The introduction of liquids and granular materials in containers or containers with narrow mouths, can be difficult on some occasions, that is why there are tools designed to facilitate this process and one of the best known and used worldwide is the funnel, since This is used to introduce liquids or materials of a certain texture, into a small or narrow-mouthed container.

The funnel is an artifact made of various materials, which is created to fulfill different functions depending on the area in which it is used. Its structure is made up of two parts, the upper part, which is a wide-mouthed conical figure, which is in charge of receiving the content, and the lower part, a small cylinder, whose function is to carry said content to its destination.

Funnel benefits

The use of extra implements at the time of carrying out a job, many times serves to simplify the process and even, in many cases, the use of these implements becomes essential to carry out some tasks. The funnel can be considered one of those necessary implements and even mandatory in some cases, since it is used in many areas, which can be very simple (such as in the kitchen) or quite complex, such as: in construction , conducting chemicals, among others.

Among the benefits that can be obtained from the funnel are the following:

Avoid content spillage

A frequent problem when wanting to pass a material from one container to another is that part of it is lost; Due to the filling process, it can generate losses if you do not have a near perfect pressure. For these cases, the funnel is very useful, since its upper part, having a large size, allows liquids to be introduced into narrow-mouthed containers, without the risk of losing material during the process.

It can even be used if the container is normal, but small, since it allows the liquid to fall in an orderly and gradual way.

Funnel for laboratory processes

Chemical processes carried out in laboratories must be carried out with established procedures, using a list of specific instruments, which will vary depending on the purpose to be obtained. That is why there are various types of funnel, whose functions and shapes differ radically, depending on the use that is going to be given and the material that is going to be poured over them. Among the main funnels for this area are the following:

  • Separation or filtration funnel : it  is generally made of glass, and its main objective is to separate solid elements from liquids. At the entrance, they have a kind of strainer that is responsible for separating the particles. Your model will vary depending on the type of filtering for which it is intended; In addition, if it is for cold filtration, it will have an outlet tube, on the contrary, if it is for hot filtration, it will lack said piece, having instead a container made of resistant material to store the content at high temperatures.
  • Separating funnel : it is shaped like an inverted pear and made of glass. They fulfill the function of separating immiscible liquids (for example: water and oil). Its filling is carried out from the upper part, which must be later covered, on the other hand, at the lower end, it has a kind of tap or stopcock, whose function is to regulate the exit speed of the liquids, to guarantee obtain the desired liquid. The mixture of the liquids must rest for the time that is necessary, until their separation takes place.
  • Adding or dripping funnel : it  has a tap at the bottom, whose function is to add the liquid slowly into the new container. They are cylindrical in shape.

Ideal to facilitate kitchen tasks

The preparation of culinary recipes usually involves some packaging process. When making sauces, broths or dressings, it is recommended to bottle them to prolong their conservation. Using a funnel to carry out this task, allows the preparations to be stored effectively, in turn, it will avoid direct skin contact with them, preventing possible burns of those who handle it (in case the preparation is at high temperatures) In addition, it also helps to preserve the purity of the product.

The funnels used for this purpose are medium in size and are generally made of plastic, although versions are available in aluminum and other materials.

Serves to improve industrial jobs

It differs from the rest, mainly because of its size. It is used in construction work to achieve the emptying of heavy material (such as rocks or concrete). These types of funnels are usually very heavy, so they must be transported with a supporting object, such as a wheelbarrow or a truck, depending on their size.

In addition, there is a variation of funnels that are built and remain fixed in place, for example, in northern California, specifically in the Monticello dam, there is a giant funnel-shaped drain, this has the function of performing a automatic emptying, every time the reservoir exceeds its limit.

Other benefits of the funnel

This implement is very useful for many things, therefore, it is important to note that other benefits can be obtained apart from those mentioned above, such as:

  • Automobiles: it is used to fill some gasoline tanks or put oil in the engine.
  • Sowing: they can be part of the funnels for industrial use, they are part of the planting machines and they are used to spread the seeds in the field.
  • Perfumery: in this area you can find the use of smaller funnels, from approximately 4 cm in diameter.
  • Fun: due to its easy access and mechanism of use, the use of the funnels has turned 360 °, becoming an object of fun at some parties, being used for competitions or group games that consist of drinking alcoholic beverages. Depending on the rules of the game, the participant must consume the amount of liquor that is poured into the funnel by the host.

Materials used to make funnels

The most common materials for the manufacture of funnels are: glass, metal, aluminum and plastic. Not all materials are suitable for all purposes, because sometimes the content spilled on them can cause damage to the material if it is not adequate.

Origin of the funnel

Its origin dates back to ancient times and therefore, it is not known for sure when it was the first time that a funnel was manufactured in the world, however, ancient containers and vessels have been discovered by historians, whose shape resembles to that of a funnel. On the other hand, among the relics found in Africa, old funnels made of clay, wood and bronze stand out.

Conclusion: How important is the use of the funnel?

Although it is not known to whom to attribute the creation of the funnel, it is clear that its uses and modifications were discovered over time, thus managing to diversify its function in areas that perhaps at first glance are not interrelated. At present, such is the importance of this instrument, that its use is really wide, therefore, it can be said that it is an essential implement for the human being.

Samantha Robson
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Dr. Samantha Robson ( CRN: 0510146-5) is a nutritionist and website content reviewer related to her area of ​​expertise. With a postgraduate degree in Nutrition from The University of Arizona, she is a specialist in Sports Nutrition from Oxford University and is also a member of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

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