In Scientific Research Hotplate
In laboratory settings, hot plates are generally used to heat glassware or its contents.
Some hot plates also contain a magnetic stirrer, allowing the heated liquid to be stirred automatically.
In a student laboratory hot plates are used because baths can be hazards if they spill, overheat or ignite, because they have a high thermal inertia (meaning they take a long time to cool down) and mantles can be very expensive and are designed for specific flask volumes.
Two alternative methods for heating glassware using a hotplate are available.
One method is to suspend glassware slightly above the surface of the plate with no direct contact.
This not only reduces the temperature of the glass, but it slows down the rate of heat exchange and encourages even heating. This works well for low boiling point operations or when a heat source's minimum temperature is high. Another method, called a teepee setup because it looks a little like a tipi, is to suspend glassware above a plate and surround the flask by a skirt of tinfoil. The skirt should start at the neck of the flask and drape down to the surface of the plate, not touching the sides of the flask, but covering the majority of the plates surface. This method is for glassware to be heated at higher temperatures because the flask is warmed indirectly by the hot air collecting under the skirt and unlike simply suspending the glassware, this method is better protected from drafts.
Both these methods are useful in a student laboratory as they are cheaper, effective, safe, and the user does not have to wait for a bath to cool down after use.