The glass tube is an important piece of equipment in any laboratory. It is quite difficult to come across a laboratory without this basic piece of equipment. You can have the glass tubes bent, stretched or even cut for your experiment. Indeed, the glass tube has numerous benefits and several uses. The work done by a glass tube differs from one laboratory to another. Nevertheless, it’s ultimate role is to ensure that work gets done safely. Anyone who is looking for glass tubes for sale will wish to know how to use them safely. In this page, you will read about how to buy a glass tube like a professional.
Understand the different types of glass tubes
In most cases, glass tubes are made of two different materials. You will come across glass tubes that are made borosilicate and of flint. These materials have quite different and have characteristic uses. Very rarely would you come across glass tubes that are made of some other materials?
Flint glass tubes have an interesting name. The tube gets its name from a substance found in English chalk – the Flint nodules. These deposits are rich in silica. According to experts, this silica is of very high quality and is extremely pure. Flint plays an integral role in the preparation of potash lead glass too. In the beginning, flint glass was treated as a form of leaded glass. It was formulated with 4 to 60 percent of lead oxide. However, the percentage of lead oxide in modern-day flint glasses has reduced significantly. This is because glass softens during low temperatures. And, the burner flame and the alcohol lamp can reduce the temperature around the flint glass. The flint glass is inexpensive and is quite simple to manipulate.
On the other hand, you have borosilicate glass. This is a special variety of glass manufactured at high temperatures. Borosilicate, as suggested by its name, has boron and silica. Pyrex is a good example of the borosilicate glass. Over the years, the demand for Pyrex has increased significantly. However, Pyrex has few unique qualities. One, you cannot use it with alcohol flames. You must expose the glass to extreme temperatures like a gas flame. Most people find it hard to afford the Pyrex glass tube. This is not an equipment for home labs. You may find this glass tube in commercial and school labs. That is because Pyrex glass tubes have the ability to resist thermal shock and are chemically inert. This variety of glass does expand easily.
Making your Choice
When you buy a glass tube, ensure that the right product is chosen. You must take into consideration many factors. Don’t stick to the tube’s chemical composition. Glass tubes come in different diameters, wall thickness, lengths and outer diameter. Always pick a glass tube that suits your purpose. The glass tube should be sized appropriately, strong and safe. Ensure that all your requirements are fulfilled before buying, bending or cutting glass.