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Tips to Build Efficient Science Laboratory in Schools

  There are a few things in school that compare with a science lab. A well-designed lab adequately stocked with school laboratory supplies can provide just the learning environment to allow students to explore science safely. Best of all, it can open the doors of science to students and help them understand difficult concepts in a way reading about those concepts can never accomplish. Here are the essentials that make a good lab.

Location

A school science lab has to be located in a space that gets adequate natural light. Natural light is key to many different science experiments and can help achieve more accurate results than using artificial lights. The location should also be central to most school traffic. Additionally, a school lab should have outside access directly not only for quick evacuation should there be a chemical or fire hazard, but also to allow first responders instant access.

Safety Focused

Young scientists will handle a number of chemicals and substances that can be deadly or at least make people very sick if the environment is not tightly controlled. That means it has to be well ventilated with constant flow of fresh air. It also means that safety equipment, such as fire extinguishers are located near school lab supplies and exits are clearly marked.

Well Equipped

A superb school lab will have enough school laboratory equipment and supplies to allow every student the opportunity to complete a laboratory assignment. That means it will also have excess supplies for breakable objects or equipment and substances that routinely will get used up. If the school’s science personnel is savvy, they can probably work out an agreement with the school laboratory suppliers to get equipment repaired or maintained in a timely manner and sufficient supplies so that they never run out.  

Layout

Much like location, the layout of a school lab can ensure the safety of participants. Making sure exits are clearly marked and unobstructed as well as easy to get to is key. So is making sure that safety equipment is easily accessible as teenagers frequently will choose expediency over safety. A lab with good flow will reduce and even eliminate the possibility that chemicals will be spilled because of obstruction or tight spaces. It also will allow for moving experiments without running the risk of a spill or fall. When it comes to learning about science, a school lab is a powerful learning environment. It must have adequate school laboratory supplies, be focused on safety, and have a good layout to be effective. Now that you’ve read about tips on building an efficient science lab, visit Hi Valley Chemical to help you equip your lab with school laboratory supplies.

An Overview of Laboratory Tubes

Working in a laboratory setting requires you to have one of the most useful glassware of all, which is the test tube. Laboratory supplies companies produce a lot of these finger-like glasswares or tubing for various reasons. They are open at the top and closed at the bottom to primarily hold an amount of liquid or solid inside for storing, heating, mixing, and observing. Here are some fascinating ideas you should know about the test tubes.

Used for Storing and Heating

People use test tubes to contain various substances in general chemistry. They resist heat and corrosion because they are made with borosilicate. This material is highly expansion-resistant, and thus, makes the test tubes a suitable receptacle for substances that you want to heat. You can do this by holding it using tongs over an alcohol lamp or a Bunsen burner. You can also use them to store bioscience cultures and samples. Laboratory chemical suppliers can provide you with tubes that come with rubber stoppers for this purpose.

Used in Experiments That Capture Gas

With the help of a rubber stopper with a hole in the center, you can insert a glass or plastic tube for capturing gas and vapor in electrolysis experiments. For example, you can use test tubes to produce small distilled samples of a substance or to isolate solid parts from liquid and gas.

Different Shapes and Sizes

Test tubes also come in different sizes. The diameter and the length of the glass tube vary, along with the type of lid that you need for a project. There are also types that have flared lids to allow you to pour substances while minimizing wastage. If you’re a lab scientist, you might want to invest in test tubes that have similar lengths (150-200mm) for convenience and to make them all fit in a rack uniformly.  

Centrifugation

A laboratory equipment supplier can also provide you with test tubes that you can use to separate particles from a solution using a centrifuge. These tubes specifically fit the type of centrifuge that you have in the lab and are used in various kinds of laboratories as well.

Lab Culture

Scientists also use test tubes to culture tissues, bacteria, living organisms like plants (as in cloning), fungus, and more. People typically use test tubes horizontally to maximize the surface for this type of purpose. These tubes are usually made of PP (polypropylene) plastic or high-grade borosilicate material so that they can undergo pasteurization and sterilization procedures without a hitch.

Hold Samples of Physiological Fluids

Vacutainers or small glass tubes with color-coded caps are used to hold physiological fluid samples. Each glass is designed to collect and contain a specific type of additive to ensure the integrity of the sample. Some laboratory glassware supplies may also end up as pieces of arts and crafts projects. People use test tubes in many ways, and these are only some of the interesting uses for them.

Acetone: All You Should Know

  Acetone is a solvent, meaning that it’s a liquid used to dissolve other substances. This colorless liquid is actually completely natural. The body’s metabolic system creates acetone, which can break down other chemicals. It’s frequently used in the production of plastics. Many people associate acetone with cleaning products and nail polish remover, but these products usually only contain a small amount of acetone because it’s such a strong solvent. It can also be used in the textile industry, such as in the production of wool products. Acetone is even used to make lacquer paints for the automotive and furniture industries. While it’s highly flammable, the Environmental Protection Agency deems it overall safe for human use and contact. So where do companies that use acetone find it? This widely useful and affordable chemical can be purchased in bulk through laboratory and chemical supply companies. Consider Hi Valley Chemical for all of your industrial chemical needs, including acetone and other useful substances. A small, family owned operation, we are committed to providing high-quality, excellent chemicals for several uses. As a small business, we love to help other small businesses achieve their goals, and that’s why we prioritize strong customer service. Contact Hi Valley Chemical or visit our website to learn more about the chemicals and other products we offer. Because you can shop online, we can ship our products straight to you. See for yourself why so many businesses rely on us for their chemical needs, and why they keep coming back to us.

How Chemical Regulations Impact the Innovation of Industries

  Chemical manufacturing companies in America are some of the most regulated in the world. Because of that, there is a debate the rages over the cost and benefit of those regulations. While opinions certainly vary depending on one’s point of view, regulations in the chemical industry are generally viewed as beneficial and in some cases, critical to innovation. The question is more one of balance – at what point does a creativity-inspiring regulation cross the line into over-bearing and restrictive.

The Need for Regulations

Regardless of whether regulation help or hurt innovation in chemical manufacturing, one aspect of the debate is not contested: Regulations, in general, are good and needed. In the days when regulations were scarce or benign, inadvertent polluting of the air, ground and water was routine and clean up only deemed necessary when the incident necessitating cleanup was acute. The result was significant poisoning of waterways, poor air quality and ground “brown zones” that created the need for costly remediation and greater regulation. The potential for accidents was acute. Train derailments, chemical spills, fires in chemical manufacturing facilities, deviation from the intended use of chemicals, all contributed to high profile and routine incidents that prompted calls for greater government oversight of chemical manufacturers. This spawned the debate of regulatory throttling of innovation versus safeguarding public safety.

Federal and State Intervention

These incidents of pollution, whether specific to an occurrence or the result of an ongoing process of manufacturing, prompted state capitals and Congress to act. The result was legislation like the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and a slew of laws governing the transportation of chemicals and environmental safeguarding and remediation. As might be expected, pushback based on concerns over stifling innovation and even basic processing was almost immediate.  

A Slow Consensus

That pushback, however, became tempered as it became obvious that while common sense had to govern regulatory implementation, regulations on the industry was not only necessary but could be very beneficial. Chemical manufacturers had to create new ways of production and transportation that placed an emphasis on safety and effectiveness as opposed to just effectiveness.

The Results

While some still maintain regulations on chemical supply companies, most in the chemical industry will at least concede that innovation was a direct result of those new rules. For example, innovation in the chemical composition of pesticides has yielded effective pest control, with vastly reduced dangers to customer-users. Improvements in research and development because of regulations has led to safer testing methods and better delivery-to-market options. At the retail level, more reliable storage and consumer warnings / instructions have reduced incidents of end-user accidents. In essence, regulations governing chemical manufacturing companies, transportation of chemicals, retail procedures and end user exposure and use forced the industry to innovate and create environmentally safer products. What do you think? Contact Hi Valley Chemical to learn more.

Finding the Best Chemical Supplier for Your Business

Pick from the Bunch

When you’re searching for chemical suppliers, you may find that there are tons out there to chose from. So, sometimes the options might seem a little overwhelming. You can find chemical supplies online that assist both individuals and businesses. However, finding the right chemical supplies store does not need to be difficult. Consider the following factors to help you find the right chemical supplier for you.

Think Green

When you search for chemical suppliers near me, you may find that there are some environmentally friendly chemical suppliers. These suppliers want to provide you with green chemicals to clients such as you. As a part of their production, these suppliers might rely on sustainable feedstock. Most of these suppliers will also be using fossil fuels less and less. Generally, they’ll be using more hydrocarbons in their chemicals.

Out with the Bad

Besides finding chemicals that are good for the earth, green chemical suppliers try to find replacements for otherwise harmful chemicals. However, finding these chemicals can be expensive. So, whenever you buy from a green chemical supplier, you’re inadvertently helping fund their research. Your purchases help them get rid of bad chemicals.

Options Galore

Other chemical suppliers have more resources than other suppliers. With this prowess, they can offer more options for your business. They can be a great option for you if you’re looking for someone who can offer you various options down the line. If you’re looking for one chemical supplier to meet all of your needs, you may want to ask them about what they offer.  

Backup Supplies

If you can, you probably want to find a chemical supplier who offers you more chemicals than you actually need. This is especially important if you’re looking to increase the size of your business down the line as you may need more chemicals later on. You want to find someone who can supply you with more chemicals as your demand for them increases.

What You Pay

When you’re looking at a potential chemical supplier, you want to make sure to check what the costs will be. Keep in mind that when it comes to the actual quality of pure chemicals, the quality never changes. Thankfully, as long as the operational costs are similar, prices for pure chemicals don’t usually fluctuate that much. So, the prices should be rather steady.

Shipping Is Another Cost

Compared to other things you might have shipped, chemicals tend to cost more cash. This is because chemicals tend to be hard to ship safely. Moreover, every chemical is different. The price for each chemical tends to vary from chemical to chemical. On another note, distance can be another factor that can increase cost. Perhaps you should consider finding a chemical supplier that’s close by.

Knows Your Industry

Besides simply finding someone who wants to for the earth and offers chemicals at a decent price, you may also want to look for chemical suppliers who know your industry. Whether you’re new to the industry or trying a new chemical, you probably want to ask someone who knows what they’re doing. Call us at Hi Valley Chemical today! We can help you figure out what chemicals you’ll need.

Guide to Purchasing Chemicals for School

  Depending on your location, getting chemicals quickly may be your biggest problem. It’s not like you can go down to the grocery store and pick up bottles of glucose, acetic acid, or sodium bicarbonate… Actually, you can get all those things and more if you know the common names: corn syrup, white vinegar, and baking soda respectively. Even if you can’t find the right chemical locally, you can order it online and often get it within a couple of days. Drug stores and hardware stores also carry common chemicals used in science experiments at school. Other chemicals that can be found relatively easily include magnesium sulfate (epsom salt), acetone (nail polish remover), and calcium sulfate (plaster of Paris). (more…)

Selecting the Appropriate Labware Detergent

The Right Labware Detergent

When you’re running a chemical laboratory, the last thing you want to be chronically worried about is whether or not your labware detergent is doing its job. Dirty glassware can cause chemical interactions you don’t anticipate or intend, and it can interfere with the manufacturing of chemically-based products. Choosing appropriate detergents for the labware you choose to use is a decision you probably only want to have to make once. Although it’s a less than glamorous process, the decision is an important one that can have negative consequences if it’s not approached the right way.

Type of Residue

When choosing a labware cleaner, you must first consider what type of residue you’ll be removing. For instance, if you’re working to remove fingerprints, dust, or light greases, you can choose to use a cleaner with a neutral pH. If you need to remove soap residue, a mildly acidic product may be better. You also need to consider the actual material with which your labware is made. A neutral solution may work for glass, ceramic, and plastic labware, while an acidic solution might be better for some types of metal.  

Rinsing

Remember that if you’re looking for a truly clean, uncontaminated final result, deionized water is the way to go during the rinsing process. While tap water is usually fine for the cleaning step, your final rinsing process should take place with water that has been divested of nearly all mineral ions. When you use deionized water, you can expect to eliminate spotting as a problem. It’s frustrating to send labware through the cleaning and rinsing process only to end up with spots. If you miss spotting, the result can be more than just a frustration if you end up with an unintended chemical reaction during your subsequent production process. So, make deionized water a regular part of your cleaning process, and you’ll save yourself a some trouble in the future.

Disposal Etiquette

If you’re disposing of your cleaning solution in a public system, you should make sure the substances you’re using are biodegradable and made to be emptied into a sewer system. Some cleaning substances require neutralization with some type of acid or lye. You should also make sure to clear your distribution of cleaning substances into a sewer system with local water and sewer authorities. Cities and counties often have varying regulations regarding what they will allow to be released into a sewer system because this water will eventually end up in a municipal or county wastewater treatment facility and must be treatable by that facility’s standards. So, before locating laboratory supplies distributors and contracting to purchase large amounts of cleaning solutions, make sure to know what your labware is made of and what the material will tolerate. Also, make sure you know what the substances you need to remove from your labware will react best to.

How to Find Best Distributor for Laboratory Supplies

  When looking for the best school laboratory equipment, you’ll need to develop a good working relationship with an experienced lab supplier and distributor. Knowing what you’re looking for in a distributor can help facilitate a positive partnership with that supplier to make sure your lab is always properly stocked with the best equipment for your needs.

Positive Ratings

In the digital age, you can find out a lot of information by looking online and reading reviews. Whether you need lab supplies, chemicals, or lab services, you may be able to find a company that has a great local reputation and outstanding reviews. This is also a great way to find lab supplies being sold in stores near you. You may not always have time to wait for products to be shipped to you, so having a local company that can provide the equipment and products you need may be a good fit for you.

Highly Recommended

When you need a lab equipment supplier, one of the first things you will probably do is ask your colleagues and network for recommendations. Word of mouth is the most effective method of marketing, and when you’re looking for any vendor or supplier, such as a lab distributor, the best first step is to ask around.  

One-Stop Shop Option

When you’re looking for a particular material or product, you don’t want to chase it all over the country. There are many suppliers that provide a one-stop shop option that provide the products you need and can find products through other global partners as needed. You can also benefit from having experienced and knowledgeable professionals on hand to answer questions and make recommendations.

Global Reach

There may be some tools, equipment, or technology you need that may simply not be available in the local area with any local suppliers. In this case, it’s important to work with a distributor that has partnerships with suppliers all over the world. This particular competitive advantage can be extremely important for you to ensure you have a complete inventory of lab equipment. Running a lab and staying on top of all the equipment and inventory you have on hand can feel intimidating at first, but partnering with the right distributors and suppliers can make it so much easier. Having the right school laboratory equipment is essential to both having a complete lab and providing the best experience to lab users. Working with a reputable distributor is equally critical. The above traits and characteristics will help you spot the right company to partner with when you need one.

Key Facts to Know about Chemical Blending

The Blending Process

When you’re manufacturing chemicals, the blending process could potentially save you time and money. You should be familiar with this component of the manufacturing timeline so as to maximize the benefits it can bring you. The following is what blending consists of and the tweaks that could help you along the way.

Combinations

You might be wondering what exactly takes place in the chemical blending process. In short, chemical blending involves combining two or more liquids so they’re seamlessly mixed as the manufacturing process moves forward. This process does not involve a chemical reaction, but rather a simple, smooth combination.

The Products

Blending can result in several products:
  1. Emulsions: the process by which drops of one type of liquid are dispersed into another type of liquid. In this instance, the drops are not soluble in the second solution. In other words, they cannot be dissolved in the solution into which they’ve been deposited. The process of emulsification can be used in a variety of products ranging from industrial-use liquid to food. Such products might include paint, mayonnaise, or skin cream.
  2. High-shear-mixed components: the process by which a mixing machine a liquid, gas, or solid into a liquid. The main liquid into which the first substance is being inserted is immiscible for the first substance. In other words, it will allow the first substance to be completely dissolved within it.
  3. Surfactants: these are compounds that serve to reduce surface tension that exists between two originating compounds. These compounds can be a liquid and gas, a pair of liquids or a solid and a liquid. Detergents are a popular type of surfactant. They’re a lot like soap, but they’re consistently more soluble in water, resulting in a more effective cleaning process most times.
 

Understanding Blending

So, whether you’re on the manufacturing end of things or you’re a supplier contracting with chemical manufacturing companies, it’s important to understand the blending process. When you understand the nature of the compounds with which you’re dealing, you can make tweaks in the process that will allow for better, quicker blending and quite possibly a superior product in the end. Better products and a faster turnaround time from start to finish make for more satisfied customers, no matter the nature of the product. It could be an art glue that will end up on students’ desks in a public school or a laundry detergent that a busy mom of five will buy from the shelves of her neighborhood grocery store. Either way, the customers (in these instances, they would be the public schools and the grocery store chain) will return time and time again if the product is consistently satisfactory for its intended purposes and the blending process allows the manufacturing time to remain reasonable.

Dichloromethane: All You Need to Know

  Dichloromethane, a colorless organic solvent, is immiscible but volatile. It’s slightly sweet-smelling and its scent is often said to be similar to chloroform. Also known as DCM or methylene chloride, it’s an essential solvent used by chemists in manufacturing as well as food lab settings and is sold through chemical supply companies.

History of DCM

Dichloromethane is not a recent discovery. It was first prepared in 1839 by a French chemist Henri Victor Regnault, who was able to isolate DCM from a mixture of chloromethane and chlorine that had been left in the sunlight. Its high volatility was widely used for industrial purposes during World War II. Between 1960 and 1980, chemical manufacturers increased production from 93,000 metric tons to 570,000 metric tons.

Uses

Methylene Chloride is a powerful solvent, and for that reason, a decaffeination-grade version is used in the extraction of heat-sensitive substances such as fats, butter, caffeine, and hops in food products.  It’s often used in paint, varnish, coating-removal products, insecticides, and bathtub refinishing. But it also has a variety of other uses in the medical industry, for pharmaceutical applications and in manufacturing. In the pharmaceutical industry, Dichloromethane is often used in blending manufacturing, where solids are mixed with solids, or bulk solids are mixed with a small amount of liquid to produce tablets.

Grades of Methylene Chlorides

Chemical suppliers can provide different grades of methylene chloride to fit the task. DCM is available in several grades due to its variety of uses across different industries:
  • Technical-grade DCM is widely used in the electronics industry for the production of printed circuit boards.
  • Aerosol-grade is used as a solvent, a flammability suppressant, and viscosity thinner.
  • Vapour degreasing grade is often used for degreasing temperature-sensitive parts.
  • Special-grade DCM replaces fluorocarbons in the production of polyurethane foams in the furniture and bedding industry.
  • Urethane-grade solvents provide a maximum water level of .05 wt.%.
  • Food and pharmaceutical-grade, including decaffeination grade, has a higher DCM purity and is used as an extractant and purification agent for food and pharmaceuticals.
 

Health Risks and Exposure to DCM

Dichloromethane is an organic solvent and does not occur naturally in the environment. But because of its high volatility, it evaporates easily and can be inhaled, which is one of the most common forms of exposure. Exposure can be intensified due to DCM’s stability, meaning it stays in the air for long periods of time before dissipation, and that can be fatal. DCM can also cause carbon monoxide poisoning, neurotoxicity, memory impairment, decreased motor activity, and a loss of consciousness if inhaled. Additionally, DCM has been linked with cancers in workers who were continually exposed to Dichloromethane through their occupations. However, human studies have been limited and inconclusive. For more information on available grades of DCM, along with safety data sheets on solvents and other chemicals, contact chemical supply companies.

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