What Is the Function of a Clay Triangle?

••• keepphotos/iStock/GettyImages

A clay triangle is a piece of laboratory equipment used in the process of heating substances. It is used in conjunction with other lab equipment to create a stable framework in which to place a substance -- usually a solid chemical -- while it is heated to a high temperature.

Definitions

A clay triangle is a wire and ceramic triangle used to support a crucible while it is heated over a Bunsen burner. A crucible is a ceramic vessel with a lid that is used to heat solid chemical substances to high temperatures to dry them completely or to induce a reaction without solution.

Description

A clay triangle consists of three lengths of galvanized wire arranged in a triangle shape. The ends of the wires are twisted together, forming three straight wire stems projecting outward from each corner of the triangle. Each side of the wire triangle is covered with a ceramic sleeve, which is capable of withstanding very high temperatures over direct flame from a Bunsen burner.

Use

To use a clay triangle, clamp an iron ring to a ring stand. This creates a framework to hold your apparatus above a Bunsen burner. Place the clay triangle on the iron ring and situate the Bunsen burner underneath it. Put the crucible on the clay triangle. Now you are ready to heat the crucible.

Significance

The clay triangle serves a similar purpose to a gauze mat, which is used to support a beaker or flask rather than a crucible. Use of clay triangles has decreased in modern laboratories because some scientists now use electric hotplates instead of Bunsen burners. Crucibles, flasks and beakers can be heated directly on a hotplate.

Related Articles

Bunsen Burner Experiments
How to Solve Equations on Isosceles Triangles
How to Heat Treat Steel
How to Make Your Own Styrofoam Formula
Science Projects Using Borax
How to Use a 30-60-90 Drafting Triangle
How to Make a Sodium Silicate Solution
How to Test a Thermistor
Weathering Process of Granite
How to Prepare Silver Oxide From Silver Nitrate
How to Make a Homemade Hygrometer
How to Make a Saltwater Battery for a Science Project
How to Clean Drusy Quartz
How to Use a Protractor to Measure a Triangle
How to Clean Crucibles
How to Calculate Conductance
How to Build an Aluminum Smelter
School Project: How to Make a Volcano That Blows Ash
How to Clean a Herkimer Diamond
What Is Inconel?