Labware includes a variety of products and equipment for holding liquids and other substances within a laboratory. When choosing the right piece of labware for a given application, there are some important factors to consider, including material type, durability, and capacity.
Labware can be made from a number of materials, such as glass, ceramic, and plastics. Glass is an inert brittle solid, and is heat and corrosion resistant. Ceramic is opaque, can withstand high temperatures, and resists abrasion and corrosion, but is brittle and can break upon impact. Plastics, such as polypropylene and polyvinyl chloride, are typically lightweight, have varying levels of transparency, are available in different colors, can be rigid or flexible, and are often cost effective. When choosing labware, consider the required durability and what type of environment it must withstand.
Capacity is also an important consideration. Labware comes in a variety of capacities, which is how much substance a container can hold, and is often measured in milliliters (mL) or ounces (oz).
Thickness, width, length, and height are also important factors to consider when purchasing labware.