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Physical Sciences and Engineering

Glassblowing Capabilities

An extensive inventory of components allows us to fabricate a wide variety of custom glassware

The Argonne Glassblowing Studio has the ability to construct and design apparatus from different types of glass including, but not limited to, soft glass, borosilicate, aluminosilicate glasses and quartz. The facility maintains a large inventory of parts so that requests can be fabricated and delivered promptly.

If you need anything related to glass, contact us or stop in to discuss your requirements.

Specific capabilities include:

  • Custom fabrication and design consultation of scientific and laboratory glassware made from soft (soda lime), lead and borosilicate (Pyrex®) and aluminosilicate glasses along with quartz optical cells and chemical apparatus
  • Vacuum manifolds, including Schlenk lines and related Schlenk flasks, bubblers and cold traps. Schlenk glassware is used for work performed on air-sensitive materials using inert gases and vacuum environments.
  • Modification and repair of existing glassware. We can add or change the size and style of connectors, and typically we can save time and money by repairing broken glassware.
  • Custom optical cells for use in laser and beamline experiments. Many of these utilize quartz and Suprasil® material to reduce the absorption of ultraviolet light.
  • Custom electrochemical cells for electrolytic chemistry experiments. Electrolytic cells can be fabricated to have metal electrodes sealed into the glass to send an electrical charge into a solution.
  • On-site, in-lab repair of semi-permanent and in-situ glass apparatus. Many laboratories have large complex glass systems that cannot be removed and brought to the glass shop for repair or modifications. We can bring our portable glassblowing equipment into your lab for this type of in-situ” work.
  • Expertise in high-vacuum apparatus. Our glassblowers have extensive knowledge in high-vacuum glassware design and fabrication.
  • Fabrication of dewar systems for low temperature cryogenic experiments and cold traps. Scientific dewars allow experimenters to freeze out organics from their samples so they do not damage their vacuum pumps, and also offer cryo-pumping to reach a purer vacuum.
  • Distillation glassware. All types of distillation glassware are available, including jacketed distillation columns, reaction flasks, distillate takeoff heads and receivers.
  • Custom jacketed vessels. Jacketed vessels can be fabricated that offer water jackets to allow for temperature control of reactions.
  • Silver, gold and platinum thin-film applications. Jacketed glassware can have a reflective chemical silver coating applied to the inside of the jacket to enhance the thermal capabilities of the apparatus. Also, gold and platinum coatings can be applied to glass cells for electrical conductive applications.
  • Sealing customer samples into ampoules. Many types of samples can be sealed inside of glass and quartz ampoules. They can be sealed under vacuum with or without inert gas atmospheres.
  • Chromatography columns. Glass chromatography columns can be constructed with or without an internal fritted filter disc and stopcock.       
  • Apparatus with porous filters. Many types of glass and quartz apparatus with fritted filters sealed into vessels such as Buchner funnels, electrolytic cells and filtering apparatus are available.
  • Custom freeze/thaw/pump cells. Specialized optical cells can be fabricated for spectrophotometer and fluorescence cell sample studies.
  • Optical windows in borosilicate, quartz and Suprasil®. Optical cells and apparatus can be constructed with optical windows sealed into them for use with laser, electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) and electron beam line excitation.

The glass shop has a vast inventory of parts and raw materials to allow for quick expediting and completion of customer requests. We also offer cutting, grinding and polishing of glass components, including:

  • X-ray capillaries in glass and quartz
  • Adapters, bushings, stirring rods and bearings
  • Condensers, rotary traps, bubblers and valves
  • Precision bore tubing
  • Borosilicate and quartz tubing (2-200mm OD) and solid rod (1-38 mm)
  • Glass pipe and flanged tubing (e.g., pilot plant apparatus)

This extensive inventory of components allows us to fabricate any type of custom glassware requested.