Glass, plastic, metal, or porcelain? For many, deciding what material to use when looking for a specific product or part can be a difficult decision. You need to determine what material best fits your needs and the end use of your application, while maintaining durability and stability. As borosilicate glass manufacturers, we encourage our customers to choose our “Hard Roc” glass for its range of characteristics. We want to use our experience to answer your question: Why use glass?
In our experience, our “Hard Roc” glass is often paired against soda lime glass, stainless steel, copper, porcelain, or plastics, depending, of course, on our customer’s final application. Although the characteristics of borosilicate glass remain the same despite the application, let’s break it down one by one.
Borosilicate glass vs. soda lime glass: First, which type of glass is best? As we mentioned in a previous blog post, borosilicate glass offers a stronger and more durable option than soda lime. Why? Borosilicate glass is IAPMO certified, and thermal shock (heat), scratch, impact, and stain resistant. Soda lime, on the other hand, does not possess these qualities, limiting its use. Worried about the appearance of the glass? With borosilicate glass, your products can be manufactured in a range of colorations and thicknesses. Soda lime glass, though, can lose its coloring, develop hard water stains or spotting, and crack if placed in high temperatures or invasive environments.
Borosilicate glass vs. stainless steel or copper: Glass often comes up against stainless steel or copper when in conversation about kitchen sinks. Stainless steel and copper are prone to scratching while borosilicate glass is strong enough to withstand cracks, while still allowing for a beautiful finish.
Borosilicate glass vs. porcelain: Porcelain is a popular material choice when it comes to bathroom sinks. A downside of using porcelain, though, is its tendency to stain. Borosilicate, however, meets a variety of testing requirements and is proven to be stain and chemical resistant, especially when it pertains to dyes.
Borosilicate glass vs. plastic: Mostly, we see this comparison in our industrial lighting division. While plastic can degrade and yellow over time, as well as prove to be more costly long term, our borosilicate glass provides a crystal clear color with a “going green” option and will last for a longer period of time, as it won’t weather down.
Although your end use of a product will certainly determine what material should be used in the manufacturing process, we have seen a great amount of success with glass – especially our borosilicate glass – in a variety of applications. Glass: 1, Other materials: 0.