A Sand Bath is one of the oldest known pieces of laboratory equipment. It was used in Latin and Arabic alchemy.
A Sand Bath consists of a container filled with heated sand. Nowadays, a hot plate is also used as a base and a steel container is filled with sand and fitted on top. A vessel / vessels are filled with the substance to be heated and placed on top of the heated sand.
Clean, dry silica sand should be used.
- The main advantage of using a sand bath is that the sand conducts the heat evenly and gradually to all sides of the vessel
- Vessels such as glass flasks have less risk of cracking through dramatic temperature changes
- Another advantage is that less stirring is needed, as the heat is indirect
- It is often a safer way of heating substances in the lab – if a substance boils over, it will boil onto the sand which you can dispose of
- A Sand Bath is easy to clean afterwards, as you just need to dispose of the sand
- You can also use a layer of aluminium foil between the bottom of the vessel and the sand, to keep the vessel clean
- Can tolerate temperatures up to 400°C
If you are interested in purchasing a Sand Bath for a laboratory, view product: Sand Thermostatic Baths
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