Borosilicate glass is a temperature- and chemical-resistant glass used in the laboratory for vessels, in process engineering, and in the household. The chemical resistance (to some chemicals and water) comes from the boron content of the glasses used. Due to the low coefficient of thermal expansion, the glasses are incredibly insensitive to sudden temperature fluctuations. In addition to heat resistance, borosilicate glass is also dishwasher safe. The name derives from the two components with the most significant shares (silicon dioxide and boron trioxide).
Borosilicate glass is composed of the following chemical components:
- 70% to 80% silica
- 7% to 13% boron trioxide
- 4% to 8% of alkali metal oxides
- 2% to 7% aluminum oxide
- 0% to 5% of alkaline earth oxides
One can find borosilicate often as container glass in industry and chemistry. The use of borosilicate is optimal for food containers (bowls, preserving jars, etc.), drinking glasses, kitchen utensils, and generally heat-resistant containers. The application is also popular as flat glass (here, the manufacturing process Borofloat is significant, which is made up of the two words borosilicate glass and float glass process. In addition to being used as heat protection tiles (e.g., in space shuttles), one also uses it as a carrier substance for storing radioactive waste. Lastly, borosilicate glass is popular for containers in vaping areas (glass components in vaporizers and bongs).
It is an entirely harmless glass that neither contains nor releases potentially harmful substances. One can also recycle it again by melting it down.
Five summary facts
- The glass group does not absorb smells, tastes, or discoloration
- Due to its heat resistance, you find it mainly in the household and industry
- Borosilicate glass is robust, very cut and impact resistant, and reusable (by melting it down)
- Because of its low coefficient of thermal expansion, it can withstand strong temperature fluctuations
- Studies show that borosilicate is considered the safest glass (especially for working with food)