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What is borosilicate glass?

Borosilicate glass is the formal name for a high grade, heat resistant glass. This glass was originally designed for use in laboratories & for scientific equipment & it is still used extensively in these fields. It is more suited than most other glass materials for this kind of equipment as it is more durable and can withstand higher temperatures and more extreme conditions.

Compared to conventional “soda-lime” glass, borosilicate glass is more costly to produce but because of its enhanced features including strength and durability it has a much wider range of functionality. With greater demand and popularity, borosilicate glass has been further developed to meet requirements that conventional glass cannot meet.

Borosilicate glass consists of boron oxide and soda. Boron oxide plays an important role to hold the soda and lime together. Borosilicate glass yields better performance on the index factor – also known as the coefficient of expansion – meaning that more extreme temperatures can be tolerated. The different quality of borosilicate glass is usually gauged by the swell factor. Market indexes of glass swell factor range from 32-50. Low index figures can stand temperature up to 500 degrees centigrade. For the physical properties of borosilicate glass to be optimum, the best thickness is between 2mm – 2.5 mm, which is thinner than conventional glass, yet it performs even better in regards to its resilience to temperature fluctuations and scratching.

Borosilicate glass can be produced by two methods. The more costly method is by using a 1,600 degrees furnace, which is also used for thicker and embossed glass. The lower cost method employs a 1,000 degrees furnace to reshape and form the tubular glass. By using the more costly method, it ensures the glass is more durable. It also ensures that the glass will remain crystal clear, in contrast to some conventional glassware that tends to become tainted or cloudy over time.