Types of glass used in laboratory equipment

Different kinds of materials are used in the production of laboratory material to fulfil the essential properties to enable safe working in labs of various industries. Those materials that are mostly formed of glass are referred to as laboratory glassware or glassware in the scientific community.

For glass to be utilised in the production of laboratory material, it must fulfil a number of fundamental characteristics, one of which is that it be heat resistant, or refractory. Soda-lime glass, or common glass, and borosilicate glass, or pyrex glass, are two types of glass often used in laboratory settings. Next, we’ll go through the qualities of each one so that you can make an informed decision the next time you need laboratory supplies from laboratory glassware manufacturers.

Soda-lime glass

On the other hand, soda-lime glass consists of between 71% and 75% sand, between 12% and 16% sodium bicarbonate, and between 10% and 15% lime. While the qualities of glass vary based on its composition, soda-lime glass is particularly sensitive to temperature fluctuations; hence it isn’t often used in the production of everyday items like labware. Flasks, bottles, glasses, and flat glasses, as well as blown or pressed light items that don’t need strong heat resistance or chemical resistance, are all made from this kind of glass.

The simplest soda-lime glass to build, extra elements are generally added to adjust some of its qualities. For example, its chemical resistance may be improved, making it a more durable material, or its softening point can be decreased, increasing its refractive index.

Borosilicate glass

Borosilicate glass, on the other hand, is more resistant to heat and temperature fluctuation than conventional glass, and is more resistant to chemicals. Between 70 and 80 percent of the material is sand, 7 to 13 percent is boron trioxide, 4 to 8 percent is sodium oxide and potassium oxide, and 2 to 7 percent is aluminium oxide, depending on the source. Because of its qualities, borosilicate glass is frequently used in chemical and pharmaceutical production facilities, laboratories, and laboratory materials, as well as in lamp and oven mould manufacturing.

In the laboratory, borosilicate glass is mostly used to make volumetric flasks, burettes, and graded cylinders, but it must adhere to current rules in order to do so. Because of the way its constituents act, this form of glass has strong temperature resistance and rapid temperature fluctuations. This is accomplished by weakening silica lattice structure and decreasing the softening point of glasses manufactured from silica. This results in low thermal expansion, strong chemical resistance, and high dielectric strength.

A high softening temperature makes it more difficult to deal with borosilicate glass than standard soda-lime glass. For example, this sort of glass is often used to make laboratory glassware manufacturers, high-temperature thermometers, industrial pipes and ovens, telescope mirrors, high-temperature light bulbs, cooking utensils, and electronic tubes with high wattages.

There are other types of glasses that are used less often in the production of laboratory materials, such as the ones we discussed before. Some examples include excellent chemical and thermal resistance, minimal expansion, and quicker manufacturing of boron-free aluminosilicate glass. These glasses are often employed in high temperature or alkali-resistant applications. Aluminosilicate glass has a larger thermal expansion than borosilicate glass, although it is nevertheless employed in high-performance military tubes and traveling-wave tubes, as well as in high-performance military tubes.