Glassware of all shapes and sizes is found in laboratories around the world. In recent years, the popularity of laboratory glassware has started to reduce as users opt for lower quality and less environmentally friendly plastic alternatives. However, many substances and experiments rely on glassware, and therefore it still plays a vital role. In this post, we take a closer look at the different types of laboratory glassware and their uses.
Why Do We Still Need Laboratory Glassware
Several different types of glass are used for laboratory glassware, but they all share similar qualities.
Firstly, and perhaps a little obviously, glass is transparent which therefore makes monitoring experiments easier.
Glass is also heat resistant and capable of withstanding thermal shock.
It is largely inert and won’t react with the substances used in an experiment.
Finally, glass is easy to mould and shape and therefore, bespoke items of scientific glassware can be created for specific experiments and requirements.
Types of Glass Used
As we mentioned above, different types of glass are used to produce laboratory glassware. Each glass variety has specific properties that make it suited to different applications.
The most commonly used type of glass used is Borosilicate. It is naturally transparent and can withstand high heats and thermal shock. Borosilicate glass has many uses and is found in medical equipment, cookware and lab equipment.
Often also referred to as Fused Silica as it contains only silica. Quartz glass can withstand very high temperatures and is transparent in certain parts of the electromagnetic spectrum.
Fritted glass is a porous type through which gas or liquids can pass. It is often used to filter items in laboratories.
Often used for cell culturing, this type of glass is coated to prevent organic materials adhering to it.
Types of Laboratory Glassware
There is a wide array when it comes to types of laboratory glassware. Below we have highlighted some of the more common pieces that are still widely used;
Beakers – One of the most common types of laboratory glassware, beakers are basic containers used to hold samples and reagents.
Burettes – Used to dispense liquid in exact quantities.
Pipettes (Bulb and Graduated) – Used to move a small, measured amount of fluid.
Condensers – There are many varieties of condensers, but they are all typically designed to cool or heat liquids.
Desiccators – Absorb moisture from a substance.
Drying pistols – They perform the same task as desiccator. The pistol is a more direct way of removing moisture.
Funnels – Designed with a tapered neck to enable liquid to be poured accurately into a container with a narrow opening.
Glass Sampling Tubes – Sampling tubes are used for taking small measures of a liquid.
Graduated Cylinders – Very similar to a beaker but with volume measurements.
Petri dishes – Another well-known item from peoples school days. Petri dishes are very shallow, round dishes used to culture cells.
Slides – To view items under a microscope, items are placed between two glass slides.
Vacuum Manifolds – Also known as Schlenk Lines, they are a commonly used apparatus in chemistry. They are especially useful for manipulating air-sensitive compounds
Vials – Small bottles that are used for storage.
Custom Made Laboratory Glassware
If you have any questions regarding this post or would like to know more about custom made laboratory glassware, then please contact our team. Scientific Glass Services have over 40 years of experience in glassblowing and the production of scientific glassware.