A retort stand, sometimes called a clamp stand or a ring stand, is a piece of scientific equipment, to which clamps can be attached to hold other pieces of equipment. For instance, burettes, commonly used for titration experiments, test tubes and flasks. The retort stand a general piece of lab equipment that can be used to help with holding other pieces of equipment and glassware. Furthermore, pieces of metalware such as ring clamps, versatile clamps, 3-prong clamps, and burette clamps can be attached to retort stands to better hold certain types of glassware.. The basic retort stand consists of two main pieces of metalware: the retort metallic base and the retort.
There are two different models for the retort stand. In the first model, the base size is 200 x 125 mm with a rod of 600 x 12.5 mm. For the second model, the base is 250 x 160 mm with a rod of size 750 x 12.5 mm. The bases always have a swirling hole of 10 mm x 1.5 mm in order to twist the rod into. The rod itself, to which clamps may be attached with bases, is typically 400-600 mm high in total and sufficient for most experiment to fit within the fume hoods and glove boxes. The rod is made of aluminium. If a taller rod is required, the solid base is usually replaced by three metal legs for stability when supporting larger apparatuses, such as extremely large tubes, bulk chemical bottles etc. The height can be adjusted by moving the attached point of the stand and the test tube. The base is heavy so that the centre of gravity is lowered, thus increasing stability.
Retort stands are often used in the chemistry laboratory. For instance, it is used for carrying out distillation experiments which includes distillation of organic solvents. It is also used to support in filtering. The sits are usually made of a chemically impervious metal and may be covered with aluminium foil to further protect the base, on which may sit a hot plate, magnetic stirrer, heating mantle, or some other apparatus. In titration experiments, it can be used to hold a burette.