Making the best choice takes science!

 

 

The photomicrograph on the left is the surface of a plastic container that contained a chemical that should never have been stored in that container. Where did the plastic go? Into the chemical as a contaminate. How did this impact the results of the analysis?

 

In analyzing and sourcing products for our clients, there are several observations we have made:

 

[1] People often spend money needlessly buying specially cleaned or certified containers that aren't required for the assay.

[2] People seldom consider that containers that start out life clean, will get dirty over time just sitting in a box without a cap.
 
[3] Buying without a cap saves money. Contaminated samples do not.

[4] Caps actually have an expiration date. They can degrade and become dangerous when stored for long periods of time.

[5] Glass containers are thermally sensitive and will break if hot liquids are poured in. NEVER store glass bottles outside in the winter. If you do, they MUST be warmed to room temperature to avoid breakage.

[6] Many people store chemicals in containers that they were never designed for. 

Here is everything you would want to know about containers and caps, starting with how to select the right plastic for your chemicals.

 

Chemical Guidelines for Plastics

 

Chemical  
LDPE
HDPE
PP
PVC
PET
PS
Acetic Acid, glacial  
B
A
A
D
D
D
Acetone  
B
A
A
D
D
D
Alcohol: Ethyl  
B
A
A
A
A
B
Alcohol: Methyl  
A
A
A
A
A
A
Alcohol: N-Propyl  
A
A
A
A
A
B
Aliphatic (Straight Chain) Hydrocarbons  
D
B
B
A
A
D
Ammonia 28%  
B
A
A
A
C
B
Battery Electrolyte  
A
A
A
B
B
B
Benzene, Xylene and other Aromatic Hydrocarbons  
D
D
D
D
D
D
Bromine, liquid  
D
D
B
D
D
D
Carbon Tetrachloride and other Chlorinated Hydrocarbons  
D
D
D
D
D
D
Chromic Acid below 40%  
A
A
A
A
A
B
Chromic Acid 40% or above  
B
A
A
A
C
D
Dipropylene Glycol  
A
A
A
A
C
A
Ethers, simple  
D
D
D
B
C
D
Ethyl Acetate and other Simple Esters  
B
B
B
D
D
D
Ethylene Glycol  
A
A
A
A
B
A
Formaldehyde 36%  
A
A
A
A
C
D
Formic Acid  
A
A
A
A
C
B
Gasoline  
D
B
B
B
B
D
Hexachlorophene  
B
A
C
B
C
C
Hydrobromic Acid 48%  
A
A
B
A
C
B
Hydrochloric (muriatic) Acid 36% or 22.4º Be  
A
A
A
A
B
B
Hydrofluoric Acid up to 52%  
A
A
A
A
C
D
Hydrofluosilicic Acid up to 26%  
A
A
C
C
C
B
Hydrogen Peroxide up to 30%  
A
A
A
A
A
B
Kerosene, Naphtha, Mineral Spirits, Petroleum, Distillate or Stoddard Solvent  
D
B
C
B
B
D
Mercury, metal  
A
A
A
A
C
A
Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK)  
B
B
B
D
D
D
MEK Peroxide  
C
A
C
D
C
D
Nitric Acid under 20%  
A
A
A
A
A
D
Nitric Acid 20-70%  
B
B
B
A
C
D
Oxalic Acid  
A
A
A
A
C
A
Phenol  
B
B
A
B
D
D
Phosphoric Acid 85% or 59º Be  
A
A
A
A
C
B
Potassium Hydroxide  
A
A
A
A
C
B
Quaternary Ammonium Salt Solutions  
A
A
A
A
C
B
Sodium Hydroxide  
A
A
A
A
B
B
Sodium Hypochlorite to 6% available Chloride  
A
A
A
A
CA
B
Sodium Hypochlorite 7-15% available Chloride  
A
A
B
A
C
B
Sulphuric Acid, cond. to 93% or 66º Be  
B
B
A
B
D
D
Trichloroethane  
D
D
B
A
A
D
Turpentine  
D
D
B
A
A
D
Water  
A
A
A
A
A
A

 

 
KEY
 
A. Satisfactory
 
B.Probably Satisfactory
 
C. No Information Available
 
D. Unsatisfactory
   
 
LDPE- Low Density Polyethylene
 
HDPE- High Density Polyethylene
 
PP- Polypropylene
 
PVC- Polyvinyl Chloride
 
PET- Polyethylene Terephthalate
 
PS- Polystyrene

 

Finding a chemical compatibility chart isn’t as easy today as it used to be in the days when we used paper catalogs. Globe Scientific (a key supplier we use for plastics and glass products) provides an excellent reference chart in the back of their catalog which I have converted to an Excel file. You can download this file by clicking on the link below. I hope you find this free tool valuable.
 

Chemical Compatibility Chart

 

Plastic Container Styles

 

Plastic Bottles & Jars

 

Boston Round BottlesCylinder BottlesJarsLab Style BottlesMedia BottlesModern Round BottlesOblong BottlesPacker BottlesStraight Sided, Round BottlesWide Mouth Round Bottles 



Plastic Jugs & Large Volume Vessels

 

CubitainersDairy JugsFluorinated JugsF-Style JugsHedpaksOpen Head PailsRound Handled JugsSquare CarboysSquare Handled JugsWinpaks 



Plastic Vials & Tubes


Cryogenic VialsHinged VialsSnap Cap Vials

 

Glass Container Styles

 

Glass Bottles & JarsBoston Round Bottles ,Composite Test JarsFrench Square BottlesGraduated Medium Round BottlesMedia BottlesOil Sample BottlesSquare Tablet BottlesStandard Wide Mouth BottlesStraight Sided Round JarsWide Mouth Packer Bottles 



Glass Vials & Tubes


Chromatography VialsSample VialsTubes



Additional Glass Vessels


BeakersFlasksGraduated CylindersJugs

 

How are closures sizes defined?

 

How do I measure a bottle and/or bottle cap accurately?How to measure a cap diameterHow to measure a bottle neck opening diameterHow to determine the thread finish



Cap Material


Thermoset or Phenolic (Bakelite)MetalPolypropylene (Thermoplastic



Liner Material


F217 & PTFE Lined CapsPulp/Vinyl Lined CapsPolyCone Lined CapRubber Lined CapsRubber Backed/PTFE Faced Caps.030 Solid Polyethylene Lined CapsAluminum Foil Lined CapsTin Foil Lined CapsSturdeeSeal PE Foam Lined CapsF422 HDPE Foam Lined CapsUnlined CapsPlastisol Lined Caps
Pulp/Polyethylene Lined Caps 

 

Plastic Bottles & Jars

 

Boston Round Bottles 


Natural LDPE Boston Round Bottles are the perfect solution for liquid sample handling in a squeezable bottle. These bottles are virtually unbreakable and more resistant to stress cracking than HDPE bottles. They retain their impact strength at very low temperatures. 



Cylinder Bottles 


Narrow mouth Cylinder Bottles are perfect for handling liquid samples in the lab. The shoulder style allows you to pour small quantities without spilling. Clear PVC Cylinder Bottles provide an excellent resistance to oxygen permeation, oils and good water barrier characteristics. Transparent and rigid, they allow for easy visual identification of the amount of product inside. HDPE cylinder Bottles are translucent and impact resistant. HDPE bottles are ideal for high-speed filling, demanding pharmaceutical specifications and the rough handling of interstate shipping. Available in natural or white which offers a degree of light protection. Wide Mouth Cylinder Bottles offer all the benefits of the cylinder shape and HDPE properties but with the added advantage of a wider opening.
 



Jars 


Jars are ideal for storing and collecting specimens and lab supplies. Wide neck and straight sides facilitate easy recovery of contents. Rigid Clear Polystyrene Jars offer glass-like clarity with a smooth surface that is slip-resistant. Natural Polypropylene Jars are translucent and durable. Polypropylene offers greater tolerance to high temperatures than HDPE and better contact clarity. Co-polymer Jars are made from polypropylene and styrene. This combination gives the jars great temperature tolerance and rigidity. White Polypropylene Jars are ideal for solids, powders and cosmetics.
 



Lab Style Bottles 


HDPE Lab Style Bottles feature excellent chemical resistance and the leak resistant closure make these bottles ideal for storing, shipping and packaging liquids for long periods. Available in narrow or wide mouth and are supplied with linerless polypropylene caps.



Media Bottles 


Plastic Media Bottles are a safe alternative to glass and are available in PETG round or polycarbonate square. PETG Media Bottles are certified non-pyrogenic, nuclease (DNase/RNase) free, particle free and Bioburdern/Cytotoxicity tested. Includes new-patented PE tamper-evident cap. They are gamma irradiated SAL 10-6 and packed in double layer shrink wrapped in trays. Polycarbonate Square Media Bottles are supplied with a leak-proof blue PP cap. They are autoclavable and are ideal for steam sterilization of all biologicals, liquids, reagents, media and buffers. They are manufactured in an ISO:9002 facility and are produced with medical grade, virgin Lexan® polycarbonate that is durable, chemically inert, non-leaching and optically superior. 



Modern Round Bottles 


Modern Round Bottles are available in Nylon/PE or HDPE. Nylon/PE modern rounds are nylon bottles co-extruded within a polyethylene bottle banded together by an adhesive. The advantage of this process is that no trace ingredients can get into the "sidewall maze". Containers produced by this process offer improved protection for non-polar hydrocarbons. Available in amber or natural. HDPE Modern Round Bottles feature side panels to allow for label application. The sloped shoulder of this bottle allow for maximum fill capacity. 



Oblong Bottles 


Natural HDPE Wide Mouth Oblong Bottles offer a space saving design for the workbench. These bottles feature a wide mouth opening, ideal for sampling solids and powders. HDPE provides an excellent moisture barrier and are impact resistant. They are ideal for high-speed filling, demanding pharmaceutical specifications and the rough handling of interstate shipping.



Packer Bottles 


Packer Bottles are ideal for oil analysis. PET is stress and impact resistant and provides a good alcohol and solvent barrier. Amber PET Packer Bottles protect from harmful light and UV rays. Heavyweight Clear PET Packer Bottles feature a heavywall construction (24 gram thickness) that will withstand the use of a vacuum pump and higher sampling temperatures. Clear PET Packer Bottles make sample identification a snap. 



Straight Sided Round Bottles

 
HDPE Straight Sided Round Bottles are the ideal large capacity plastic container. The extra wide opening and jar style allow for easy insertion and recovery of contents.
 



Wide Mouth Round Bottles 


Natural HDPE Wide Mouth Rounds are ideal for general lab use with solids and powders. These HDPE bottles provide an excellent moisture barrier and are impact resistant. They are ideal for high-speed filling, demanding pharmaceutical specifications and the rough handling of interstate shipping. Natural HDPE Tall Wide Mouth Round Bottles have a space saving design and are ideal for general use with solids and powders. 


 

Plastic Jugs & Large Volume Vessels

 

Cubitainers 


Cubitainers are low-density flexible polyethylene cube-shaped inserts inside a heavy-duty corrugated outer carton. Easy to ship, handle and pour. Designed to collapse as product is dispensed. The non-glug design assures product flow in a continuous, uninterrupted stream. A reversible well design permits opening to be raised or depressed for pouring and storage. Built to withstand the rigors of hazardous chemical packaging



Dairy Jugs


Natural, lightweight dairy jugs are available in capacities from 8 to 128 ounces. These inexpensive, general purpose containers are ideal for sampling and storeroom use.
 



Fluorinated Jugs 


Fluorinated jugs provide the barrier protection you need for large volumes of liquids. Fluorinated jugs offer permeation protection 100 times better than HDPE alone. These jugs provide improved product odor control and container shape retention. They guard against product weight loss, permeation, and discoloration of the container. 



F-Style Jugs

 
HDPE F-Style jugs are ideal for environmental applications. The molded panel allows for easy label application and features a space saving rectangular shape.
 



Hedpaks 


The Hedpak is a rigid, high-density polyethylene container. An integral handle on the top face with molded pouring vent, along with a finger recess on the bottom of the bottle make it easy-to-use. The square design saves space when storing and shipping. 



Open Head Pails 


Durable HDPE pails are perfect for storing and shipping large volumes of solids, powders and liquids. Ideal for general shop or warehouse usage. Pails have a rounded hand grip with metal bail. Various color pails and lids are available in pallet quantities.

 

Round Handled Jugs 


Handled Rounds provide the right solution when you need to store large volumes of product. Large grasp area makes for precise handling. Wide Mouth Handled Rounds will hold up to 128oz and has a finger grip for easy pouring. 190 gram Heavyweight Handled Rounds are ideal for high speed filling.
 



Square Carboys 


5 Gallon square carboys are equipped with large handles making it easy for lifting and carrying. Ribbed side panels for give added strength. Ideal for storage and transport of chemicals and agrochemicals, or pharmaceutical preparations.

 

Square Handled Jugs 


Square Handled Jugs are made from durable HDPE. The space saving design on these jugs makes them ideal for the workbench. These HDPE jugs provide an excellent moisture barrier and are impact resistant. 



Winpaks 


Winpaks are cylindrical in shape with spout placement in line with the sidewall for maximum removal of product during dispensing. The unit is also equipped with a swing handle on the top face. Designed for the secure, dependable shipment and storage of liquid products.
 

 

Plastic Vials & Tubes

 

Cryogenic Vials 


Cryogenic Vials are ideal for storage or transport of material at extremely low temperatures. Smooth and uniform inner surface for easy filling and sample preparation. 



Hinged Vials 


Polypropylene Hinged Vials are leak-proof and airtight and are produced by using a Sterile-by-Process (aseptic) method. Hinged vials are manufactured using a unique, patented process that closes the vial lid while still in the mold and prior to ejecting the container. The process uses temperatures ranging from 390–440 °F which is too high to support living organisms. Hinged vials remain closed until they are opened for the first time by the user. The flip-top is integrally hinged to the container, allowing the user to open and close the container with one hand. 



Snap Cap Vials 


Polystyrene offers great rigidity and glass-like clarity. Polyethylene caps "snap" on and off quickly and easily. Great for storing bench top accessories and field sampling.
 

 

Glass Bottles & Jars

 
 
Boston Round Bottles are general use bottles that are perfect for liquids, product storage, and field or plant sampling projects. They feature a round body, rounded shoulders and narrow screw neck opening. These environmentally sensitive bottles help eliminate waste and help to insure product integrity for long term storage. Clear / Flint Boston Round Bottles offers maximum visibility and sample integrity. Amber & Cobalt Blue Boston Round Bottles protect contents from UV rays and are ideal for light sensitive products

Clear / Flint Composite Test Jars are clear wide-mouth straight sided jars that are ideal for sampling and provide maximum content visibility. These bottles are designed without shoulders for maximum storage capacity. 

Clear / Flint French Square Bottles provide maximum content visibility. The space saving design saves on shelf and storage space. The wide mouth opening is ideal for mixing, storing and sampling. 

Bottle Beakers® also known as Graduated Medium Rounds are excellent for use with biological and pathological specimens, but can also be used for storing industrial laboratory chemicals and reagents. These clear / flint bottles are designed with a slight shoulder for easy pouring and handling. Graduated in ml and ounces. Mix, measure, and store in the same container.

Media Bottles are manufactured from PYREX® borosilicate glass for chemical and thermal resistance and can be used for storage as well as mixing and sampling. Regular Media Bottles have permanent white enamel graduations and marking spots. PYREXPlus® Media Bottles have a protective PVC coating helps prevent glass from shattering and reduces spills. Teal enameled graduations and marking spot. 

Oil Sample Bottles 

Clear / Flint Oil Sample Bottles are provided with a #6 cork and feature a unique design. These clear bottles are ideal for field analysis in the petroleum industry. The design of this bottle also makes it an excellent choice for displaying product samples.
 
Clear / Flint Square Tablet Bottles provide maximum content visibility. Square glass bottles feature a space saving design for bench tops with limited storing space. These wide mouth bottles are ideal for mixing, storing and sampling. 

Clear / Flint Standard Wide Mouth Bottles feature a wide opening making them the ideal general purpose bottle. Applications include pharmaceutical, chemical, environmental, and food packaging and storing. 

Clear / Flint Straight Sided Round Jars are ideal for sampling and are designed without shoulders to provide maximum storage capacity and visibility. 

Amber Wide Mouth Packer Bottles feature a wide opening making them the ideal general purpose bottle for solid sampling. Applications include pharmaceutical, chemical and environmental. Ideal for light sensitive products. 

Borosilicate glass Chromatography Vials are available with crimp, snap top or screw necks. Large or standard openings with your choice of color coded graduation spots or marking spots which can be written on with a #2 pencil. Our quality chromatography vials work with most autosamplers. 

Type I borosilicate Glass Sample Vials assures the contents integrity. Vials are ideal for storing and sampling small amounts of liquid and powders. Choose clear for maximum visibility or amber, cobalt blue or green for protection from UV rays. Cobalt blue and green vials are commonly used for aromatherapy and essential oil packaging. 

Quality borosilicate culture and test Tubes are offered in a variety of sizes and styles including flat or round bottom, rimless, beaded rim or screw thread. Test tubes have beaded rims or are available with sidearms. 

Borosilicate glass Beakers with spout are manufactured to provide balance between thermal shock resistance and mechanical strength. Most size have a scale to indicate approximate content and an extra large marking spot. All beakers are designed to ASTM E-960. 
 
Borosilicate glass Flasks are available in variety of styles & sizes. Boiling flasks are available with round or flat bottoms. Glass culture flasks with long neck or low form narrow mouth flask. Erlenmeyer flasks in heavy duty, filtering, narrow & wide mouth, & low Actinic. Available with or without stoppers or caps. Filtering Flasks have sidearm tabulations and are graduated to show approximate capacity. Volumetric flasks in heavy duty, PYREXPlus®, snap cap, low Actinic, Class A and economy. Kjeldahl flasks, specially styled, have tooled finished necks for extra strength and uniform stopper fit.
 
Borosilicate glass Graduated Cylinders measure accurate volumes of liquids. Available calibrated "to contain" or "to deliver", graduated cylinders can be used to calibrate other glassware. Graduations available in single or double metric scale.
 

Jugs 

Glass Jugs with molded finger grips are the perfect storage solution for large quantities of liquid. Amber Jugs protects against harmful UV rays. For larger capacities with the chemical resistance of glass, choose our 5 gallon water bottle. You provide the stopper in either a #16 cork or #6.5 rubber.
 
Everyone from consumers to scientists know that the cap on your bottle has to fit correctly to prevent leakage, evaporation and potentially dangerous spills. What many don't know is how to make sure the cap is the right size for the bottle.

 

Before you select a cap, you need to know the correct size. Cap sizes are not interchangeable – a 28-400 cap will not fit properly on a bottle with a 28-410 neck finish. Cap sizes and the neck finish on a bottle have a unique system of measurements.

 

How are closures sizes defined?

 

Screw thread closure sizes are expressed in two numbers:


[1] The first number refers to the diameter of the closure or bottle opening (in mm) and refers to the nominal diameter measured across the inside of the cap at the opening or the outer diameter of the bottle.

[2] The second number represents the GPI thread finish and refers to the height of the cap and the style of threads on the cap and the container. GPI refers to the Glass Packaging Institute which standardized neck finishes many years ago for both glass and plastic containers.

 

How do I measure a bottle and/or bottle cap accurately?

 

The Qorpak Cap and Bottle Measurer makes taking those crucial measurements easy. 

 

Click on the link below to download the Qorpak cap measurer.  If printed on traditional 8.5 x 11" paper with standard print options, cap measurer will print to actual size.

 

Qorpak_CapMeasurer2.pdf

 

You can also email us at info@labproservices.com and let us know where you would like us to send this sturdy cap measurer.

 

Once you have your Qorpak Cap Measurer, follow these easy steps:

 

To measure a cap diameter, measure the cap from one side of the inner wall of the cap to the opposite inner wall. Simply place the cap on the lip of the left side of the Qorpak Cap Measurer with the notch flush against the cap inner wall. Read your measurement at the opposite cap inner wall. Measurements are shown in millimeters. This is also commonly called the "T" dimension.

 

To measure a bottle neck opening diameter, measure the diameter of the outermost threads by placing the opening of the bottle firmly against the notch on the right side of the cap measurer. Read to the outer edge of the opening on the opposite side of the neck opening.

 

To determine the thread finish, verify how many times the threads pass one another to determine the finish. For example, a bottle 1.5 thread turns has a 410 neck finish. This is also called the "H" dimension. Refer to the Thread Finish Guide on the back of the cap measurer or use the following chart to view common thread finishes.

 

Common Thread Finishes

 


Thermoset or Phenolic (Bakelite) 

These caps are known for providing the widest range of chemical compatibility and for being the most temperature tolerant of plastic closures. They also provide the most consistent adherence to close dimensional tolerances. Ideal for pharmaceutical applications. Thermoset closures cannot be remelted after they are formed. Common resins include urea, phenolic, and melamine. 

 

Metal 

Metal caps offer the widest range of temperature tolerances and are very resistant to fracture from impact. Metal caps are great for industrial and food applications. A metal closure is manufactured from either steel (coated with anti-corrosive coating of either chrome plate or tin plate) or aluminum.

 

Polypropylene (Thermoplastic) 

Polypropylene caps are known for good impact strength, cost effectiveness, and pliability. They can be remelted after they are formed. 

 

Liner Material

 

F217 & PTFE Lined Caps 

 

Foam backed PTFE liners resist attack from virtually all chemicals at room temperature and provides resilience for a tight seal with a low moisture transmission rate. F217 has a low density foam core between two solid layers of LDPE. Uses include: Analytical lab samples, high purity chemicals, strong acids, solvents, environmental samples, pharmaceuticals, and diagnostic reagents. The color green easily identifies the PTFE liner system. Available in Thermoset and Phenolic caps.

 

Pulp/Vinyl Lined Caps 

 

Phenolic caps with pulp and vinyl liners are perfect for general use. The liner is made of a vinyl coating applied to high density polyethylene coated paper and then it is laminated to pulpboard. This general purpose liner is commonly used for food, beverage, medical and chemical applications packed at less than 120° F., including mild acids, alkalis, solvents, alcohols, oils and aqueous products; not recommended for active hydrocarbons or bleaches. Available in Phenolic caps. 

 

PolyCone Lined Caps

 

These caps form an exceptionally tight seal and offer a good chemical barrier. This liner molds itself around the sealing areas of the finish as the cap is screwed on, virtually eliminating leakage, evaporation, contamination, binding and backing off. Great for everything from liquids, to soaps, to macro-invertebrates. Available in Phenolic caps. 

 

Rubber Lined Caps 

 

Black phenolic caps with rubber liners are autoclavable. This liner is FDA approved for food and pharmaceutical applications. Excellent properties of resilience, resistance to moisture vapor and relatively low gas transmission. Also widely used for packaging injectables. Great for culture work. They also provide the most consistent adherence to close dimensional tolerances. Available in Phenolic caps. 

 

Rubber Backed/PTFE Faced Caps

 

Designed for the ultimate in product safety. Autoclavable PTFE provides totally inert inner seal and surface facing the sample or product. 

 

.030 Solid Polyethylene Lined Caps

 

Caps with solid PE liners offer good chemical resistance and low moisture vapor transmission rate and is great for nail polish remover and higher concentration acids & alkalis. Good for non-oil products filled at room temperature. Because this lining system is paperless, your samples will not be contaminated with fiber or paper particles from the closure. Available in Phenolic caps. 

 

Aluminum Foil Lined Caps

 

These caps are typically used for food applications. Free of odor and taste problems. Also can be used for non-acid, non-alkaline products. Great for organic solvents, chrome cleaners, brake fluids and mineral oils. Available in Phenolic and Metal caps. 

 

Tin Foil Lined Caps 

 

These caps offer good chemical resistance and are typically used with solids and powders. Good resistance to hydro-carbons, alcohols, ketones and oils. Not recommended for acids and alkalis. Available in Phenolic caps. 

 

SturdeeSeal PE Foam Lined Caps 

 

These polypropylene caps have excellent sealing characteristics and offer good chemical resistance including acids, alcohols, alkalis, aqueous products, cosmetics, household oils and solvents. 

 

F422 HDPE Foam Lined Caps 

 

Also called Acid Caps, these polypropylene caps are acid resistant. This F422 liner is comprised of a .38” LDPE core sandwiched between identical layers of .002” - .003” virgin HDPE. 

 

Unlined Caps

 

Unlined polypropylene closures are available in white or black. These caps are autoclavable and are suitable for many dry products. 

 

Plastisol Lined Caps 

 

Metal caps with a Plastisol liner offer excellent resistance to mild acids as in food products. Permits “hot fill” operations to effectively produce a vacuum seal. 

 

Pulp/Polyethylene Lined Caps 

 

These metal caps are a great general purpose closure. They are ideal for powders and non-acidic food products and consumer products such as jar candles and honey.