What is Borosilicate Glass?

Origins of Borosilicate Glass

Borosilicate Glass was invented in the late 19th century by German glassmaker Otto Schott. He introduced it in 1893 under the brand name Duran. It arrived in the USA in 1915 when the Corning Glass Works brought it under the name Pyrex. The Borosilicate Glass and Pyrex names have been used interchangeably ever since,  though they are slightly different. Pyrex Glass was initially made from borosilicate glass. it is easily able to withstand high temperatures, which makes it ideal for kitchen and oven use. It has become phenomenally successful over the years. Nowadays, not all Pyrex is made of borosilicate. Corning changed to using soda-lime glass, which is more cost-effective. 

Differences Between Borosilicate and Soda-Lime Glass

Soda-lime glass is less expensive and as a result, accounts for 90% of the World’s manufactured glass. It is used for furniture items, vases, beverage glasses, and windows, etc. It is also susceptible to shock and is not good at handling extreme changes in temperature.  It’s chemical make-up includes: 69% silica (silicone dioxide), 15% soda (sodium oxide) and 9% lime (calcium oxide). Hence the name.

Borosilicate glass contains about 15% boron trioxide, an ingredient that completely changes the behavior of the glass creating incredible thermal shock resistance. It does not crack under extreme temperature changes like soda-lime glass. This amazing durability has made it the glass of choice for high-end restaurants, laboratories, wineries and of course bong manufacturers.  

Thermal Shock Range

The ability of glass to withstand heat is termed its coefficient. This means the speed at which it is able to withstand changes in temperature. Soda-lime glass expands at twice the rate of borosilicate glass. Borosilicate has a much higher percentage of silicon dioxide 80% instead of 69%. This means it is far less susceptible to fracturing.

This wonderful product can withstand a thermal shock range of 170ºC. This means it can withstand a sudden temperature change with ease. In practical terms, this means you can remove it from the oven and run it under a cold tap,  with it breaking. 

Borosilicate glass is also incredibly resistant to chemicals. So much so that it is used to store nuclear waste. The boron trioxide content makes it less soluble, meaning that unwanted materials will not leach into or out of the glass. Borosilicate is far superior to regular glass.

Public Safety and Ecology

Borosilicate glass resists other chemicals and is not affected by acid. This means that nothing will affect the water in your bong and your piece will never be affected by cleaning products. It is dishwasher and microwave safe, can store hot liquids or be left out in the sun. You won’t have any need to worry about your bong heating up and releasing harmful toxins into the water.  This can happen with plastic water bottles or less expensive silicone bongs. N.B. If using silicone,  ALWAYS ensure that you buy from a reputable distributor like Molino who only ever use 100% food-safe silicone. 

Borosilicate Glass is far better for the environment. It is n ow well documented that plastic water bottles are really bad for the environment. Made from petroleum, plastic almost always ends up in either a landfill, lakes or oceans. No more than 9% of plastic gets recycled. Even when it does, it carries a large carbon footprint. Since borosilicate is made from extremely abundant materials,  the impact is far less than using oil-based products. If handled correctly, borosilicate glass will last a lifetime,  meaning an even smaller impact on our planet.

Taste the Herb and Not the Bong

This superior glass makes your herb taste better. We’ve all drank from a plastic or stainless steel bottle and tasted the plastic or metallic flavors from the containers. Obviously this happens because molecules of the substance are leaching into the drink. This is not just unpleasant, it is harmful to your health. With borosilicate, all liquids are kept pure and free from contamination. 

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