What is Borosilicate Glass (And Why Should You Care)?
Maybe you’ve heard of borosilicate glass. For one, it’s what we use to make every MIU COLOR glass water bottle.
But, what is borosilicate glass, and is it superior to standard drinkware? (Spoiler alert: definitely.) In this article, we’ll address these topics and more. Your borosilicate education begins now!
Common Glass is Trash
Typical glass, like that most likely found in your drinking glasses and wineglasses at home, is just fine for everyday use. It holds your beverages, it’s washable, it breaks when you drop it on something hard—we’re all familiar with the basic properties of glass.
But many of the characteristics of common glass (which is usually soda-lime or silica glass) make it a poor choice for high-performance water bottles.
For one, it doesn’t handle extreme temperatures well. Typical glass is brittle and easily contracts and expands with temperature changes. In fact, very sudden shifts in temperature can sometimes cause glass to crack or shatter, which is not only annoying but dangerous!
This video from Popular Science shows an awesome example of this phenomenon.
Not a good trait in a bottle that you want to use for hot coffee, tea, etc.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Most of us have inadvertently broken at least one glass implement in our lives. Often much to the chagrin of our mothers. It’s no wonder that most people balk at the notion of a glass water/sports bottle.
Who wants to open up their gym bag only to find a mess of water and glass shards? I’m guessing no one.
Speaking of glass shards, drop one of your drinking glasses on a hard floor and see what happens. On second thought, don’t, but you can be sure the results wouldn’t be pretty. Not only does soda-lime glass break easily, it likes to shatter in glories explosions of deadly, hard-to-see glass shrapnel.
Borosilicate glass came along in the late 19th century as an answer to many of the shortcomings inherent in glass. It was invented by German chemist Otto Schott.
A brilliant man with a brilliant ‘stache. Photo: Andrea Würzburger
Schott innovated the glassmaking process by incorporating boric oxide into the traditional mixture of ingredients. Borosilicate glass was born. Although producing borosilicate glass requires intense temperatures due to a high melting point (and is therefore more difficult and expensive than making common glass), the extra effort pays off in numerous ways.
One of the most well-known attributes of borosilicate glass is its extreme temperature resistance. Borosilicate can withstand temperatures of up to around 330°F, compared to the only 100°F or so for normal glass. This characteristic alone makes it the gold-standard for glass cookware, measuring cups (or, it was), laboratory beakers, and test tubes.
Borosilicate: great for all types of “cooking”.
Borosilicate glass is markedly more durable than silicate and soda-lime glasses. It holds up against harder drops and impacts than inferior glass, especially with extra protection (such as a stylish carrying sleeve).
Note that borosilicate glass is still, well, glass. It will break if subjected to sufficiently intense force.
That being said, there’s another cool feature of borosilicate glass. When it does break, it tends to crack into chunks rather than shatter into small pieces. That means safer and easier cleanup should the unthinkable happen. (If it does, please contact us for a replacement.)
Ditch the Plastic and Go (Borosilicate) Glass
Now that you’re well on your way to becoming a borosilicate expert, you’re probably wondering how you can get in on all this temperature-resistant goodness. Hopefully, you aren’t still using plastic water bottles. The detrimental effects on your health and our environment are almost too many to list—yuck!
Borosilicate glass bottles are a great way to protect your body and the planet and look cool while doing it. MIU COLOR has a special deal going on right now for some of our bottles on Amazon.
Go to this page and use the code 4K5PBQTL during checkout to save 35% on three bottles, 25% on two bottles, and 10% on one bottle.
If you have any questions or comments about borosilicate glass bottles, leave us a comment below.
As always, Make It Unique.
Additional photos from Pexel and ReactionGifs.us.