Following on from our recent blog on glass blowing, let’s take a look at laboratory glassware. Admittedly, glassware made for laboratory use is, to a large extent, mass produced these days. Nevertheless, some products would be impossible to make without the amazing skill, experience and patience of glass blowers.
Typically, scientific glass blowers use a torch or burner, rather than a kiln, to control the impact of the temperature and precision of the flame on the more intricate glassware apparatus. An essential aspect of their work is to make stress or strain-free glass apparatus to ensure the durability and safety in the harsh laboratory environment.
Did you know there are two commonly used types of glass for laboratory uses and each has very specific properties for different purposes?
Borosilicate Glass is used in the lab because of its unique thermal properties, matched with resistance to different acids, solvent and halogens.
Fused Quartz, or Silica Glass, is handy as it has high working and melting temperatures, making it resistant to thermal shocks at high temperatures.
For more in-depth information on the properties of Borosilicate Glass and Fused Quartz click here.
Here is an interesting video on how laboratory glassware is made.