About Borosilicate Glass

Virtually all of the glassware sold on www.yourgreenscene.com is made of high-quality borosilicate glass. So many of you may be wondering why high-quality glassware such as dab rigs, water bongs, and smoking glass is made of this material. 

Two common types of glass are silicate glass and borosilicate glass. As the name of the latter suggests, borosilicate glass is composed of silica and boron trioxide. Introducing the trioxide to the composition allows for much higher melting points, fracture points, and temperature differentials. This means that borosilicate glass can be safely heated to temperatures of more than 900 degrees Fahrenheit and withstand temperature differentials of more than 300 degrees Fahrenheit. 

The temperature differential of glass refers to the interval by which the temperature of the glass can be rapidly heated or cooled without breaking. Other kinds of glass could crack if heated too rapidly or if cooled too rapidly (ie: icecatcher and water backsplash). Since smoking glass and tobacco pipes encounter extremes in temperature, it is very important for high-quality pipes to be composed of borosilicate glass.

Borosilicate glass was developed by German glassmaker, Otto Schott, in the late 1800’s. During WWII the U.S. was cut off from German glass imports, so the company “Pyrex” developed borosilicate glass--an integral part of the war effort--as a result. Although the Germans reassumed their position as number one in glassmaking after the war’s conclusion, glassmaking continued to thrive and develop in America.

 

Today, borosilicate glass has many other uses besides smoking pipes. Many items in the “Pyrex” brand of cooking glass are still made with borosilicate glass and so is most scientific lab glassware. Borosilicate glass can also be found in telescopes, flashlights, and aquarium heaters.

Often when we view our favorite pieces of glass, we may not see them differently than any other type of glass we may encounter. Knowing the chemical quality and composition of great glass that will last will help you be a more informed buyer.

 

Sources:

  1. Brandt, R. C.; Martens, R. I. (September 2012), "Shattering Glass Cookware", American Ceramics Society Bulletin, American Ceramics Society
  2. http://www.schott.com/d/tubing/c3fb6f14-beae-4571-82bb-a989308ffe2a/1.1/schott-brochure-technical-glasses_english.pdf
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laboratory_glassware

 

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