Hot Plates

Hot plates are portable self-contained low-cost tabletop appliances featuring one, two or more electrical elements or gas burners. They are various sizes and can reach temperatures of up to seven hundred and fifty degrees centigrade. They can be made from aluminium, ceramic or enamel. The aluminium type heats rapidly and distributes it very well. It is easy to clean but corrosive materials might erode the surface. Ceramic and enamel hot plates have excellent chemical and temperature resistance. There are two methods of working with hot plates. The first is to suspend the glassware so there is no direct contact with the heat source and the second is to use a teepee setup surrounding the flask with a 'skirt' of tinfoil where hot air collects. Heated chucks are porous heated plates with a film placed on the plate with a vacuum. Corrosion-resistant types are used to heat toxic chemicals. The Batt fusion device is used to bond plastic pipes on two adjacent plates. Some have magnetic stirrers which automatically agitate the mixture. Hot plates are predominantly in student laboratories as baths can be hazardous. However they can be used in professional laboratories to heat water or to observe the differences between solid, liquid or gas.

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