Borosilicate Glass - Properties of Borosilicate Glass (Pyrex/Duran) by Goodfellow Ceramic & Glass Division


Goodfellow Ceramic & Glass Division are an award-winning company who supply specialist glass and ceramics for scientific and industrial use.

Goodfellow Ceramic & Glass Division aim is to understand your application and then supply the most appropriate materials or components to meet your needs.

Our technical staff are qualified in glass technology and materials science and can, therefore, provide impartial advice and full technical support for your projects.

Borosilicate Glass

Borosilicate glass, known under trade names such as Pyrex® and Duran®, is widely used in chemical and engineering applications.

Properties of Borosilicate Glass

Borosilicate glass is chemically resistant, has a low thermal expansion coefficient and can be used at relatively high temperatures. It is available in many forms and sizes such as rod, tube, plate and as machined or hot formed components.

Table 1. Typical properties of borosilicate glass.

General Density
Mechanical Young's Modulus
Thermal Max. Use Temperature
Thermal Conductivity
Co-Efficient of Linear Expansion
Electrical Volume Resistance
Dielectric Constant
Dielectric Strength


Figure 1. Transmission curve for 2mm thick borosilicate glass.

Properties of borosilicate glass shown are typical values, they are not absolute material properties, and should be used for guidance only. It is recommended that materials and components are tested for their suitability for a specific application.

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  1. Dan Askew Dan Askew United States says:

    Can you place the beaker directly on an electric heating coil (electric stove) to bring water to a boil on a high heat setting? Is there any danger of the beaker breaking under such conditions?

    • William Bremer William Bremer United States says:

      I would not recommend it.  Heat is not what makes glass break, per se.  What causes heat breaks in glass is the thermal differential.  Because it does not conduct heat well, it is very difficult to heat the entire article evenly.  When heating at one spot only, such as setting it on a stove burner or with a blowtorch, it tends to shatter violently.  Borosilicate glass used in lab equipment is more resistant to this. This type of glass is also  known by the trademark Pyrex by Dow Chemical.  Casserole dishes are commonly made of Pyrex.  Heating in an oven heats the entire article evenly so it does not break. Borosilicate is more resistant to thermal differential breaks than ordinary glass, and "Quartz glass" the common name for a heavy-duty industrial grade borosilicate is even more resistant. I would recommend using a metal container like cookware to boil water since  (a) it certainly won't break, and (b) being many times the thermal conductivity of glass, will boil your water much more quickly.  Supposing we ignore the potential for breakage, water in a glass beaker or flask on a heat coil would take much longer to boil because of the low thermal conductivity of glass.  Rough thermal conductivity of common materials in W/m K:
      ordinary glass: 0.8  borosilicate: 1.1  "quartz" glass: 1.4  steel: 50
      aluminum: 200 copper: 385  silver: 400 diamond: 1000
      This accounts for the prevalence of copper or copper-bottomed cookware, which is what I suggest you boil in.

      • Canys Okanga Cyrus Legrand Canys Okanga Cyrus Legrand Gabon says:

        The answer was clear and perfect. Because of the low thermal expansion of the Pyrex, it will be hard to be broken by the thermal shock or thermal cracking. But I would like to understand why doing this rather than using a metallic one which is more efficient?  :-)

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