Spatulas and brushes are tools used to handle substances in the laboratory or clean equipment. They are also very common in other fields of use, such as cooking, construction and restoration. There are numerous models, varying in shape, size and material, depending on their use.
Spatulas are tools for scraping substances or handling powders and pasty materials. They consist of a short rod or stick, fitted at one end with an enlarged, non-cutting blade. This varies for each spatula model depending on its application. We can mention a few models:
Paddle spatula. The end of this spatula model is characterised by a flat, square shape. It can be used to scrape material from a surface. There are variants of this model with a double paddle, and others with a slightly rounded paddle. This feature allows it to pick up small amounts of pasty or powdery material.
The spatula with spoon is used to scrape the material off a surface.
Spatula with spoon. The small spoon at the end of the shaft allows more stable scooping of material. There are also models that combine a spoon and scoop at both ends.
Like many pieces of laboratory equipment, spatulas also have to meet certain requirements with regard to their material. They are used in contact with acids, boiling water and high temperatures. For this reason, they must be made of a material that is resistant to such conditions. The most common material for spatulas is stainless steel. However, polystyrene models also exist. Some spatula models have a knurled or plastic-coated handle for better grip.
Sexolas are instruments with a shape similar to that of spoons. They are also used for transferring powders. However, the larger size of the spoon allows a large amount of material to be transferred. The scoops are generally made of stainless steel, but there are also polypropylene models.
brushes are mainly used for cleaning laboratory glassware, especially tubes, beakers and containers. They consist of rods made of woven metal wires, fitted with a brush at one end. The rod can be made of various metals, such as aluminium, bronze, beryllium and copper, while the brush is made of nylon, synthetic material or bristle.
The toothbrush has different shapes, depending on its use. For example, it can end in a tuft or fan shape. Some models are jointed to be able to clean the inside of a flask through the mouth at its upper end, while other brushes are smaller in size to clean narrower burettes.
The brush is also available in a variety of sizes.