Your Safer Source for Science
All-In-One Science Solution
Your Safer Source for Science
Address P.O. Box 219 Batavia, IL 60510
Phone 800-452-1261
Email [email protected]

Borosilicate glass graduated cylinder is calibrated “to contain” (TC) and has white enamel graduations.

See more product details


(Select option to see volume pricing availability)

Product Details

Borosilicate glass graduated cylinders are calibrated “to contain” (TC). Graduated cylinders are useful as mixing cylinders. Graduations are in durable white enamel. Single scale.



Understanding the Meniscus of a graduated cylinder: 

In the world of graduated cylinders, the meniscus takes center stage. This term may sound complex, but it's a fundamental concept for anyone aiming to achieve precise measurements. The meniscus is the curved surface that forms at the top of a liquid inside the graduated cylinder. Understanding how to read the meniscus correctly is essential for obtaining accurate volume measurements. 

Why Does the Meniscus Form? 

The meniscus phenomenon arises due to the interplay between adhesive and cohesive forces within the liquid. Here's how it works: 

Adhesive Forces: These are the forces that attract the liquid molecules to the walls of the graduated cylinder. The strength of these forces depends on the liquid's properties and the material of the cylinder. In most cases, water adheres to glass, creating a concave meniscus. 

Cohesive Forces: Cohesive forces are the interactions between the liquid molecules themselves. These forces tend to pull the liquid upward, forming a convex meniscus. However, adhesive forces usually dominate, creating a concave meniscus. 

Reading the Meniscus Correctly 

To read the volume of liquid accurately, you need to identify and interpret the meniscus correctly. Here's how to do it step-by-step: 

 Eye Level: Ensure that the graduated cylinder is at your eye level, and the bottom of the cylinder is resting on a flat, level surface. This perspective eliminates the influence of parallax errors, which can lead to inaccurate readings. 

Curved Surface: Gently squat or bend down so that your eyes are level with the curved surface of the liquid inside the cylinder. The meniscus should be clearly visible. 

Reading Point: Look closely at the meniscus. It will either be concave (curving downward) or convex (curving upward), depending on the liquid and material of the cylinder. 

Align with Lowest Point: When reading the volume, make sure to align your measurement with the lowest point of the meniscus. This is where the true volume is indicated. 

Decimal Places: Record the measurement in milliliters (mL) or cubic centimeters (cm³) based on your lab's requirements. Pay attention to the appropriate number of decimal places, typically to the nearest tenth of a milliliter. 


Meniscus Reading Examples 

Let's consider two scenarios to illustrate how to read the meniscus correctly: 


Scenario 1: Concave Meniscus 

If you're measuring water in a glass graduated cylinder, you will typically encounter a concave meniscus. To read it accurately, follow these steps: 

Ensure eye level alignment with the meniscus. 

Identify the lowest point of the curved surface. 

Record the measurement at that point. For instance, if the lowest point of the meniscus aligns with the 45 mL mark, you should record 45 mL as the volume. 

Scenario 2: Convex Meniscus 

Some liquids, like mercury, exhibit a convex meniscus when measured in a glass graduated cylinder. Here's how to approach it: 

Again, ensure your eye level is aligned with the meniscus. 

Identify the highest point of the curved surface. 

Record the measurement at that point. For example, if the highest point of the meniscus aligns with the 30 mL mark, you should record 30 mL as the volume. 

By mastering the art of reading the meniscus correctly, high school science teachers and students can enhance the accuracy of their measurements and ensure the reliability of their experiments. It's a fundamental skill that serves as the cornerstone of precise volumetric analysis in any scientific laboratory.