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Why Quartz Glass?

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For both laboratory glassware and other analytical instruments, the type of material used is very significant in determining accuracy and reliability in the process of scientific analysis and experimentation. Among all the existing materials, quartz glass can be classified as the best alternative because it possesses unique qualities. Here, we will understand why quartz glass is the most recommended material for most laboratory equipment, and how it is different from ordinary glass materials.


What is Quartz Glass? 

Quartz belongs to the silica mineral group which is made up of silicon dioxide or SiO₂. It is one of the most abundant minerals found in the Earth's crust and is present in a variety of geological environments, including igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks. Quartz is known for its hexagonal crystalline structure, formed by a network of SiO₄ tetrahedra. This unique arrangement of silicon and oxygen atoms gives quartz its distinctive physical and chemical properties. While silica sand is commonly used to produce quartz glass, quartz itself can be turned into quartz glass by melting it at a high temperature and cooling it rapidly.

Don’t confuse yourself with quartz and quartz glass because they are 2 different things. Quartz is a crystalline solid with long-range order while Quartz glass is an amorphous solid with short-range order. Quartz Glass is also referred to as “Fused-Quartz” or “Fused-Silica”, where “Fused-Quartz” is made from pure SiO₂ like quartz while “Fused-Silica” is made synthetically with silica precursor. 

 



Properties of Quartz Glass

Quartz glass exhibits a range of properties that make it highly suitable for use in laboratory glassware:

  1. Thermal Stability: Quartz glass can withstand extremely high temperatures without losing its structural integrity. This material has a coefficient of thermal expansion that is relatively small, it therefore does not change its size significantly in response to high temperatures.

  2. Optical Transparency: Quartz glass is characterized by high transparency within ultraviolet (UV), visible, and infrared regions of the spectrum. As a result of its exceptional optical clarity, this material is best suited for spectroscopy experiments and optical analysis as well as any other experiments or applications that require precise transfer of light.

  3. Chemical Inertness: Quartz glass is highly resistant to chemical reactions, making it an excellent choice for handling corrosive substances, acids, and alkalis. The fact that it is chemically inert also means that it is incapable of destroying samples and affecting the outcome of experiments, which is a key aspect in preserving the integrity of experiments.

  4. Mechanical Strength: Quartz glass is known for its high mechanical strength and durability, which means that it does not crack or break easily when compared to conventional glass material. This is particularly important for laboratory equipment to cater for repetitive use and wear and tear.

  5. Purity: High-purity quartz glass is used in the experiments because it has low levels of impurities which can interfere with the result. Silica sand used in producing quartz is extensively processed to a high degree of purity to remove contaminants. This leads to uniform and reproducible material that complies with the standards of scientific research.

So Why Quartz Glass?

Quartz is undoubtedly the material of choice for a wide range of laboratory glassware and analytical tools due to its exceptional properties. Here are some specific reasons why quartz is favored in scientific research:

  1. High-Temperature Applications: Quartz glass can withstand high heat conditions up to 1,200°C and beyond, which can be effective in high-temperature reactions, melting and sample preparation practices. It offers the benefit of heat resistance due to its thermal stability so it can withstand high heat without deforming or cracking, providing reliable performance in demanding conditions. For example, high-form crucibles, evaporating dishes and quartz tubes are used for sintering and calcination.

  2. Optical Applications: The excellent optical transparency of quartz glass makes it invaluable for applications involving light transmission and analysis. It is generally employed in cuvettes, windows, wafers, substrates and other optical parts in laboratory apparatus. A property that makes Quartz an excellent material is its ability to transmit UV light which is vital in UV-sensitive experiments and spectroscopic analyses. 

  3. Chemical Resistance:  In analytical chemistry and environmental testing, it is essential to prevent any reactions between the content and the analysis glassware; thus, quartz glass meets this requirement perfectly. Quartz lab wares do not react with a variety of chemicals, and therefore they are durable when dealing with harsh substances that do not influence the stability of the samples. Common laboratory labware that is best made of quartz are volumetric flasks, Erlenmeyer flasks, glass rods and more. 

  4. Versatility: Quartz glass laboratory uses glassware in different forms such as crucibles, beakers, flasks, tubes and other accessories like rotary evaporator ensemble and Quartz Crystal Microbalance, etc. Quartz glass has variation capabilities in strength and durability making scientists select the best suitable glassware suited to their experiments thus improving the overall effectiveness of the experiments conducted.


In particular, the properties of quartz glass in the chemical industry are attributed to its high coefficient of heat resistance, optical transparency, chemical stability, and mechanical strength, which makes it one of the best materials to be used in glassware and analytical instruments. The characteristic of being able to keep extreme conditions from damaging the integrity of the results further underlines its value in enhancing research in a wide variety of fields. When dealing with operations that require high temperatures, spectrophotometric work, or reacting chemicals, the use of quartz glass lab wares remains crucial in carrying out research and development. 


We here at MSE Supplies know that materials are essential in the advancement of science and play a significant role in studies. MSE PRO General Lab Supplies, MSE PRO Single Crystals, Wafers and Substrates and MSE PRO High Purity Lab Crucibles are our array of laboratory products; it also incorporates quartz labware. Be it cuvettes and flasks or reagent bottles and glass rods, quartz labware products meet the exacting standards of modern laboratories.

Contact us today to begin moving your research up with the top quartz labware. Together we can move forward to enhance the frontiers of how science and innovative advancement are made.

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