Sunday, September 25News Written in the Stars

Preserving glassware : alchemy

Good day everyone, Looking for some quick input.

Background: Recently just had my 2nd piece of glassware crack and break during a steam distillation of an herb. There was a brief emergency and left the still unattended for less than 10 minutes, I forgot to put back my clamp on my boiling flask neck after adding a bit more water & water/plant matter spilled over into my hot plate, carbonized, and caused the base of my boiling flask to crack. Obviously I was careless and this led to my flask cracking.

I am building a small copper wire base to place inbetween the base of my hot plate and my boiling flask. My thinking is that if anything similar were to happen again the plant matter and water will drip to the bottom of the hot plate & the copper, likely displacing the extra heat evenly throughout the apparatus instead of burning directly in one spot causing a temperature difference too stressful for the glass .

Question(s): Am I correct in thinking this will help reduce the likelihood of cracking my flask?

If not what is the most effective way to prevent this from happening in the case of an emergency?

Besides Triple checking my setup before leaving it temporarily unattended are there any other strategies or pieces of equipment I could be using to reduce this likelihood?

Besides this, I read someone recommending creating an aluminum shield around the base of the hot plate/the neck, to reduce likely hood that debris could reach the hot plate/base of my flasks. Would this maybe work?

Cheers, thank you

Ptah