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A variety of crucibles (Left to right: Graphite bonded clay, custom-made alumina, graphite, steel TGA/DSC pan

Crucibles are used to contain chemical compounds when heated to high temperatures, often to encourage phase transformations or chemical reactions. Crucibles come in a wide variety of sizes and materials. It is critically important to ensure chemical compatibility when selecting a crucible, with inert materials like alumina or platinum finding common use. A comprehensive list of crucible compatibility can be found at


Solid samples are placed into the crucible, and then transferred into a furnace for firing.


Crucibles are often cleaned by sonicating, soaking or boiling the sample in a compatible acid or solvent. A rough clean of an alumina can be obtained by an overnight soak in a 20% hydrochloric acid solution, followed by an overnight soak in water. For optimal results, crucibles should be fired at an elevated temperature using a furnace or butane torch before reuse. More detailed instructions can be found


Crucibles can be purchased at many general lab supply stores. Alumina crucibles can be fabricated in-house via sintering alumina powder in a mold. Metallic crucibles can be fabricated by machining a cavity into the desired metal.