Pyrex is a type of glassware or glass that is highly resistant to chemicals, electricity, and heat. For decades, this glass has been used to make industrial equipment, chemical apparatus, and cooking ware used in ovens. Pyrex has a unique chemical component known as borosilicate that causes it to expand when exposed to heat. This characteristic makes it less likely to break when exposed to sudden changes in temperature.
Initially, the product was inaccessible because of its high cost. However, with the advancement of technology, many manufacturers have found ways of making the product more affordable for the masses. Although this is a good thing, it has also exposed its users to dangers because of compromises on quality. If you and your loved ones are victims of pyrex accidents, contact Consumer Alert Now.
Background Information on Pyrex Glass
The Corning Glass Works Company first produced pyrex glass. This borosilicate glass is made from heating materials such as boric oxide and silica in their natural forms at extreme temperatures and for an extended time. The result is a molten substance that is processed into various glassware. The first time this product was formulated was in the early 20th century, and since then, it has grown to be a vital component in applications that require chemical and heat resistance.
Understanding the uniqueness of Pyrex requires understanding glass and its nature. Glass is a matter with liquids and crystalline solids' characteristics. Looking at glass, it appears as solids. It also displays a rigid character and stays in a single piece when out of a container. But, at the molecular level, glass is more of a liquid. The arrangement of molecules in crystalline solids is more orderly, but they are randomly placed in liquids. The molecules that make glass are randomly arranged to make it more of a liquid than a solid.
Typically, to make glass, crystalline compounds are heated at high temperatures to have them melt. The melting breaks the orderly manner of molecules and leaves them randomly placed. The molecules lock together and reform to a crystalline structure on cooling the molten matter. Glass has various properties such as brittleness, hardness, clarity, and characteristics like chemical and temperature resistance. These properties differ and largely depend on the chemical composition of the particular glass.
When scientists were developing Pyrex, the chemical composition they wanted to achieve was that of extreme thermal resistance. During their research, they discovered that using boron increased temperature resistance and prevented it from breaking. Boron is an element found in the periodic table or chart, with a unique ability to chemically bond with various components. When the substance is bonded with oxygen, the end product is three dimensional and strong.
This added strength gives the glass the chemical and thermal resistance that makes it ideal for making cooking appliances, laboratory equipment, and thermometers. Additionally, Pyrex is resistant to corrosion because of its low alkali content, making it even more ideal.
The Process of Manufacturing Pyrex
The process of manufacturing Pyrex is in two major phases. In the first phase, large batches of melted glass are made. In the last step, shaping machines are used to mold the glass into different kinds of glassware. This process is speedy and efficient.
As earlier stated, the production of Pyrex is started at this stage. Here, the specialists follow the given formula and instructions while adding other raw ingredients in large tanks. Before being used, the natural products are granulated and pulverized to uniform sizes in particles. Next, at the batch towers, these particles are stored for a specific period. Next, the ingredients are well mixed and heated at high temperatures above 2,912°F or 1,600°C.
The high temperatures melt all the ingredients while letting them mix well, creating molten glass. This process also requires an extended heating time, typically 24 hours, for the excess bubbles to escape, leading to a stronger structure.
Batch tanks are designed such that the melted or molten glass flows freely but slowly towards the tank's end. This is where feed forming equipment or machines are found. As the molten glass moves, it is thick in texture and resembles orange-red syrup.
The material is worked fast by the form machines to avoid it cooling down. If the molten glass cools, it isn't easy to work with and often is rendered unworkable. A regular machine used in processing glass blows, presses, draws, and rolls the glass to various shapes.
The final or end product determines the forming procedure to be used. If the product required is thinly walled such as a bottle, the process used is glass blowing. A bubble made of the melted or molten substance is placed inside a two-piece mold. Next, the air is blown through it, forcing the molten glass against the mold sides. After cooling, the mold is removed, and the glass has taken the shape of the mold.
The method of making thicker glass pieces is known as glass pressing. During this process, the melted substance is placed in a mold. Using a plunger, the glass is forced to spread and take the shape of the mold. The process of creating tubes or rods is known as drawing. A hollow mandrel that is cone-shaped is used where the molten substance is drawn. Next, the tube is protected from collapsing by blowing air through it until it cools down and hardens. If the glass is required to make sheets such as windows, a process known as rolling is used.
After the formation of the product, it is allowed to cool down before polishing. Next, decorations are made on the glass according to requirements. After completion, the product is checked to eliminate imperfections, packed with care, and distributed to customers.
The purity of the materials used in making the glass determines its quality. Manufacturers of Pyrex glass employ qualified chemists to test the quality of the ingredients before they are used. Besides the chemical components, physical characteristics also matter and are inspected to ensure adherence to the specifications. For instance, the size of the particles is checked by using mesh screens.
Other checks carried out on raw ingredients include checking on the color and smell. During the production process, quality inspectors monitor the product at various stages to ensure it remains correct. If they notice flaws or imperfections and cracks, the product is removed from the manufacturing line.
Byproducts of Pyrex Glass or Waste
The compounds used in making Pyrex glass oxidize when exposed to high temperatures cause air pollution. During the manufacturing process, multiple byproducts are produced that include sulfates, nitrates, and chloride. These chemical byproducts react when in contact with water and form acids. When it rains, the rainwater reacts with these chemicals causing the rain to be acidic. The acidic rain causes substantial damage to property, man-made structures, and natural ecosystems.
When manufacturers make glass composites that melt at lower temperatures, the pollution, as a result, is reduced. Pollution can also be controlled by using precipitators fitted in chimneys. These help reduce air pollution because they filter solids that increase the vapor and smoke during the melting phase. Monitoring the drains that carry waste is also critical to ensure the amount of waste released to the environment is in the allowable quantity. This is also helpful in preventing or controlling water pollution.
Some manufacturers also use ventilators to control pollution. Another name for the ventilators is regenerators. These devices help in recovering and recycling the heat energy used in the manufacturing process. This reduces air pollution two times over the other methods and equally lowers the cost of production. Manufacturers also use electric heat to control pollution and reduce their costs compared to gas for heating.
The Future of Pyrex Glass
Pyrex glass products are still popular in the world today. Manufacturers of borosilicate will focus on increasing their sales and enhancing their production process. They would increase their sales through innovation and promotion of new products or applications of the glass. This may require more advanced glass formulations with a wider scope of characteristics that include melting point, clarity, and shattering resistance. Manufacturers will also be focused on increasing their output speeds, reducing chemical wastes, and overall reduction in costs.
Understanding Pyrex is Borosilicate Glass
As earlier stated, Pyrex is a type of borosilicate glass. This type of glass consists of boron trioxide that allows for an extremely low thermal expansion coefficient. This means, when subjected to extreme temperatures like regular glass, it will not crack or shatter. Because of its durability, Pyrex glass has been the preferred choice in restaurants, wineries, and laboratories. According to the manufacturers of Pyrex glass products, glass is not created equally.
Borosilicate glass composition is what makes it unique and durable. It comprises boron trioxide at 15%, the magical material that changes the way glass behaves completely by making it resistant to thermal shock. This ability allows the glass product to resist extreme temperatures that include very high and low temperatures. This unique characteristic allows borosilicate glass to move from a freezer to an oven without it cracking. For you, as an end-user, it means you can enjoy your favorite cup of coffee regardless of how hot it is without worrying that it will crack.
Differentiating between Pyrex Glass and Soda-Lime Glass
Pyrex glass's unique characteristics make it costlier and the end products than other types of glass. Because of the cost, most glass manufacturers opt to use soda-lime glass for their products. Besides the relatively lower price, soda-lime is more readily available. 90% of glass products worldwide are made using this product. Unfortunately, this type of glass shutters under shock and cannot withstand extreme temperature changes.
The chemical composition is 69% silicon dioxide or silica, 15% sodium oxide or soda, and 9% calcium oxide or lime. This composition is what gives the product its name. Under normal temperatures, the glass is durable, but still not like Pyrex glass.
Pyrex, as a type of borosilicate glass, is said to be more superior. Although soda-lime glass expands two times faster than borosilicate glass when exposed to heat, it quickly breaks as a result. The composition of Pyrex or borosilicate glass is such that silicon dioxide is much higher at 80% compared to other types of glass. This is the reason why the glass will not easily crack or break under different temperatures or shock.
What Makes Pyrex Glass more Advantageous than other Glass Types
As earlier discussed, manufacturers of Pyrex glass claim it is more durable and resistant to extreme temperatures compared to other glasses because of its chemical composition. Pyrex is made from borosilicate glass, giving it unique properties compared to other glasses. Here, we discuss the various properties that manufacturers claim to make the product more superior than others in the market. These properties include:
Pyrex glass products are resistant to attacks from water, salt solutions, acids, organic solvents, and halogens. However, some products such as hydrofluoric acid and phosphoric acid can corrode it when hot and strong and highly concentrated alkaline mixes. This makes Pyrex ideal for laboratory use, besides home use.
For laboratory glassware, it must be hydrolytic resistant. For instance, when steam sterilization is used, there is repeat exposure to vapors at extremely high temperatures. Because of its low content of alkali metal oxide and high resistance to water attack, Pyrex glass products are ideal for laboratory use.
Pyrex glass also has a high concentration of silica, which is resistant to acid attacks. The composition of silica, as earlier stated, is above 80%. This unique property also makes it resistant to corrosion from chemicals, making it even more ideal to be used in laboratories. On the other hand, alkaline solutions are known to attack all types of glasses. However, of the various glasses used, Pyrex is known to be moderately resistant.
As earlier discussed, this is another unique character of Pyrex glass, according to its manufacturers. Pyrex is said to withstand extreme temperatures, both hot and cold, without damaging it. Pyrex, compared to other glasses, has low contraction and expansion levels, making it the ideal solution to oven cookware.
The Controversy of Pyrex Glass
Despite the many advantages manufacturers of the Pyrex glass state, its history is not without controversy. In the 1950s, it is claimed that Corning began making Pyrex products from thermally tempered soda-lime glass. Soda-lime glass, as earlier discussed, is less expensive compared to borosilicate glass. Because of this, there have been numerous consumer reports that Pyrex dishes shatter at extreme temperatures injuring their users.
The tests on these reports are not yet conclusive, but investigations into the claims are ongoing. One of the owners of the Pyrex brand from 1998 is World Kitchen. Faced with these allegations, the company claims that the tempered soda-lime glass they use is equally as durable as borosilicate glass and safe. Further, they claim the incidents are extremely low, representing only a small fraction of 1% of the households that use Pyrex glass products.
Is it Safe to Use Pyrex Glassware?
One would ask if it is safe to use Pyrex glassware or the products’ disadvantages due to the many listed advantages. The answer to this question is complex. Recently, there have been numerous complaints of Pyrex glass products exploding while being used. These reports prompted Chicago TV to investigate the allegations and to produce a TV report. Although the report was not conclusive, it left the impression that using Pyrex glassware was risky.
Many critics of the report claimed it had errors, but the underlying fact was that hundreds of Pyrex glassware users complained about it. The common complaint was from households where the products suddenly shattered while in use, shooting sharp shards that injured them.
Pyrex cookware products have been used since 1915, yet the complaints about their shuttering are relatively recent. The question is why now and not before. Traditionally, Corning used borosilicate glass to make their glassware products. Later, to reduce costs, they began using tempered lime glass to make the products. However, the switch from borosilicate was not concluded to be the cause of the breaking.
However, scientists who tested the original Pyrex glassware and the current one indicated that the traditional one was more heat resistant than the current one. The conclusion was that the new Pyrex was not well-tempered, causing the products to shatter. Dr. Sheldon Mostovoy, the scientist who carried out the research, recommended that adequate tempering was required to prevent more shattering glassware incidents.
Finding Legal Help when Injured by Pyrex Glassware Product
Manufacturing companies invest heavily in product innovation and production. Unfortunately, some of these products do not deliver as expected. Some Pyrex glassware products are ideal for use, but lately there have been numerous complaints regarding them. These complaints have exposed the users to many dangers, as opposed to their usefulness.
Although many manufacturing companies aim to provide consumers with solutions as they introduce new products, some are more concerned about their profits. As a result, they opt for cheaper alternatives and fail to consider the risks involved. Although product liability laws state that manufacturers must disclose the ingredients of their product, not all do that, and some even fail to issue warnings regarding the product. As a result, many people from different parts suffer the consequences of the product. For this reason, class action lawsuits become ideal. If you or a loved one has been injured by Pyrex glassware, you can find help through joining a class action lawsuit to demand damages.
One of the questions most people ask is why join a class-action lawsuit instead of suing the manufacturer solely. The answer is in the many advantages of being in one, and they include:
Strength in Numbers
A class-action lawsuit brings together many people with similar experiences and complaints against a product. The number of litigations also allows many people with complaints to form a united front against the defendant. Additionally, more lawyers with extensive experience take part in the suit, and they work on a contingency basis. This means you will not have to pay for the lawsuit because the attorneys only collect their fees if they win. Additionally, the attorney fees are split among the complainants making it cheaper for you as you pocket more damages.
Efficiency in the Lawsuit
Class action suits are known to be very efficient. With the many lawsuits against the defendant, the numbers can suffocate court operations and make it slow to receive justice. Thus, one judge is allocated the case and focuses on it only until a conclusion is reached.
A Class Action Suit Allows for every Voice to be Heard.
When you have a complaint against a manufacturer, it may not be easy to have your voice heard. However, when you are many in the same suit, you will easily make a statement that creates change. Sometimes there may not be much in compensation but standing up as part of a group is critical to making a change in the way things are done.
Joining a Class Action Lawsuit
Unlike in other personal injury petitions, you will not need to do much in class action suits. The law's only requirement is for many people to come together with evidence of damages caused by the product in question. With lawyers' help, all those affected by Pyrex glass products will create a class action lawsuit for financial compensation.
In 2018, a Pyrex class action lawsuit was filed, where the plaintiffs complained about the shattering of the glassware and the damages it caused. Because of the existing lawsuit, you can also join it with legal help to include your case. However, you must have evidence of the damages caused and the product that causes damage or injuries.
You do not have to know other people with the same complaint. All you have to do is join the class action as an individual through an attorney already part of the case or hiring a lawyer. During the initial meeting, you will talk about the injuries from the item and the expected compensation. An important aspect to remember is that your injuries and the damages must be directly related to the class action product.
Another important aspect to remember is that class action lawsuits take a long time to conclude, but if each case were handled individually, it would take the court even longer time to conclude on each of them. The damages received for every plaintiff also vary depending on the injuries sustained and the losses they incurred.
Find a Pyrex Glass Class Action Lawyer Near Me
Damages from products can be devastating. If you have suffered losses or injuries due to a Pyres glass product, you can join a class-action lawsuit near you. At Consumer Alert Now, we can help you understand how the lawsuit works and how to file a similar suit or join the current class action suit against Pyrex glass. Call us at 800-511-0747 from any part of the country, and we will guide you with your case.