Platinum dishes have become an essential tool in many scientific laboratories due to their unique properties. But why are they so special and what sets them apart from other lab equipment? Let’s delve into the world of platinum dishes for the laboratory.
What are Platinum Dishes?
Platinum dishes, also known as crucibles, are small containers used to heat, melt or produce chemical reactions at high temperatures. They are typically made of platinum, a highly non-reactive, durable, and heat-resistant metal. Platinum dishes are most commonly used in analytical laboratories for gravimetric analysis, where precision and accuracy are of utmost importance.
The Unique Properties of Platinum
So, what makes platinum the ideal choice for these dishes? Platinum is a noble metal, meaning it is highly resistant to corrosion and oxidation in moist air, unlike most other metals. This makes it ideal for use in a laboratory setting, where the dishes are often subjected to harsh chemicals and high temperatures.
Platinum also has a high melting point (1,768.3 degrees Celsius), making it perfect for use in high-temperature experiments. It’s also dense, making it a sturdy and reliable choice. Moreover, platinum is chemically inert, meaning it won’t interfere with the chemical reactions taking place within it.
Why Choose Platinum Dishes for the Laboratory?
The choice of platinum dishes over other types of crucibles, such as those made from porcelain or nickel, comes down to a few key factors. Firstly, the high heat resistance of platinum allows it to withstand the intense temperatures often required in laboratory experiments.
Secondly, the non-reactive nature of platinum means it won’t contaminate the substances being analysed or reacted within it. This is crucial in a laboratory setting, where the purity of results is paramount.
Finally, platinum dishes are incredibly durable. They can be used repeatedly without losing their shape or integrity, making them a cost-effective choice in the long run.
The Downsides to Platinum Dishes
Despite their many benefits, there are a few downsides to using platinum dishes in the laboratory. The most significant is their cost. Platinum is a precious metal and is therefore considerably more expensive than other materials.
However, when you consider the longevity and reliability of platinum dishes, along with their resistance to heat and chemicals, many labs find the cost to be a worthwhile investment.
In conclusion, platinum dishes are a valuable tool in any laboratory setting. Their unique properties make them ideal for a wide range of applications, particularly in analytical laboratories where accuracy and precision are crucial. While the cost may be higher than other options, the benefits of platinum dishes often outweigh the initial investment, making them a staple in many labs around the world.