What is the difference between flask & beakers?

While both of these science equipment look similar, they are quite different when it comes to their uses. First, let’s begin with the main and the most common difference that is the appearance: A beaker has a wide and open mouth along with a lip to pour liquid whereas the flask has a neck that is different from the size of its body. It’s smaller in size. Both of these elements are used in science labs but have different purposes. Now, let’s look at the major differences between flask and beakers :

A) Flasks: These equipment are known for their distinctive shapes. Except for the conical flask, they are mostly round in shape with a cylindrical neck. These tools are used to hold, measure, and heat substances in science labs. They are made with a thick layer of glass which is ideal since glass is a bad conductor of heat. Hence, the risk of the glassware getting damaged is eliminated. Their long neck helps in keeping the substance safe from spilling out during the chemical reaction process.

These are the most common flask types :

1) Volumetric flasks: These types of flasks are crucial if you’re carrying out an experiment that requires a lot of measurements. It helps you mark and observe the exact volume of substances, and create a solution of a specific concentration.

2) Round-bottomed flasks: As the name suggests, this flask has a round bottom to store substances. They are made to spread out the heat during chemical reactions. These flasks have a ground glass joint so that other apparatus can be connected. 

3) Florence flasks: These are similar to round bottom flasks but have a lip and a flat bottom. While different types of flask have a minimal neck, Florence flasks have slightly longer necks to avoid the falling of substances. 


B) Beakers: Now coming to another type of equipment, beakers are used to take one chemical from one spot to another in a science lab. The prime difference between lab beakers and flasks is that beakers have a straight surface and borders rather than curved ones like those of flasks. Both of this equipment are made with glass and are the essentials of laboratories. Beakers also come with a marking over them to spot the level of liquid inside them. 

The most common types of beakers are: Low form beakers, also known as griffin are typically 1.4 times higher than their width. Tall form beakers, commonly known as Berzelius that are almost 2 times higher than their width. Another one is Electrolytic beakers. As the name suggests it allows the passage of electrical current from one substance to another. Flat beakers are uniform in shape and have more area to store substance and are ideal to heat and boil substances. 

Also Read: Measuring Cylinders vs Beakers: Pros & Cons of common lab glassware

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