plastic vs glass beakers?

what are the pros and cons of using plastic beakers vs glass beakers?


glass... pros ? rarely reacts with its contents ? can be heated to moderately high temps ? can be cleaned of all organics for reuse by heating above 600 C glass... cons ? cost ? designed to be reusable (you have to spend time and effort washing) ? breakable ? storage (not stackable) plastic... pros ? cheap ? designed for 1 use. less possibility for cross contamination ? durable ? stackable... less lab space ? do not require cleaning ? RARELY react with contents. plastic... cons ? may generate static charge which may effect balance readings ? heatable to low temps only. ************ In practice, in labs that I manage, we use plastic unless we need to heat something. Then we use glass.
Glass breaks if dropped. It can hold most solutions safely. It can withstand heat and cold if it is Pyrex. Plastic dissolves in organic solvents and melts in heat. It bounces when you drop it.
glass beakers don't conduct heat whereas plastic beakers would melt when heated (that's a big difference-heating is extremely important in chemistry labs). glass probably breaks easier than plastic. glass might be to a degree clearer than plastic/easier to see through. plastic may react with certain substances whereas glass is unreactive.
Well many chemicals will dissolve plastic and then you have chemicals all over your work area. Plastic also melts easier and so when you have a reaction that involves heat it can melt the plastic. Glass beakers are much stronger and can stand more heat than plastic and most reactions that will involve a beaker should not get to a higher temp that will melt the glass.
Plastic Beakers

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