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6 Different Types of Glass that You Should Know About

Not all glasswares are alike. Did you know that there are 6 different types/categories of commercial glasses. Each category of glass has a different molecular and chemical structure; this results in different, but specific, functions for each glass type. Most of the jars & bottles selling in Jargeous is made by Soda-lime glass, and some of them are made by Borosilicate glass.

Soda-lime glass

Soda-lime glass is the most common form of commercial glass. Although one might assume that the name came from a refreshing fizzy drink, it did not. The name came from its chemical composition: 70% silica, 15% sodium oxide (soda), 9% calcium oxide (lime), and other various compounds.

This type of glass is known for being inexpensive, chemically stable, a good electrical insulator, and extremely easy to work with. In comparison to other types of glass, soda-lime glass can be re-soften multiple times if necessary. Hence, its widespread use in many commercial glass products such as light bulbs, window-panes, bottles, and art objects. However, note that soda-lime glass is vulnerable to sudden changes in temperature and may shatter.

Read more about why Soda-lime glass is a food-grade glass –

Borosilicate glass

Borosilicate glass is made up of silica with the addition of at least 5% boric oxide or boron trioxide. This type of glass is known for its durability and high resistance to temperature change. You might notice that your cookware, especially oven-safe dishes, are made out of borosilicate glass.

This type of glass is also used in many laboratory glass equipment, such as flasks and test tubes, as it offers optimal chemical resistance. However, in comparison to soda-lime glass, borosilicate glass is not as convenient to fabricate and is more costly.

True borosilicate glass is lead and BPA-free, making it perfectly safe to use for drinking and consuming food.

Shop for –> Borosilicate glass jar

Lead glass

Lead glass is a heavy and dense type of glass; due to the high percentage of lead oxide (approximately 20%) found in the glass. Lead oxide is known for having a higher electrical resistance and lower viscosity. Lead glass has a higher refractive index (how fast light is able to pass through the glass) which gives the glass a distinctive reflective look.

In addition, this type of glass has a lower working temperature which allows the glass to stay malleable for longer periods of time when heated, making it ideal for fabrication and artisan work. Lead glass is used in medical/research procedures or experiments that involve radiation, medical glasses, microscopes and telescopes.

Lead glass was used in glassware, in many years prior, but not anymore. Due to high lead content, the glass is better suited for decorative and ornamental products such as vases, chandeliers, and crystals.

Aluminosilicate glass

Aluminosilicate glass contains silica, similar to the other types of glass, however it has aluminum oxide within its composition. This type of glass has properties including: resistance to high temperatures and chemical exposure.

This glass is popularly used as a screen protector for mobile devices because of its high strength and scratch resistance. With the advantage of resistance to high temperatures, it is a useful material used in industrial applications such as thermometer tubing, ignition tubing, halogen lamps, and cookware and utensils.

Ninety-six percent silica glass

Ninety-six percent silica glass is a borosilicate glass that undergoes a specific process that is intended to remove almost, if not all, the non-silicate elements from the piece of glass.

Among this process includes the melting and reformation of the glass into conventional means and reheating the glass to temperatures up to 1200 degrees Celsius, to consolidate the pores. This glass is able to resist heat shocks up to 900 degrees Celsius.

Fused silica glass

Fused silica glass is the most different between all of the types of glass mentioned earlier. This type of glass is made from pure silicon dioxide in a non-crystalline state. One of the noted properties of fused silica glass is the ability to sustain high operating temperatures and good UV transparency, this is because high purity sand deposits are the raw materials in which the glass is made from. But because of these elite features, the glass is notably the most expensive and most difficult to manipulate and fabricate.


Written by @DrFatinDaud 
Dr Fatin Najwa binti Daud is a junior doctor, content creator and copywriter residing in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She previously worked in marketing, specifically digital marketing, and business development. Dr Fatin is highly passionate about medicine and education. Her other interests include activism, humanitarian work, fashion and sports. You can find Dr Fatin Daud on LinkedIn.

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