Test Tubes

Test Tubes

Disposable and reusable, general-purpose glass and plastic test tubes suitable for a variety of laboratory applications. Products are available in various materials, volume capacities, and shapes, and may be sterile, non-sterile and/or autoclavable, and include caps.

Test tubes are familiar items of glassware or plasticware found in most biological, chemical, and clinical research laboratories, schools, universities, and other industrial workplaces. They are elongated, open-topped tubes with a closed base, made in a range of lengths and diameters, and typically held in special test tube racks designed to accommodate them. Test tubes also include boiling tubes, culture tubes, assay tubes and small ‘Durham’ tubes, ranging in capacity from a few mL up to 50 mL or more.

Reusable borosilicate glass test tubes have high resistance to heat, thermal shock and chemicals, and are used for the most demanding applications. Soda lime glass test tubes are used for more general-purpose activities. Plastic test tubes are manufactured from polypropylene, or from polycarbonate and polystyrene for optical clarity. Some plastic test tubes are autoclavable, many are disposable.

What Types of Test Tubes are Available?
• Thin-walled test tubes, medium-walled test tubes, or thick-walled test tubes
• Round-bottom test tubes predominate, others have flat or conical bases
• Rimmed test tubes for easy pouring, or rimless test tubes
• Screw-top test tubes, plain-top test tubes, or test tubes with ground glass sockets
• Test tubes with screw tops, stoppers, or push-on caps
• Graduated test tubes

How Are Test Tubes Used?
• Sample storage on the bench, in the refrigerator, or in the freezer
• Routine testing, clinical assays, photometry, or chemical reactions
• Cell or microbial cultures in solution or on agar slopes
• Some test tubes may be suitable for centrifugation
• Teaching and demonstration purposes in the classroom

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