What are laboratory glassware made up of? This question came up in mind because once I accidentally dropped a test tube and it shattered into big pieces. I observed that it didn't broke into pieces on first impact to the floor rather it bounced and broke into pieces on second impact. Any ordinary glass would shatter into small pieces On the very first impact to the floor. Does this type of glass possess elasticity?

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    $\begingroup$ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borosilicate_glass $\endgroup$
    – orthocresol
    Oct 12, 2015 at 15:58
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    $\begingroup$ Gee, a Google search doesn't hurt. $\endgroup$
    – M.A.R.
    Oct 12, 2015 at 16:00
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    $\begingroup$ Trust me that you can shatter lab glassware into very small pieces … $\endgroup$
    – Jan
    Oct 12, 2015 at 16:07
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    $\begingroup$ This question would be more suited for physics.stackexchange.com $\endgroup$
    – user10153
    Oct 12, 2015 at 16:22

1 Answer 1


Kitchen glassware is made to contain large internal stresses, so it shatters into small, non-dangerous pieces. That is hard to achieve with Duran etc., because that stuff has a small thermal expansion coefficient, just so that it does not break under large temperature changes.

I expect that the kind of kitchen glassware that is supposed to withstand large temperature changes also breaks into rather large pieces.

And yes, glass is highly elastic. Elasticity is effectively the only mechanical property it does possess, before breaking. ;-)


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