Selecting a Graduated Cylinder on Amazon.com
A graduated cylinder is a cylindrical vessel with a flat, wide base for stability and graduations that are printed, etched, or molded on the sides for determining the volume of liquid samples. Capacity typically ranges from 10 to 2,000mL. Most cylinders are marked in milliliters (mL) and the graduation intervals may be 1 milliliter, or tenths or hundredths of a milliliter. They generally have a single scale, though there are double-scale models for reading from the bottom up and the top down. A graduated cylinder is used for general measuring applications where the accuracy of a pipette, volumetric flask, or burette is not needed.
There are three styles of graduated cylinder: beaded lip with a pour spout, standard taper neck for accepting a stopper, and beaded lip with a pour spout and reinforcing band near the top. Many cylinders are marked with the designation TD or TC. TD stands for "to deliver", which means that the volume within can be accurately transferred to another container because the cylinder is calibrated to compensate for the small amount of liquid that remains behind after pouring. TC stands for "to contain", which means that the cylinder gives a measure of the volume contained but is not calibrated to deliver that volume. A specialized type is the low-form graduated cylinder, which is larger in diameter and shorter than a standard graduated cylinder of the same capacity to improve stability and allow use in compact spaces. Though the cylindrical shape is the most common, a conical graduate has a cone shape for improved measurement accuracy.
A graduated cylinder may be made of glass or plastic. In general, glass provides clarity and strength, and borosilicate glass in particular withstands temperature changes to resist cracking. Some glass cylinders include a plastic bumper guard, or may be fitted with one, to help absorb shock if the cylinder is bumped. Plastic cylinders, usually polypropylene or polymethylpentene, resist chemicals and impacts. Some cylinders are autoclavable for sterilization.
Certain graduated cylinders are manufactured to meet specific industry standards, such as ASTM Class A and Class B construction and accuracy specifications. A Class A graduated cylinder meets tighter dimensional tolerance requirements. A certificate of calibration may be included with high-precision cylinders. A graduated cylinder is commonly used by scientists, researchers, and educators for chemistry and other scientific applications.