The Inspiration Behind Westlab's Popular Square Bunsen Tubing

The Inspiration Behind Westlab's Popular Square Bunsen Tubing

The Inspiration Behind Westlab's Popular Square Bunsen Tubing

Posted on the 27th of Feb 2019 by Westlab

The well-known “Westlab Square Tubing” has been a massive takeover in secondary schools globally due to the customer-centric approach of the Westlab product development team. In this article, we seek to give you a sneak peek into the development of the square Bunsen burner tubing and what inspired our team into this well-known development. The Westlab mantra of Speed, Hassle-free and Creativity played a direct part in the development of this product and was used as a filter to the tubing’s customer-centric design.

The Issue

The team at Westlab have an ear to the ground, listening to common complaints and frustrations of the market. This listening for common and recurring complaints is an integral part of our issue analysis process. We found that lab tech across Australia and North America were having the same issues with natural rubber tubing. Natural rubber tubing is unpredictable, it can last 2 weeks to 5 years before it starts to perish, harden and breakdown. Direct sunlight can also have an exponentially negative effect on the integrity of the rubber causing it to accelerate into natural decay. Our research revealed that schools were replacing natural rubber tubing every year and also picking hard rubber off the ends of gas turrets and Bunsen burner tubing barbs. Perishing rubber also posed a risk where it became very brittle; cracking and allowing natural and LPG gasses to escape.

The Challenges

Our team looked at many product compounds that could potentially replace the rubber tubing from neoprene through to types of silicon compounds. We were looking for a compound that could maintain its structural integrity under UV, heat and distortion whilst being impervious to common gasses and liquids. After seeking expert advice and testing many densities and blends of silicon compounds, we decided on a unique silicone mixture that met the demands.  The new tubing was taking shape.

Our next challenge was going to market and asking questions of our potential users. We gathered information from many labs to ensure the internal sizing was going to meet the demands of the vast variety of Bunsen tubing barbs. Standardisation was a key to success with the elimination of options making it more hassle-free for our buyers.

A number of questions were asked to refine the options such as… How easy will the tubing come off and on the barbs? What is the ultimate wall thickness? What happens when the material is subjected to flame? How were the plasticity and resilience? What is the best length to stock the tubing in? What is colour is fit for the market? Et cetera…

The Westlab Creative Touch

Westlab true to our mantra added our own unique touch to this product. One of our internal guys asked, “Why does the external of the tubing have to be round”? We had stumbled across our creative touch! The benefits of square tubing came thick and fast.

  • The product now tends to bend on the “x” and “y” axis, making it sit flat on the bench.
  • The square external stacked neat and flat in storage.
  • The tubing had a reduced tendency to kink.
  • The product looked like it had been created in the 21st century.

Beware of Imitations

There have been many attempts to copy the unique Westlab square gas tubing. Be cautious of suppliers featuring Westlab’s previous design (image below) of the square tubing.

This is a red flag!

Chances are that suppliers selling imitations and haven’t put any consideration into product testing and material integrity for the best performance and durability.

The only way you know that your square tubing is the original Westlab innovation is if you have purchased it from We have recently changed our tubing colour to the famous “Westlab Green”.

Click here to check out Westlab Bunsen Tubing!

Do you have a similar frustration that can be innovated to change science?

Our team at Westlab are eager for ideas and inspirations. We stick by our mantra to make your frustrations dissolve. If you have a recurring problem, there is a high chance that there are thousands of lab techs that are experiencing similar difficulties. Outline your ideas or frustrations and email our team at and wait for the action.

2019-02-27 23:29:00
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