A Wire gauze is a sheet of thin metal that has net-like crosses or a wire mesh. Wire gauze is placed on the support ring that is attached to the retort stand between the Bunsen burner and the beakers in order to support the beakers or other glassware or flasks during heating. Moreover, the glassware has to be flat-bottomed to stay on the wire gauze. The wire gauze is made of a material called nichrome wire which is AWG No. 24 galvanized iron wire. This type of material provides long life expectancy and can be used over and over again without a risk of it being torn. The sides/corners of the wire gauze are turned inward to help prevent fraying, improve handling and reduce safety risk from protruding ends of wire. The wire gauze is a an important piece of supporting equipment in a laboratory because beakers or any type of glassware cannot be heated directly with a flame from the Bunsen Burner, and the wire gauze will help protect the glassware. There are two types of wire gauze: woven wire gauze and a wire gauze with a ceramic center. These two types of wire gauze that are made of metal have the same ability to transmit the heat efficiently but the gauze with a ceramic center will allow the heat to be dispersed more evenly. The ceramic at the center of the wire gauze is enmeshed at high pressure to prevent it from peeling. There are three sizes of wire gauze with ceramic center: 4 inches, 5 inches, and 6 inches, so that different sizes of glassware can be accommodated.
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