Materials: Glass
Basic properties

General Properties of Laboratory Glass

There is no universal material to meet every single laboratory requirement. The decision to use glass or plastic depends on the application and design of the instrument, taking into account the specific properties of the materials, and cost considerations.

General properties
Glass has very good chemical resistance against water, saline solutions, acids, alkalis and organic solvents and in this respect surpasses the majority of plastics. It is only attacked by hydrofluoric acid, and – at elevated temperatures – by strong alkalis and concentrated phosphoric acid. Further advantages of glass are its dimensional stability, even at elevated temperatures, and its high transparency.

Specific properties of individual glasses
For the laboratory, various glasses with different technical properties are available.

Soda-lime glass
Soda-lime glass (e.g., AR-GLAS®) has good chemical and physical properties. It is suitable for products which are usually subjected to short-term chemical exposure, and to limited thermal stress (e.g., pipettes, culture tubes).

Borosilicate glass (Boro 3.3, Boro 5.4)
Borosilicate glass has very good chemical and physical properties. The abbreviation Boro 3.3 stands for a borosilicate glass type 3.3 as specified in international standard DIN ISO 3585, for applications requiring very good chemical and thermal resistance (including resistance to thermal shock), and high mechanical stability. Typical applications are components for chemical apparatus, round-bottom flasks, and beakers.