Volumetric Flask

Volumetric flask, everything you need to know about - Expert Guide

A volumetric flask is a kind of laboratory glassware. It is used to maintain and measure accurate amounts of liquid. It has the shape of a Florence flask, but has a flatter bottom. A volumetric flask has a high, narrow neck with a stopper that can be used to close the opening at the top.

There is a line on the neck to show how much the flask should be filled. Volumetric flasks are made in many sizes, from a few milliliters to liters. They are often used to make liquid solutions. The neck is narrow to make more accurate measurements when making a solution.

📋 Index of contents
  1. Volumetric Flask Definition:
  2. Uses of volumetric flask:
  3. How to recognize a flask
  4. How to use a flask
  5. Volumetric flask capacity
  6. Volumetric Flask Sizes:
  7. Volumetric flasks features
  8. Types of volumetric flasks
  9. Importance of correctly filling a volumetric flask
  10. Volumetric flask precautions
  11. Volumetric flasks Applications
  12. Volumetric Flask vs Beaker:
  13. Volumetric Flask Function:
  14. Volumetric Flask Error:
  15. Volumetric Flask Accuracy:
  16. Volumetric Flask Material:
  17. Volumetric Flask Markings:
  18. Volumetric flask calibration:
  19. FAQ
  20. When was the volumetric flask invented?
  21. Volumetric Flask Manufacturers

Volumetric Flask Definition:

  1. Accurate Volume Measurement: Volumetric flasks are known for their high precision in measuring a specific volume of liquid. They come in various sizes, with capacities ranging from milliliters to liters, but each flask is designed to contain a precise volume at a specified temperature, usually 20°C.
  2. Single-Volume Measurement: Unlike graduated cylinders or beakers, which may have graduated markings for various volumes, a volumetric flask is designed for a single specific volume. It typically has a long, narrow neck with a marking etched into the neck or a label indicating the exact volume it can hold.
  3. Dilution and Mixing: Volumetric flasks are commonly used in analytical chemistry for preparing precise solutions through dilution. Scientists can add a specific amount of a solute (e.g., a solid chemical or concentrated liquid) to the flask, then fill it with a solvent (e.g., water) up to the calibrated mark, ensuring that the resulting solution has a known concentration.
  4. Reducing Error: By using a volumetric flask for dilutions, scientists can minimize measurement errors, as the flask's design and calibration allow for accurate volume control. This helps ensure that experiments and analyses are conducted with a high degree of precision.
  5. Quality Control: Volumetric flasks are essential tools in quality control processes in various industries, such as pharmaceuticals, food and beverage, and environmental testing. They are used to prepare standard solutions with known concentrations, which are then used for calibration and testing purposes.
  6. Avoiding Contamination: The narrow neck of a volumetric flask minimizes the risk of contamination from external sources and evaporation, which can be crucial when dealing with sensitive or reactive substances.

Uses of volumetric flask:

Volumetric flasks are commonly used in chemistry laboratories to measure and mix precise amounts of liquids. They are particularly useful in preparing solutions, titrations, and dilutions. These flasks come in different sizes and have a narrow neck that allows for accurate measurement of the liquid. Their primary use is to contain a specific volume of liquid, usually to a high degree of accuracy.

How to recognize a flask

A volumetric flask is characterized by a bulb and a long neck. Most volumetric flasks have flattened bottoms so that they can be placed on a laboratory bench or other surface, although some volumetric flasks have rounded bottoms and must be handled with special protective equipment.

How to use a flask

To prepare a solution in a volumetric flask, follow these steps:

  1. Measure and add the solute for the solution.
  2. Add enough solvent to dilute the solute.
  3. Continue adding solvent until it approaches the marked line on the volumetric flask.
  4. Use a pipette or dropper to fill the volumetric flask, using the meniscus of the solution and the line on the flask to determine its endpoint.
  5. Seal the volumetric flask and invert it to mix the solution well.

Volumetric flask

Volumetric flask capacity

The capacity of a volumetric flask refers to the maximum volume of liquid that it can hold. Volumetric flasks come in various sizes and capacities, ranging from small to large. The capacity of a volumetric flask is usually marked on its body, allowing the user to accurately measure and mix a specific volume of liquid.

The volumetric flask, available in sizes ranging from 1 mL to 2 L, is designed to hold a specific volume of liquid, usually with a tolerance of a few hundredths of a milliliter, about 0.1% of the capacity of the flask. The flask has a calibration line engraved on the narrow part of its neck. It is filled with liquid, so the lower part of the meniscus is on this engraved line. The calibration line is specific to a given flask; a set of flasks built to hold the same volume will have lines in different positions.

Volumetric Flask Sizes:

Volumetric flasks come in different sizes to accommodate various liquid volumes. The most common sizes are 10 mL, 25 mL, 50 mL, 100 mL, 250 mL, 500 mL, and 1000 mL. The size of the volumetric flask used depends on the volume of the liquid being measured or mixed.

Volumetric flasks features

Volumetric flask

This laboratory tool is constituted by an upper part. Comprised by a narrow mouth through which liquid or solid substances are introduced, extracted for dilution. A frosted, rubber, cork, plastic plug can be inserted into such a mouth.

It serves to close the container, shake it, ensuring the preservation of the solution, avoid spills of the mixture. It has an elongated, thin neck with a capacity mark (graduated horizontal line), which is how far it should be filled, to obtain accurate measurements.

In the central part, it is rounded in shape, pear-shaped contains the solution. At its base, it is flat which allows it to stand on its own. It has scale with defined capacity. Its elongated neck is for the purpose of stirring the solution.  They are calibrated for measuring volumes of mixtures.

They can be made of glass or plastic, have a scale indicating the volume of the substance. They are easy to identify due to their shape. In their constitution they have information about the capacity, the unit of measurement, the type of glass, the manufacturer's brand.

  1. Material: Made of glass or plastic (polypropylene or polymethylpentene)
  2. Shape: Cylindrical with a flat bottom
  3. Volume Mark: Clearly marked on the neck to indicate the desired volume of solution
  4. Accuracy: Calibrated to a high degree of accuracy to ensure accurate solution preparation
  5. Capacity: Available in a range of volumes, typically from 1 milliliter to 1000 milliliters.
  6. Mouth: Usually has a narrow neck with a ground glass stopper or screw cap for closure.
  7. Label: May have a label indicating the manufacturer, material, and volume capacity.

Types of volumetric flasks

  1. Volume capacity: Available in a range of volumes, from 1 milliliter to 1000 milliliters or more.
  2. Material: Glass or plastic (polypropylene or polymethylpentene)
  3. Shape: Standard cylindrical or specialized shapes for specific applications
  4. Type of closure: Ground glass stopper, screw cap, or other types
  5. Graduation style: Single scale or dual scale (indicating both metric and imperial units)
  6. Accuracy: Class A or Class B, with Class A being the highest level of accuracy
  7. Application: General purpose or specialized, such as for volatile or toxic solutions.

Importance of correctly filling a volumetric flask

When performing a measurement with laboratory instruments, two types of errors can be incurred, errors due to excess and errors due to default unfailingly. Errors in measurements can be minimized by increasing the appreciation of the measuring instruments.

In the laboratory, as a rule, excess measurements are carried out to ensure that there is a sufficient amount of sample for the experiment. The correct technique to trace a liquid, with the exception of liquid mercury, is to match the meniscus valley of the liquid with the capacity line (excess measurement). and never the ridges of the meniscus of the liquid with the capacity line. (default measurement.

Volumetric flask precautions

  • The pipette should never "hold" on the bulb.
  • The pipette should "never" be used to extract strong acid or base.
  • We must never blow the last drop attached to the pipette nozzle.
  • The conical flask must not be rinsed with the solution to be filled.
  • The base must be taken in the conical flask and the acid in the burette (for titrations).
  • The volumetric flask should "never" be used to measure solutions.

Volumetric flasks Applications

  1. Analytical Chemistry: Preparation of standard solutions for titrations and other analytical procedures.
  2. Biochemistry: Preparation of buffer solutions and other reagents used in biochemical experiments.
  3. Pharmaceuticals: Used to prepare and dispense medication and other solutions in a controlled manner.
  4. Environmental Testing: Used to prepare samples for analysis in fields such as air, water, and soil testing.
  5. Education: Used as a teaching tool in chemistry and biology classrooms to demonstrate solution preparation and measurement.
  6. Quality control: Used in industrial settings to ensure the accuracy of the volume of liquids used in production processes.

Volumetric flasks are valued for their precise volume markings, ease of use, and versatility, making them an essential tool in many laboratory settings.

Volumetric Flask vs Beaker:

While beakers and volumetric flasks may look similar, they serve different purposes in the laboratory. Volumetric flasks are designed to measure a precise volume of liquid, while beakers are used for mixing and heating liquids. Volumetric flasks are more accurate than beakers and have a narrower neck, which makes them ideal for measurements. Beakers, on the other hand, are better suited for mixing and stirring, as their wide mouth allows for easy pouring and handling of liquids.

Volumetric Flask Function:

The function of a volumetric flask is to accurately measure a specific volume of liquid. The narrow neck of the flask allows for precise measurements, making it an essential tool in the laboratory. Volumetric flasks are particularly useful when preparing solutions that require specific concentrations. They are also commonly used in titrations and dilutions.

Volumetric Flask Error:

Like any measuring instrument, volumetric flasks have the potential for error. The accuracy of a volumetric flask can be affected by a number of factors, including temperature, pressure, and the presence of impurities in the liquid being measured. To minimize error, it is important to calibrate volumetric flasks regularly and use them at the recommended temperature and pressure conditions.

Volumetric Flask Accuracy:

Volumetric flasks are known for their high degree of accuracy when measuring liquid volumes. However, the accuracy of a volumetric flask can be affected by a number of factors, including temperature, pressure, and the presence of impurities in the liquid being measured. It is important to calibrate volumetric flasks regularly and use them at the recommended temperature and pressure conditions to ensure accurate measurements.

Volumetric Flask Material:

Volumetric flasks are usually made of glass, which is an ideal material for laboratory use. Glass is transparent, allowing the user to see the liquid being measured, and it is resistant to most chemicals. Some volumetric flasks are made of plastic, but these are less commonly used as they are less durable and less accurate than glass flasks.

Volumetric Flask Markings:

The markings on a volumetric flask indicate the volume of liquid that the flask can hold. These markings are usually etched or engraved onto the glass surface of the flask, ensuring accuracy and durability. The markings may be indicated in milliliters (ml) or cubic centimeters (cc), and the graduations are typically evenly spaced.

To accurately measure the volume of a liquid using a volumetric flask, it is important to fill the flask to the exact mark indicated on the flask. The meniscus of the liquid should be precisely at the line. If the liquid level is above or below the mark, it will affect the accuracy of the measurement.

Some volumetric flasks may also have additional markings or inscriptions, such as the manufacturer's logo, serial number, or the type of glass used. These markings can be useful for tracking and identifying the flask. It is important to properly clean and handle volumetric flasks to maintain their accuracy and durability. Regular calibration is also necessary to ensure consistent and reliable results.

Volumetric flask calibration:

Volumetric flask calibration is an important process that ensures the accuracy of the flask's volume measurements. Calibration involves comparing the actual volume of the liquid held by the flask to the volume indicated by the markings on the flask. Any discrepancies between the two volumes can be corrected by adjusting the markings on the flask or by noting the correction factor for future measurements. Calibration should be performed regularly, especially if the flask is frequently used or if it has been dropped or damaged. Proper calibration ensures that the volumetric flask is reliable and accurate, making it an essential tool in chemistry labs, pharmaceutical companies, and other industries that require precise measurements of liquids.


  1. What is a volumetric flask? A volumetric flask is a type of glassware used in laboratory settings for precise measurement of a liquid's volume.
  2. What are the types of volumetric flasks? The most common types of volumetric flasks are Class A and Class B. Class A flasks are more accurate and precise, and are used for critical measurements. Class B flasks are less precise, and are used for general purpose measurements.
  3. How accurate are volumetric flasks? The accuracy of a volumetric flask depends on its class, with Class A flasks being more accurate than Class B flasks. Class A flasks have an accuracy of +/- 0.05 ml at their nominal volume, while Class B flasks have an accuracy of +/- 0.1 ml at their nominal volume.
  4. What is the difference between a volumetric flask and a graduated cylinder? The main difference between a volumetric flask and a graduated cylinder is the accuracy of the measurement. Volumetric flasks are designed for highly accurate measurements of a specific volume, while graduated cylinders are used for general purpose measurements and may have less accuracy.
  5. How do you use a volumetric flask? To use a volumetric flask, add a small amount of liquid to the flask, swirl it around to coat the interior, and then fill the flask with the liquid up to the mark on the neck of the flask. The volume of the liquid should be exactly at the mark on the flask.
  6. How do you clean a volumetric flask? To clean a volumetric flask, rinse it out with water immediately after use to prevent any residue from drying and sticking to the walls of the flask. If necessary, use a brush to clean the inside of the flask. Do not use any abrasive materials that could scratch the surface of the glass.
  7. How do you calibrate a volumetric flask? Volumetric flasks are usually calibrated at the factory, but they can be recalibrated if necessary. To calibrate a volumetric flask, fill it with water to the mark, then weigh the water and calculate the volume based on its density. Compare the calculated volume to the nominal volume of the flask to determine its accuracy.

When was the volumetric flask invented?

When was the volumetric flask invented? Pyrex has its origins in the early 1910s, when the American glass company Corning Glass Works began looking for new products to present its borosilicate glass, Nonex. At the suggestion of Bessie Littleton, the wife of a Corning scientist, the company began researching Nonex for baking. After removing the lead from Nonex to make the glass safe for cooking, they called the new formula “Pyrex” – “Py” for the cake plate, the first Pyrex product. In 1916 Pyrex found another market in the laboratory. It quickly became a favorite brand in the scientific community for its resistance to chemicals, thermal shock and mechanical stress. This object is part of a collection donated by Barbara Keppel, wife of C. Robert Keppel. Robert Keppel taught at the University of Nebraska-Omaha after receiving his B.S. in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, and his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from M.I.T. The glassware in the Keppel collection spans the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Volumetric Flask Manufacturers

  1. Kimble Chase: https://www.kimble-chase.com
  2. Ace Glass: https://www.aceglass.com
  3. VWR International: https://us.vwr.com
  4. Wilmad-LabGlass: https://www.wilmad-labglass.com
  5. DWK Life Sciences: https://www.dwklife.com
  6. Cole-Parmer: https://www.coleparmer.com
  7. Thomas Scientific: https://www.thomassci.com


  1. https://www.sigmaaldrich.com
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org
  3. https://www.azom.com

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Jose Hullgren (Laboratory Analist)

Hello to all readers, my name is Jose Hullgren, it is a pleasure to present you this website of my authorship, I am currently working as a laboratory analyst and for the last 10 years I have been working in the pharmaceutical industry. The main idea of this page is to provide relevant information in the field of the pharmaceutical industry above all. We also cover different areas of chemistry and sciences in general that we find interesting. Perfil Linkedin

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