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Measuring Cylinder
AKA: Graduated Cylinder

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Fig 1: Range of plastic cylinders
Fig 1
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Glass or plasticware used to measure specific volumes of liquid.


Measuring cylinders are sometimes referred to as graduated cylinders, grads or graduates but all mean the same piece of familiar lab equipment.

Cylinders can be made of glass or plastic, have generally a large flat base to ensure stability and a lip at the top to allow easy pouring out of liquids. Generally the larger the cylinder, the more likely it being made from plastic.

Cylinders come in a large array of sizes ranging from 10ml to several litres. Graduations are usually in ml or cm³, with both being equal measurements.

The larger cylinders are prone to being broken. The older plastic varieties do not generally have a lot of ‘give’ to them meaning a small drop may be enough to crack them. Some smaller glass varieties have plastic collars to prevent damage to the lip if accidentally knocked over.


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