An ordinary lab heating mantle often has a white fabric coating for the flask compartment, which looks like an inorganic fiber:

enter image description here

Image source

I'm pretty sure that for some time in the past asbestos was used for that; these days I think it's some kind of woven fiberglass (assuming the heating element produces elevated temperatures up to about $\pu{400^\circ C}$), but I'm having hard times finding an exact chemical composition.

Also, what kind of chemicals can react with this coating? I guess something like molten $\ce{NaOH}$ and the melts of alkali metals can cause some damage, but I'm not sure.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Those older ones are often made of woven fibreglass, traditionally with aspestos behind, or nowadays usually some sort of ceramic. More modern isomantles use an aluminium mesh instead of the fabric, again,with a ceramic insulator behind. $\endgroup$ – NotEvans. Jul 30 '17 at 7:47
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @NotEvans - Good answer - how about reposting your comment as the answer? $\endgroup$ – iad22agp Jul 31 '17 at 14:05

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.