Safety guide for heating blocks released

Monday, 05 December, 2016

Safety guide for heating blocks released

Lab equipment supplier Asynt has announced an updated version of its best practice guide developed to enable laboratory personnel to more safely use heating block systems. The guide states that heating blocks provide a safe, convenient and productive tool for heating round-bottomed flasks, tubes and vials — so long as they’re used properly.

Used in combination with a standard hotplate stirrer, heating blocks are said to provide superior heat-conducting properties compared to oil baths. They also pose a lower fire risk and their use makes the clean-up of glassware far easier, as there is no residual oil contamination on the outside of the reaction vessel. However, solid aluminium heating blocks can reach temperatures of over 250°C, so care needs to be taken not to touch the units, or inserts, at any time unless you are positive that they are cool — bearing in mind that the equipment could remain hot for as long as half an hour.

Written in conjunction with the Department of Chemistry at the University of St Andrews and US company Advanced Chemical Safety, the illustrated safety guide leads you through best practices for glassware inspection, setting up your reaction, heating your reaction and the post-reaction cool-down phase. It is available to view at

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