Plastic lab bottles: How to choose the right materials

Plastic lab bottles

Selection goes beyond deciding glass vs. plastic lab bottles

You’ve decided on using plastic lab bottles over glass but that’s not the end of your decision. Not only do you need to decide on the bottle’s size, shape, and color, you must consider what type of plastic material you will need because temperatures and chemicals can affect a bottle’s performance.

Temperature considerations

Bottles may need to withstand extreme temperatures such as autoclavability for sterilization as well as freezing temperatures for long-term storage. Examples of bottle materials that can withstand a wide temperature range:

  • Polycarbonate (PC): –135°C to 135°C
  • Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE): –200°C to 260°C

Chemical compatibility for plastic lab bottles

The type of chemicals you use will determine the type of bottle material you will need. Examples of bottle materials with good chemical compatibility include:

  • Polypropylene (PP)
  • High-density polyethylene (HDPE)
  • Low-density polyethylene (LDPE)

Use this handy chart to help you determine the type of bottle material you need for your application. You can also use our chemical compatibility database. You can use the dropdowns in the database to choose the chemical, and compare against all materials or any specific material.

Plastic materials overview

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