It’s a word used often in conjunction with glass bongs, bubblers and dab rigs. In fact we use it just about every product write up for our bongs.
But what is borosilicate, and why is a benefit to have a water pipe made of this type of glass? If you are curious about this miracle product then read on.
We think this article will clear up a lot of questions you have, and make you realize why borosilicate is worth the extra money.
What Is Borosilicate Glass?
Let’s start by with a definition. What is borosilicate glass? It’s a type of glass that is made with silica and boron trioxide as the main glass-forming ingredients (as opposed to “regular” glass, which is made with soda lime). Borosilicate was invented by a German glassmaker named Otto Schott at same in the 1880s.
Borosilicate glass is noteworthy for “having very low coefficients of thermal expansion." This means it is very resistant to thermal shock (high heat). As such it’s used in many types of laboratory glass products, like the beakers graduated cylinders we all used in chemistry class. This is where the term “scientific glass” comes from.
What Are The Benefits Of Borosilicate Glass Bongs & Pipes?
Given it resistance to thermal shock it is no surprise that borosilcate glass (or “boro” as glassblowing artists and glassheads call it) has become the preferred medium for the glass pipe and bong industry. Borosilicate has a number of benefits, including durability, ability to withstand extreme temperature changes, clarity and non-toxicity.
We will explore all of these benefits in detail, offering reasons why borosolicate is better than regular glass (or ceramic), and the four reasons why you want your next pipe, bong, dab rig or bubbler to be made of this miracle material.
Resistance To Extreme Heat & Temperature Change
The primary tolerance that a glass pipe or bong or water pipe must have is the ability withstand an intense of amount of direct heat from flames. While regular glass will eventually melt at the heat of a torch, borosilicate withstands a whopping temperature of 515 degrees Fahrenheit (and doesn’t melt until 550 degrees). In addition, borosilicate is able withstand severe temperature changes without cracking or breaking. Because borosilicate glass doesn’t expand like ordinary glass, there is a smoother transition between temperatures as well an ability to withstand different temperatures at the same time. With a quality borosilicate piece, you’re able to experiment with hot water, ice cube chilling, even the intensity of a butane torch lighter without damaging the glass.
Another quality of borosilicate glass that smoking enthusiasts appreciate is its high level of durability. We have all had the experience of dropping a favorite glass pipe or bong, only to have it smash into pieces on the floor. Because borosilicate glass has much higher tensile strength than regular glass it is stronger and less likely to break. This does not mean it is entirely shatter or break proof. You still need to be careful with a borosilicate glass bong or rig. But it’s far less fragile, and it feels much sturdier hand. That said, borosilicate bongs are actually lighter than regular bongs, so you don’t have to worry about extra weight.
Clarity & Non Corrosiveness
Aside from its strength against temperature and breakage, borosilicate glass is noted for its clarity. This is something that fans of scientific glass love about boro pieces. Borosilicate glass offers excellent light transmission and is not susceptible to solarization or browning. It’s also tough enough to clean regularly and to resist corrosion.
Free of Toxins
The non-toxic nature of this glass is another reason boro is so popular. Borosilicate is lead-free, BPA free, and even hypoallergenic. For this reason borosilicate glass is considered “medical grade,” and is used in hospitals and is also very safe for cooking. Also, because it has a much higher temperature tolerance than regular glass you can be certain that you will never be exposed any of the toxic fumes that are emitted when regular glass burns.
Find Great Borosilicate Bongs & Pipes At SmokeSmith Gear
You can find borosilicate construction in bongs, bubblers, dab rigs and pipes of every size and shape. Marley Natural has just released a new line of hand blow smoked glass pieces that are constructed of boroslilicate, and many of our customers love Jane West’s line of rich blue borosilicate pieces, made in partnership with Grav Labs (Grav has long had a reputation for only working with scientific borosilicate glass). In which we carry Grav Labs grinders and bongs. And for all the benefits that boro glass provides to glass artists and pipemaker, engineers have also begun to integrate the material into vaporizers as well.
We hope this primer on borosilicate glass. You can find it’s high grade quality in water pipes, hand pipes, and even vaporizers right here at SmokeSmith Gear.