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16.12 Glass Under Vacuum

Reduced pressure

Some general guidelines for glass under vacuum include:

  • Inspect glassware that will be used for reduced pressure to make sure there are no defects such as chips or cracks that may compromise its integrity. 
  • Only glassware that is approved for low pressure should be used. Never use a flat bottom flask (unless it is a heavy walled filter flask) or other thin walled flask that are not appropriate to handle low pressure. 
  • Use a shield between the user and any glass under vacuum or wrap the glass with tape to contain any glass in the event of an implosion.

Vacuum pumps

  • Cold traps should be used to prevent pump oil from being contaminated which can create a hazardous waste. 
  • Pump exhaust should be vented into a hood when possible. 
  • Ensure all belts and other moving parts are properly guarded
  • Whenever working on or servicing vacuum pumps, be sure to follow appropriate lock-out procedures.