage constraints and then a vertical load is applied until the specimen fails.
Other types of laboratory equipment usually refer to the varied apparatus that is used by scientists, chemists and physicists to carry out scientific research and study. This type of laboratory equipment is widely used in the research laboratories of industry sectors like foods, refineries, biotechnologies, cosmetics, water, and agriculture, etc.
Common laboratory equipment includes things such as: fume hoods, spectrophotometers, centrifuges, Bunsen burners, microscopes, and calorimeters, etc.
- Fume hoods are used reduce the dangers of toxic fume inhalation in a laboratory.
- Spectrophotometers are made to deliver precise measurements of the optical absorption of liquids.
- Centrifuges are used to remove solid particles from liquids.
- Safety glasses, goggles, gloves and aprons and other accident prevention equipment is standard practice in most laboratories.
- Glass and plastic lab ware includes items such as: petri dishes, beakers, bottles, flasks, funnels, jars, tubes and stoppers, etc.
The equipment requirements of a laboratory basically depend upon its purpose, for example whether it is required for general experiments or for specific scientific study.