From Discovery to Lab Essential: Exploring The History of Borosilicate Glass

Borosilicate Glass

From Discovery to Lab Essential: Exploring The History of Borosilicate Glass

Posted on the 21st of Sep 2023 by Westlab

In scientific discovery and laboratory essentials, few materials have played as pivotal a role as borosilicate glass. This unassuming substance has a rich history that spans centuries, marked by remarkable scientific achievements and innovations. 

The story of Borosilicate Glass began in the early 19th century when a German glassmaker named Otto Schott stumbled upon a remarkable combination of materials. In 1887, Schott and his colleagues Ernst Abbe and Carl Zeiss developed a glass composed of silica and boron oxide. 

This fusion resulted in a glass with exceptional properties - highly resistant to thermal expansion and chemical corrosion. Little did they know that this chance discovery would forever change the landscape of scientific experimentation.

Let us learn more and explore the captivating story of borosilicate glass, from its benefits to its indispensable status in modern laboratories.

Why Is Borosilicate Glass Essential In Laboratories?

Borosilicate glass is essential in laboratories for several reasons, making it a preferred material for laboratory equipment and glassware.

Here are a few reasons that make it necessary for scientific research and experiments:

  • High Thermal Resistance: Borosilicate glass tube can withstand rapid temperature changes without cracking or shattering. This property is critical in laboratories where experiments often involve extreme temperature variations. It lets researchers heat or cool substances quickly without worrying about breaking glassware.
  • Chemical Resistance: These glass tubes are highly resistant to chemical corrosion. It does not react with most chemicals, acids, or bases commonly used in laboratory experiments. This inertness ensures the glass does not contaminate or react with the analyzed substances.
  • Transparency and Clarity: This glass is exceptionally clear, allowing researchers to view the contents of vessels or observe chemical reactions without distortion. This optical clarity is crucial for accurate measurements and observations.
  • Durability: It is a durable material capable of withstanding mechanical stress and handling, making it suitable for everyday laboratory use. Its resistance to scratching and abrasion ensures that Laboratory Glassware remains in good condition over time.
  • Hydrolytic Stability: Borosilicate glass tube has high hydrolytic stability, so it does not readily react with water or moisture. This property is essential for applications involving the storage of liquids over extended periods, as the glass does not degrade or leach substances into the stored solutions.
  • Low Thermal Expansion: This eccentric laboratory glassware has a low thermal expansion, which expands and contracts minimally with temperature changes. This characteristic helps maintain the accuracy of measurements and ensures that glassware dimensions remain stable.
  • Versatility: Borosilicate tube can be molded into various shapes and forms, making it versatile for laboratory applications. It creates laboratory equipment, including beakers, flasks, test tubes, pipettes, and more.
  • Safety: The safety of laboratory personnel is paramount, and borosilicate reduces the risk of accidents. Its ability to withstand thermal shock minimizes the potential for glassware to break during temperature-related experiments, reducing the risk of injury and chemical spills.
  • Reusability: Borosilicate laboratory glassware is durable, easily cleaned, and sterilized for reuse. This reusability saves resources and contributes to cost-effectiveness in laboratory operations.
  • Standardization: Borosilicate tube has become a standardized material in the scientific community, ensuring uniformity and consistency in laboratory equipment. Researchers can rely on the known properties of borosilicate when designing and conducting experiments.

However, borosilicate glass's exceptional properties, including high thermal resistance, chemical resistance, transparency, and durability, make it an indispensable material in laboratories. Its reliability and versatility contribute to the accuracy and safety of scientific research, making it an Essential Laboratory Glass Supplies and equipment.

Types of Borosilicate Glass Equipment Used In Labs

Borosilicate’s transparency makes it well-suited for observing chemical reactions and laboratory processes.

Here is an assortment of the most frequently encountered borosilicate laboratory equipment categories.


Beakers serve as fundamental vessels employed for containing samples and reagents. They are available in diverse dimensions and configurations, facilitating mixing, heating, and storing liquids.


Flasks, akin to beakers but characterized by their narrower necks, prove ideal for specialized applications like titration and distillation.

Test Tubes 

Test tubes, small cylindrical containers, find use in holding minute samples of liquids or solids. They are commonly deployed in chemical reactions and various experimental procedures.


Pipettes are precision instruments used for the exact transfer of liquid volumes. Their availability spans multiple sizes and types, accommodating the specific fluid volume requirements.

Volumetric Flasks

Volumetric flasks are instrumental in preparing solutions with precise concentrations. These flasks bear a marking on their neck indicating the exact volume they can hold.


Condensers are crucial components employed for the cooling and condensation of vapors. They feature prominently in distillation and other experiments necessitating the separation of different mixture components.


Desiccators assume the role of moisture removal from samples, housing a desiccant material that effectively absorbs water.


Funnels streamline the transfer of liquids from one container to another, their tapered neck design minimizing the likelihood of spillage.

From its accidental discovery in a German laboratory to its universal presence in modern science and daily life, the history of Borosilicate Glass is a testament to the power of scientific innovation. Its unique properties have advanced our understanding of the world and made our lives safer and more convenient.

Westlab Australia is the best choice to buy Laboratory Equipment Supplier in the region. We have the best quality lab equipment and machines that you can use to improve the deduction of scientific research. Visit our website and get your hands on the exceptional quality glass equipment now. 


2023-09-21 08:05:00
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