Monthly Archives: July 2014

Applications for Crimp-On Atomiser Spray Pumps

Applications for crimp on atomiser spray pumps

Crimp on spray pumps are the preferred method for intranasal medication as well as perfumes because they are much less likely to leak when fitted properly and are tamper proof.  Regular sizes of spray pumps are usually 13mm, 15mm, 17mm, 18mm and 20mm.  They can also be found in other varying diameters, dosage amounts, length of skirt and general shape.

Fitting the pump

A multi-fingered collet type of crimper may be the best option for fitting the atomiser.  This is because if the cap has a long skirt, it can be laid against the neck of the bottle with this tool.  We advise all our customers on the correct tool to suit their selected component assembly.


A correctly adjusted tool and suitably compatible components are the key to a secure seal and there is no substitute for a quality crimper.  At LPL we stock regular size spray pump crimpers and supply spray pumps and bottles.

Ken Marshall
Director of Engineering
Labortory Precision Ltd. ©

The Ultimate Guide to Essential Equipment for your Chemistry Laboratory

lab equipment lady test tube

The Ultimate Guide to Essential Equipment for your Chemistry Laboratory

When setting up your chemistry laboratory, it’s important to ensure that you stock it with sufficient scientific equipment, allowing you to conduct your experiments thoroughly and safely. Here’s a guide to the basic equipment that any laboratory will need.


Safety equipment and supplies

The first thing that anyone should consider is safety equipment. Conducting chemistry experiments can be dangerous, so it’s important to ensure that you have all of the necessary supplies for if anything should go wrong.

A first aid kit is essential, and should contain items to treat all of the common issues and injuries that may be encountered in a laboratory environment. This includes antiseptic treatment and bandages, burn treatment and compresses, scissors and gloves. The kit should also be latex free (particularly the gloves) so that people can still be treated if they suffer from a latex allergy.

An eyewash station should be available in all laboratories, and everyone should be aware of its location. In the event of an accident, such as a chemical splash, eyewash should be used immediately to prevent any long-term damage. In addition to the eyewash station, many laboratories also have safety showers.

As well as a first aid kit, all laboratories should also have a fire extinguisher and fire blanket. This is especially important when flammable chemicals are being used, as the risk of a fire occurring increases significantly.

Spill neutraliser kits should also be available, to be used whenever chemicals have been spilled on the floor.

Equipment should be safe, fit for purpose, sturdy and reliable. Items such as oil free air compressors must be hygienic and well maintained. Using incorrect equipment can lead to a wealth of problems, especially if contamination in any form can interfere with experiment results.


Protective clothing

laboratory_safetySafety equipment is essential in order to treat any injuries that occur in the laboratory, but many injuries can be prevented if sufficient protective clothing is available.

Safety goggles are incredibly important, as they prevent substances from getting into the eye. Even harmless chemicals can damage the eyes, which are the most sensitive part of the body. Many chemicals have the potential to cause blindness, so it’s imperative that high quality safety goggles are available in all chemistry laboratories.

Protective clothing should also be worn to protect against any dangerous or corrosive chemicals. Even when you’re working with chemicals that aren’t harmful, it’s a good idea to protect your own clothing from unnecessary damage. Protective clothing consists of lab coats, gloves and shoe covers, and are available in a range of materials depending upon your requirements.

Spun-bound Melt-Blown Synthetic (SMS) is the most durable type of material, and offers the highest level of protection. This should be used when harmful chemicals are present, and is also designed to keep you cool. Basic protection is offered by polypropylene clothing. This is affordable, but will only protect against light splashes, so should be used with caution. The lowest level of protection is provided by polyethylene. This is traditionally only used as a temporary protection, so is good for use with visitors to the laboratory. It acts as a barrier to most fluids, and can be easily cut.



Glass Vials

Clear Borosilicate Type 1 Glass Injection Vial

A wide range of laboratory glassware is available to support your experiments, and the exact types required would depend upon the nature of the experiments you wish to conduct in your laboratory.

Beakers are the most basic type of glassware, and are typically used to hold samples. They are generally wide containers, with open tops, so their use is limited within experiments.

Flasks are another type of glassware used to hold liquids, but offer more functionality when conducting experiments. They typically are conical containers, with a narrow mouth. This limits air exposure, and can easily be sealed if the experiment requires. If you are going to be heating chemicals, round-bottomed flasks are the best choice, as they enable the chemicals to be heated more evenly.

Other types of glassware commonly encountered in a chemistry laboratory include glass vials, which are small bottles typically used to hold samples, pipettes, which are used to transfer small amounts of a chemical from one container to another, and condensers, which are used to cool hot liquids and condense gases. More specialised glassware can be purchased depending upon the nature of your experiments.


Experimental apparatus

Lab scales

Adam Equipment Laboratory Balances

Of course, in order to conduct any experiments you will need to stock your laboratory with the necessary apparatus. Bunsen burners are the most iconic piece of laboratory equipment, and are commonly used to heat chemicals during experiments, as well as sterilisation and combustion. When choosing a Bunsen burner, it’s important to consider the type of gas that you’d like to use. The common choices are methane, which is a natural gas, or liquefied petroleum, such as propane and butane.

Again, the experimental equipment that you require will depend upon the nature of your experiments. The most common types of equipment are things like precision scales and balances, which are essential for weighing items to ensure precise quantities are used, a pestle and mortar, which can be used to grind down samples, and a microscope.

Science and society; public engagement in science

Science and society; public engagement in science

For many scientists today, developing ideas for projects that build public excitement and interest around science remains one of the most challenging, and rewarding, areas of their professional life.

So what is the secret of public engagement? Why is it so difficult and are we certain we want to take part in it anyway?

Too many times in the past we have seen the results of a scientific community failing to communicate effectively with the general public. Genetically modified foods, fracking, cloning; the list of episodes of significant scientific discovery that were met with public suspicion and protest is a long one. Nobody wins in this process, but it is ultimately the scientific community itself which suffers the most. When the public doesn’t understand and is not supportive of new advances and breakthroughs they become subject to review, regulation and usually experience a cut in funding, which is often redirected to more publicly palatable projects.

The traditional outlook of the scientist has been that we do the creation; we research, experiment and eventually achieve a breakthrough, making something that was previously impossible possible, or unknown, known. Scientists often take the view that it is not for us to argue the value of a breakthrough to society nor defend the ethics of it. However, this is precisely the position modern scientists find themselves in. They must now seek permission from society to undertake increasingly sophisticated projects. They must enter into a dialogue with the public in order to educate it, and in turn learn and respond to public opinion.

From large-scale initiatives funded by public bodies such as the Wellcome Trust or the Science and Technology Facilities Council to television programmes, representation in the arts, media or education, science needs a place at every table in order to stimulate discussion on topical issues and new developments. It is only through this kind of engagement with the public that scientists can hope to influence policy development and public opinion.

With this in mind, here are a few tips to help you break down the barriers between your projects and the people beyond it.

Think about the target audience for any communication that you plan. The public is not one homogeneous group but rather collections of smaller, more distinct groups. Consider which of these sub-groups you will be talking to and what their needs are. Include the kind of information they will need and frame it in a way they will be comfortable with, rather than taking a ‘one size fits all’ approach to your communication style.

Remember the value widening your audience base. It’s easy to preach to the converted, but it won’t get you as far as entering into a dialogue with a more challenging group will. In doing this you’re likely to meet with resistance, but don’t be put off. Instead, see it as an opportunity to learn and a necessary hurdle to overcome in achieving your public communication goals.

Never forget that communication is a two-way process. Broadcasting your message is only helpful to a certain degree, beyond which it’s necessary to listen to feedback and make any adjustments necessary to the message you’re sending out. This is your opportunity to respond to the concerns of the public and it’s very often an occasion where you will learn from them, as well as you best opportunity to persuade.

Focus on your topic or project area and be very specific about its objectives and remit. Don’t try to represent the whole of the scientific community and be careful not to go off on a tangent in your communications. Stick to your key messages, keep them concise and to the point.

Set yourself some goals at the start of the engagement programme and try to include realistic, achievable and measurable targets. Make your goals specific and include metrics, rather than vague aspirations to ‘improve attitudes’ or similar. Remember, you won’t change the world, so break your objectives down to something you can manage. Think about how you will define success at the end of the programme and how you could measure it. This will help you plan future campaigns and also secure any funding you might need for bigger engagement projects.

Finally, don’t view public engagement as just ‘nice to have’ or something you can tack on at the end of a project. You should view communication as an integral part of your research and make provision for it in your work and budgeting. You’ll actually find it’s much easier, and more effective, to manage if you plan an outreach dimension into your project from the outset, rather than having to build in a communication strategy at the end of project that wasn’t planned with engagement in mind.

Removing crimped on caps from vials and bottles (de-capping de-crimping vials)

Removing crimped on caps from vials and bottles (de-capping de-crimping vials)

There are many stories of injuries caused by attempting to remove crimp caps from vials with knives, scissors, nail files and screwdrivers etc.  This can result in personal injury as well as a broken or chipped vial resulting in a contaminated product.

Obviously this is not the way to do it safely or satisfactorily.  There are tools available for this task, some better than others.  In my opinion the four jawed de-capper is the cleanest and safest way to remove a crimped on cap from a vial or bottle.  If the cap can be removed cleanly without damaging the vial then this has got to be the best result.

At Laboratory Precision Limited we have been manufacturing a number of sizes of de-cappers with four jaws for many years as we believe this is the best way to remove crimped on caps.  With a four jawed de-capper equal pressure is applied to all sides of the vial cap simultaneously, thereby balancing the pressure, reducing the likelihood of breaking or chipping the top of the vial.

Four jaw de-cappers when manufactured precisely for a given vial assembly will remove the cap safely and easily time after time. The de-capper can be manual or pneumatic and a selection along with video’s can be viewed by clicking this link;

Ken Marshall – Director of Engineering