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The Correct Way to Insert Glass Tubing or a Thermometer into a Stopper
Jul 28, 2023
Cuts occur most often when thermometers or pieces of glass tubing are forced into rubber stoppers. Prevent cuts by using the correct technique for this procedure. The hole should be lubricated with glycerol or water to facilitate the movement of the glass tubing. The glass should not be gripped directly with the hands, but rather by means of cloth towels. The towels will protect your hands if the glass should break. Use a gentle twisting motion to move the tube smoothly into the stopper. Avoid cuts from other sources by discarding chipped and cracked glassware according to your teacher’s instructions. If you should receive a minor cut, allow it to bleed for a short time. Wash the injured area under cold running water, and notify your teacher. Serious cuts and deep puncture wounds require immediate medical help. Notify your teacher immediately. While waiting for assistance, control the bleeding by applying pressure with the fingertips or by firmly pressing with a clean towel or sterile gauze.
Related Article: Cut to the Bone: A Dozen Tips for Working Safely with Laboratory Glassware
In many experimental procedures, you are required to insert a thermometer or a length of glass tubing into a hole in a rubber stopper. It is essential that you know the correct way to do this. Otherwise, serious injury may result.
CAUTION: The end of the glass tubing should be fire-polished or smoothed with emery cloth before being inserted into a rubber stopper. Do not try to bend the glass tubing—it will break. Ensure that the palm of the hand holding the rubber stopper is not in line with the emerging glass tube.
Cutting and Fire Polishing
Bending Glass Tubing
CAUTION: Hot and cold glass look alike.
Thanks to Zvi Blank for contributing to this tip.Cuts from GlassRelated Article: Cut to the Bone: A Dozen Tips for Working Safely with Laboratory GlasswareInserting Glass TubingCAUTIONGlassworkingCutting and Fire Polishing CAUTIONCAUTIONCAUTIONCAUTIONBending Glass TubingCAUTION