What Type of Test Tube or Vial Do I Need?

The Different “Plastics”

We are often asked what type of container would be most suitable for any particular task. Below are some general guidelines on the different materials available, which should help you choose.

Should you have any specific questions please ask, as we are here to help!

Polystyrene (PS) These are super clear containers, ideal for inspection of contents. Polystyrene is however brittle, even at room temperature and it distorts at 70°C. PS cannot be sterilized or autoclaved.

Polypropylene (PP) A semi transparent material, not as clear as PS but a more flexible material so it withstands handling much better  Operates in a wide range of temperatures from -40°C to + 135°C. PP can be autoclaved and sterilised.

Polyethylene (LDPE and HDPE) Another translucent flexible material that operates in a wide range of temperatures from -40°C to + 121°C (for high density polyethylene, HDPE) and   -40°C to + 50°C (for low density polyethylene, LDPE). Can be sterilised chemically, but not autoclaved. Chemically very inert, it is suitable for use with the widest range of chemicals.

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