Drawing and Bending Lab Glass Tubing

Mastering the art of lab glass tubing is important. If you are planning on a career in the field of science, you must understand how to use glass tubes. In this website page, you will learn about drawing and bending glass tubing. These are two important skills that can help you manage all your lab equipment.

The Basics

Before you draw or bend glass, you must understand the different types of glasses in your laboratory. You will come across borosilicate and flint glass. Borosilicate glass is sold under labels. For instance, Pyrex is a renowned form of borosilicate glass. On the other hand, flint glasses don’t have any labels. The flint glass can be drawn and bend with any flame. An alcohol burner is sufficient to draw or bend flint glass. Too much heat may melt the entire structure and ruin your process. However, the borosilicate glass needs higher temperatures. If you wish to bend Pyrex glass, you must apply extreme heat and soften it! Well, the process is definitely not easy. You need a gas flame and lots of “patience”.

How to draw glass?

“Drawing lab glass tubing” is quite common in all science labs. To draw glass tubes, you must have a knack for the temperature and time. First of all, you must heat the tube to a point where it bends. The glass bottom should be placed over the hottest part of your burner. Now, rotate the glass. Remember, the glass tube needs to be rotated evenly.

The moment you see the tube become pliable, you should draw it away from heat. Then, carefully pull the ends together until the desired thickness is achieved. The best way to prevent a curve or bow in the tube is by letting gravity do its trick. Hold the heated glass tube vertically. Now, pull or draw it! Gravity will help you during the process.

Once the above steps are done, you must allow the tube to cool down. Then, cut the tube and polish the sharp edges in the fire.

Drawing lab glass tubing is a useful technique that can help you make customized pipettes.

How to bend glass tubes?

Another handy technique would be bending glass. The procedure to bend glass is quite similar to drawing. Once again, you must hold the glass tube to the inner core of the flame. A flame spreader will make the job easier. However, it is not extremely required. As the glass tube begins to bend, you must remove it from the heat and let it cool down. It may take few seconds for the tube to cool. In a quick move, bend the cooled glass tube. Try to reach the desired angle as quickly as possible. Then, hold the test tube to the burner until it becomes hard again.

For the bent glass tube to cool down completely, you should place it on a heat-resistant surface. Never leave it on un-insulated or cold surfaces like stone benches. This will break or crack the tube.

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