Borosilicate Glass: What's in Your Bong?

by Julia Abney August 01, 2017 3 min read

Borosilicate Glass: What's in Your Bong?

You see it listed as a water pipe perk all the time, but what is “Borosilicate Glass”really and why does it matter? We’re here to break down what it means for your bong collection.

There are six main reasons Borosilicate Glass has gained traction in the pipe industry:

  1. Durability against breakage
  2. Extreme temperature resistance
  3. Quick-changing temperature resistance
  4. Non-Toxic
  5. Cleanability
  6. Corrosion Resistance
  7. Clarity

You might be more familiar with Pyrex, which first patented a low thermal expansion borosilicate glass back in 1908. It was designed, in particular, for the demanding use of a lab or kitchen before finding a useful role in pipemaking. Today’s top glassblowers tend to stick to genuine borosilicate, though even the Pyrex brand has switched to a cheaper soda-lime alternative.

Pyrex measuring cup

The primary demand we put on a pipe is the ability to hold its own against fire-hot and ice-cold temperatures. That also means the ability to shift quickly between the two without cracking. With a quality borosilicate piece, you’ll be able to experiment with hot vaporous water, ice cube chilling, even the intensity of a torch lighter without worrying about the wear.

 The aspect of borosilicate enthusiasts tend to most outwardly appreciate is the increased durability. We’ve all had those heartbroken moments when you’ve just spent the cash on a quality pipe for it to break before its time was up. You can seriously minimize the chances of this happening if you check your glass type before you buy. Borosilicate is often called “space glass” in the industry for its futuristic ability to stand strong against breakage. Though it isn’t shatterproof, it’s much tougher than your standard glass design. That means you won’t have to waste any fun worrying about your butterfinger friends or pets bumping over water pipes.

 Aside from its strength against temperature and breakage, borosilicate glass is also tough enough to clean regularly and resist corrosion. Use a simple isopropyl alcohol soak to eat away at build up, and even use a pipe cleaner to give it a good scrub if you feel the urge. Keeping it clean will give you that good-as-new crystal clarity that makes boro glass pop. Set it on the windowsill to see the sleek glass sparkle! The clear glass can still be colorized for some pretty impressive artwork.

Finally, non-toxicity is a big reason boro glass is so popular. Smarter than drinking from a standard straw, this material is lead-free, BPA free, and even hypoallergenic. This is what makes it commercial grade for use in hospitals and kitchens. This frees you up to focus on the mindful qualities of the herbs you use along with it.

You can find borosilicate construction in pipes of every size and type. Most recently enthusiasts have been swooning over Jane West’s full line of rich blue borosilicate. Grav Labs has also curated a strong reputation with entirely scientific borosilicate glass--the only type to meet their top-notch quality standards. And for all the perks boro glass brings to the table in pipemaking, engineers have also begun to integrate the material into vaporizers -- like the Arizer Solo 2  -- as well.

Beakers

If you’re curious what else borosilicate is used for, here’s a few places: 

  • Laboratories
  • Kitchenware
  • Commercial packaging
  • Dental cartridges
  • Electronic cooling
  • Flashlight lens
  • Lamps
  • Telescopes
  • Guitar slides
  • Solar technology
  • Thermal insulation
  • Aquarium heaters
  • Jewelry
  • Artistic medium

If you’re more worried about what the best borosilicate pipes are, here’s a list of our top ranked:

Pulsar borosilicate glass bong
  1. Honeycomb Perc Straight Tube Bong by GRAV -- An essential for every collection with straightforward honeycomb-diffused delivery.
  2. Glycerin Coil Inline Perc Bong by DankStop -- Chill the glycerin coil right in the freezer thanks to the extreme temperature resistance of this borosilicate bong.
  3. Jane West Beaker Bong by GRAV -- An on-trend interpretation of borosilicate paired with pure cobalt ore for a rich blue hue.
  4. Helix Bubbler by GRAV -- A unique smoke-swirling mouthpiece that won’t break like lesser bubblers when toppled.
  5. Upline Ash Catcher by Micah Evans x GRAV -- A great way to upgrade your existing water pipe with a borosilicate enhancement.

What these everyday items and bestselling pipes have in common is being upscaled by borosilicate. Though here at DopeBoo we’re most interested in the heat resistance and durability, “boro” is also known for its chemical durability.

So that’s the deal with borosilicate. You can find it’s high grade quality in water pipes, hand pipes, and even vaporizers right here on DopeBoo.

Julia Abney
Julia Abney

Julia, a flower child hailing from Spain, discovered her love of fresh herbs years ago when she accidentally became head of product at a farm in Oregon. She promises to not bias her guides too much towards vaporizers, but no guarantees!



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