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Selecting a Glass Container

Things to consider when buying glass containers...

Container Size and Physical Design:

  • Container Size - Narrow mouth vs. wide mouth, tall vs. short.
  • Physical design - The physical design of the container will play a part in the amount of thermal and mechanical shock resistance it exhibits. It is frequently necessary to make a compromise between high resistance to mechanical shock and high resistance to thermal shock.


Sample degradation through light sensitivity - Light sensitive products must be packaged in amber glass. Amber glass is formulated to absorb light in the ultra-violet region of the electromagnetic spectrum. Test methods and specification limits for light protection can be found in the current revision of the US Pharmacopoeia, section 661 containers.

Shelf Life

How long are you planning to store a sample or product in the container.

Processes the container will undergo

Storage containers, (freezing or heat), washing, sterilization, method of sealing, humidity, hot or cold filling.

Storage after filling

Time (shelf life needed), heat, cold, moisture, shipping conditions, light exposure.

Handling Considerations:

It is important to consider filling and processing steps when choosing a container. Both mechanical and thermal stresses are important factors. For a given thermal expansion range, a typical tubing vial with thin, uniform walls will withstand thermal shock better then a molded glass container.

Product composition

  • Dry powder, pH, concentration of ions, physicochemical properties.
  • Specific Ion Sensitivity - The composition of the glass container should be considered if a product is sensitive to the presence of particular ions. For example, a pre-cleaned container used for an environmental sample, even though the container may be clean, the chemical durability characteristics of the glass have not been altered. Thus it would not be feasible to test the sample for low levels of sodium, because the sample will extract sodium from the containers surface.

Closure Types

Wide mouth vs narrow mouth, closed cap, open top cap, liner material, sealing needed, threaded cap.

Temperature Resistance

Is the packaging going to breakdown if exposed to extreme heat or extreme cold.

Selecting Containers You May Like

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