The Benefits and Features of Borosilicate Glass
Borosilicate glass has a high melting point, making it much more heat-resistant than many standard glass types. And due to its low thermal expansion coefficient, it is able to maintain its transparency and strength even when exposed to extremely high temperatures; it can withstand a working temperature of 515 °F and doesn’t melt until it reaches 550 °F.
Borosilicate glass contains the usual ingredients typically used in glassmaking — quartz, sodium carbonate, and aluminum oxide — with the addition of 5-13% boric oxide, which imbues the glass with its unique qualities.
Borosilicate glass is generally more difficult to produce than other types of glass since it requires a higher melting temperature. However, it’s still highly economical, and the advantages are enormous considering the low cost of the product. Plus, the cost of producing borosilicate glass pales in comparison to the alternative: routinely replacing inferior glass that cannot withstand fluctuating or extreme temperatures.
Naturally, various innovations have since improved Schott’s original glass design, and today several types of borosilicate glass are available such as BOROSILICATE and PYREX for different types of applications. But the basic principles remain the same; the unique characteristics of the glass allow it to have a low coefficient of thermal expansion, roughly one-third of that of typical soda-lime glass. While borosilicate can withstand high temperatures and thermal shock, cracking is possible. It is unlikely to shatter, though.