Why is this Erlenmeyer flask more expensive than others? This question is on the lips of many lab technicians.
After some research on the subject, our team was able to break down for you all the elements that make the use value of an Erlenmeyer flask and that should guide your choices beyond price.
The Erlenmeyer flask is preferred to a beaker when its use requires a container that can :
  • Contain a liquid that is handled drop by drop
  • Contain a mixture that involves strong reactions or gives off heat (exothermic)
  • Be stoppered to avoid the consequences of evaporation
  • Be heated directly on a benzene burner, or gas or electric heating plates
  • Be measured in a not very precise way with a simple scale of location
For your reaction setups, you may also prefer a ground-neck Erlenmeyer flask.
But in order to get the best value for your money, you must choose the material in which the Erlenmeyer is made. Glass or plastic with more or less characteristics related to the composition of the material, to the design of this consumable, are the variables on which your choice – made according to your daily use on your bench – will be made and will determine the right price to invest in this element of laboratory glassware.

The plastic Erlenmeyer flask, small priced for a greater resistance to shocks

The plastic Erlenmeyer flask is the preferred choice for those who are not very careful or experienced – in schools and universities, for example.
Resistant by nature to shocks, it will give you many other advantages
  • UV resistance if it is made of Polymethylpentene plastic (PMP)
  • Robustness if it is made of polypropylene plastic (it will also be more opaque).

A moulded or printed (and therefore less durable) graduation, and whether or not a cap is provided, will also have an impact on price.

If you are doing cell culture, or cell preservation, you will certainly prefer this option as well, for the same qualities of resistance to breakage of the plastic Erlenmeyer flask which will resist better to the incubation and shaking phases.

For almost a year, the plastic raw material, obtained from petroleum derivatives, has been subject to shortages that have considerably increased its price. In addition, environmental concerns are growing within laboratories. These two elements may lead you to reconsider your first choice for a glass Erlenmeyer.

The glass Erlenmeyer flask, the choice of multifunctional durability

The glass Erlenmeyer has some very attractive features:

  • UV protection added by some manufacturers to protect the contents.
  • The elasticity of the glass to avoid its deformation during the heating phase
  • The thermal resistance to be able to heat the contents at high temperatures.
  • Chemical resistance so that the glass can withstand very specific substances without impacting the result and the container

The quality of the glass, an element of choice for handling requiring heating

There are two different qualities of glass with compositions that directly affect the price.
If you need to heat your mixture directly, you should prefer borosilicate glass.
It is highly elastic and respects the sample perfectly during heating. This justifies its higher price.
Soda-lime glassware is less resistant to intensive use, it is less suitable for heating, so its price will be more accessible.

The manufacturing process : a pledge of quality

Some glassware manufacturers obtain certifications – such as the Intensive Use (IU) label – for the manufacture of their products. These guarantees of quality allow them to stand out from the rest.
Indeed, the certifications have an impact on the quality and specificities of the glass as well as on the manufacturing methods.
Moreover, the specific glassware will also go through different production procedures.
This has an impact on costs and therefore on the selling price.
The price of an Erlenmeyer flask can therefore vary significantly depending on its composition – glass or plastic – and the advantages of a specific composition, a specific manufacturing process, or a label.
But you now have all the keys in hand to choose the right one for your use.
At LABELIANS, we are always looking to offer you the best value for money, that’s our commitment!