A crucible is a vessel, usually made of ceramic, graphite, or metal, that is used to heat or even melt, metals. Crucibles are constructed to withstand extremely high temperatures, like those required to liquefy certain metals like silver or copper. Crucibles are used by many people, for a variety of purposes. Scientists use crucibles in their daily work to conduct experiments. Manufacturers use crucibles to make products. Machine shop and foundry workers use crucibles to fabricate tools and machine parts. The general public uses crucibles to make craft items as a hobby or for selling, such as jewelry and art. The proper use of a crucible is elemental to the final outcome of the experiment or the piece being made.
Choose the Right Kind of Crucible
First, the user must use the right kind of crucible. The crucible must be able to be heated to a high enough temperature to make the material inside malleable, so it can be formed or altered sufficiently to complete the project. If the wrong kind of crucible is used, the material inside could be contaminated with the crucible material, or the crucible could crack and leak.
Use Appropriate Protection
When using a crucible, the user should wear protective gear such as gloves, goggles, and possibly a mask to protect the respiratory system. When certain types of metal are being molten, splatters and pops can occur. These piping hot miniature pieces of metal will burn skin on contact.