June 5, 2023

What Is a Graduated Cylinder?

Graduated Cylinder

Graduated Cylinder

A graduated cylinder is an essential piece of lab equipment that can help you measure liquid volumes. They’re available in various capacities and graduation subdivisions so that you can choose the right one for your needs.

They’re made of glass or plastic. Glass is the preferred material for most applications due to its durability and resistance to chemical attack.


In chemistry laboratories, there is often the need to measure liquid volumes accurately. This is usually done using a graduated cylinder.

These are tall narrow cylinders with a flat base and markings on the outside. They are commonly used for measuring volume and can be purchased in glass or plastic.

There are a few different types of graduated cylinders. Some are narrow and tall to improve accuracy, while others are wide and low.

Some are also designed with a “spout” to pour the measured liquid quickly.

They are made from either borosilicate or polypropylene. The borosilicate version is resistant to chemicals and heat. The polypropylene version is more brittle and will melt under 121 deg C (250 deg F).

Graduated cylinders are available in a variety of sizes. They are typically etched with single-scale graduations, allowing for precise liquids measurement. They are also roll-resistant and reusable. They are made from durable borosilicate glass with large stable bases that resist rolling.


Graduated cylinders are laboratory glassware used to measure the volume of liquids. They are tall, narrow cylinders that have markings that indicate volume measurements.

These cylinders are typically made of borosilicate glass or durable plastic. These materials can withstand high temperatures and are resistant to chemicals.

However, they can break if not properly cared for. This can skew measurements and potentially cause safety concerns, so it is essential to clean them after use.

In general, these cylinders are used for moderately precise volume measurement. They are based on volume increments and are marked with horizontal lines that paint the surface of the cylinder.

These cylinders can range in size from 5 ml to 1000 ml. Chemistry labs commonly use them to measure liquid chemicals and other fluid preparations. They are available in acid-resistant borosilicate glass or durable polypropylene or polystyrene.

Scale increments

A graduated cylinder is a glass or borosilicate container that measures the volume of liquid inside. Its gradations (marks) show measurement intervals and can be marked with different scale increments, such as 10 ml, 25 ml, 50 ml, or 100 ml.

To measure the volume of a sample, place the graduated cylinder on a level surface and view the height of the liquid through the container walls. The curved surface is called the meniscus and depends on the measured liquid type.

For example, the meniscus may be very pronounced if the liquid is water or mercury. The curve will also depend on the temperature of the liquid.

To determine the scale increment, subtract the values of any two adjacent labeled graduations and divide by the number of intervals between them. This technique works with any measuring instrument that uses a series of lines to represent measurement intervals, such as thermometers and spring scales.


Typically, a graduated cylinder is used for measuring the volume of liquids. It is similar to a beaker but has a spout for pouring.

It is also helpful for mixing solutions and dilutions. It is often used in chemistry labs and other laboratory settings.

Graduated cylinders are frequently more precise and accurate than lab flasks and beakers, but they should not be used for volumetric analysis; volumetric glassware, such as a volumetric flask or volumetric pipette,, is even more accurate and precise.

When making a liquid measurement with a graduated cylinder, you should remember to account for the meniscus, the concave surface of the cylinder, which gets distorted when the fluid level is viewed at eye level. This distortion occurs when the adhesive forces between the liquid molecules and the cylinder’s walls are strong enough to distort the water’s surface.