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General Principles of Display And Storage of Laboratory Instruments

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Appropriate Storage Practices


In order to ensure the proper storage of instruments, it is advised that a cabinet be used for most instruments, with the exception of those that are too large to fit. Instruments that cannot be accommodated by the cabinet may be placed on top of it or on a shelf, provided that they are covered with a dust cover, such as a transparent plastic bag. However, it is important to note that instruments should not be placed on the floor.


When arranging the instruments, it is recommended to follow the following guidelines: large pieces should be positioned below, while small pieces should be placed on top; short and small instruments should be placed in front, while taller and larger instruments should be placed behind; heavy instruments should be positioned below, with lighter ones on top; and low-grade instruments should be stored below high-grade instruments.


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Proper Instrument Placement


Instruments such as balances, microscopes, and many others should generally be placed flat and should not be kept upside down or horizontally. Additionally, plastic parts, rubber parts, gauges, etc. should be stored in a flat position rather than on a shelf.


Avoid Stacking and Maintain Distance


It is advisable to avoid stacking instruments and instead maintain a certain distance between them when storing them in the cabinet. It is important not to place instruments on top of each other or hang them. For fragile, rolling, and easily damaged instruments, such as thermometers and test tubes, it is necessary to provide proper protection during storage. This can be achieved by cushioning the shelves or using a box lined with soft cloth wadding or cotton paper.


Protection from Sunlight


Direct sunlight should be avoided, especially for electronic instruments. If sunlight is able to enter the storage area, curtains or shades should be used to block the rays.


Maintenance of Cleanliness and Ventilation


The storage room should be kept clean, dry, and well-ventilated. Measures should be taken to eliminate mice, cockroaches, termites, and other pests. Furthermore, instrument cabinets must be dust-proof with tightly closed doors, and should be regularly cleaned.


Moisture Protection Measures


Instruments, particularly during the rainy season, require protection from moisture. Some instruments necessitate additional measures to prevent moisture damage. Cabinets housing valuable instruments should be equipped with moisture-proofing agents, such as quicklime, charcoal, calcium chloride, or silica gel. Electronic products and e-learning equipment should be stored in well-ventilated and moisture-proof locations, preferably on the upper level of the cabinet. Regularly energizing these items will enhance their moisture resistance. If they have already become damp, they should be exposed to an infrared lamp or dried using a hairdryer before being formally connected to a circuit. It is essential that they are completely dry on the inside before use.


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Protection of Permeability


Protecting the permeability of instruments is crucial. For instance, color TVs should be shielded from magnetic field interference by avoiding the placement of magnetic objects in close proximity to or on top of them. Recorders, radios, speakers, and other magnetic objects should be kept away from the color TV screen to prevent magnetization of the picture tube components, which can compromise the color purity, resulting in color distortion or spots. Sticky tapes, clockwork, and transmission belts should be released from tension after use and stored in a relaxed state to prevent loss of elasticity caused by fatigue.


Instrument Protection Measures


To avoid instrument damage, it is important to protect the metal surface from rusting. The rust layer, alloy film, and aluminum oxide protective layer on the instrument should not be wiped. When not in use, a layer of neutral petroleum jelly or wax should be applied to the instrument's surface, followed by wrapping it in greaseproof paper. When storing batteries, precautions should be taken to prevent short circuits or leakage.


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Prevention of Equipment Waste


To prevent equipment waste, volatile pharmaceutical materials like alcohol and ether should be carefully sealed. Furthermore, large bottles of pharmaceuticals that are stored for an extended period should be sealed with wax. Small quantities of pharmaceuticals that need to be used should be stored in thin-necked bottles with frosted glass lids. (The glass lids of alkaline reagent bottles should be coated with a thin layer of paraffin wax). Alcohol lamps should be covered immediately when not in use.


Maintaining Integrity


Both the display and storage of instruments require maintaining their set integrity. Instruments of the same type should be stored together, and the main body, accessories, spare parts, and combined teaching aids pertaining to each instrument should be promptly collected and placed in storage boxes to prevent loss.



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