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Date Created
Mon, 2nd Jul 2007
Updated By
Wallace Rogers
Date Modified
Tue, 20th Dec 2016

   What are the typical temperature ratings on lab glassware?


What are the typical temperature ratings on lab glassware?


Borosilicate glass not only has good temperature resistance, but good thermal shock resistance as well. Borosilicate temperatures at atmospheric pressure are up to 500°C for the strain point, while the softening point is over 800°C. Maximum thermal shock resistance is 160°C. Borosilicate glass can easily handle most lab temperatures, and can handle 400°C for short-term service, typically 200-230°C for normal, standard use service. Note that "short-term" in this case means "minutes", not hours. Glass that is exposed to maximum temperatures for long periods, or exposed repeatedly to high temperatures, should either be discarded or re-annealed regularly or it will fail. "Thermal shock" refers to a rapid change from cold to very hot temperatures, or vice-versa, and this will cause fractures.

Soft glass or soda lime bottles have an upper temperature limit of 200°C, but have very little thermal shock resistance and can break easily when taken from hot to cold temperatures rapidly. In fact, they can fracture if taken from sterilization to room temperature too quickly.