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DBL%20Hendrix%20small.png College chemistry, 1983

Derek Lowe The 2002 Model

Dbl%20new%20portrait%20B%26W.png After 10 years of blogging. . .

Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. To contact Derek email him directly: Twitter: Dereklowe

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December 6, 2010

A Quick Glassware Question

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Posted by Derek

Here's a lab equipment question that someone probably knows the answer to, but that someone isn't me. Anyone know where you can buy Corex glass? I'm looking for a tube of the stuff, about 3cm by 28cm, but the only thing I can find are centrifuge tubes. The stuff is (or at least was) made by Corning. It's an aluminosilicate and it's mechanically quite strong, so the centrifuge use makes sense, but no one seems to sell a plain tube of the stuff. Any ideas?

Comments (16) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Life in the Drug Labs


1. Rich Apodaca on December 6, 2010 3:41 PM writes...

@Derek, no idea, but it sounds like a good question for
Chempedia Lab.

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3. LGF on December 6, 2010 4:52 PM writes...

Schott glass makes an aluminosilicate glass for halogen lights. Not sure corex is still available.

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4. silicon scientist on December 6, 2010 4:58 PM writes...

It looks like Corex was discontinued. I'd try Schott or Goodfellow to see if they have something similar.

Schott 914-831-2200
Goodfellow 800-151-3115

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5. CMCguy on December 6, 2010 5:27 PM writes...

Does Harvard or MIT have their own Glass Blowers that you could contact? It used to be rather common at most major research universities to have own glass shops for custom work and typically these would be well stocked with a large variety of glass. If nothing else such a place might know where to locate "out of date" materials or recommend effective substitute. Part of my undergrad Org Lab included some basic training on glass repair/making and just not sure the art and expertise of glass blowers and appreciation of chemists to this area happens much now-a-days.

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6. JT on December 6, 2010 5:33 PM writes...

Just contact Finkenbeiner ( in Waltham. Its local and easy. Kind of like being a "locavore" except for scientific supplies.

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7. befuddled on December 6, 2010 6:00 PM writes...

I assume we're talking about round bottom tubes? Capped or not?

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8. barry on December 6, 2010 7:31 PM writes...

twenty years ago, Paul Wender's lab had a dwindling supply of carefully guarded Corex tubes, because it had a convenient transmission in the UV. Alas, it had been discontinued.
A tunable monochromatic UV source would be nice, but we found that you could use an aqueous solution of BiCl3 to clip off the short wavelength. We just put the substrate into a quartz tube and suspended that in a larger quartz tube, filling the intervening space with the Bismuth solution.

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9. anon the II on December 6, 2010 7:51 PM writes...

Sounds like a filter for a photo apparatus. There's one somewhere in the chemistry department at Cornell. At least there was about 30 years ago. It's probably in a drawer on the fifth floor of Olin.

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10. john on December 6, 2010 9:33 PM writes...

Barry is right on the use of BiCl3 solution as a very effective substitute for the "old" Corex. Most of the new Corex you find does not have the same transmission properties of the older variant as they changed the formulation about 25 years ago. I'm sure my old lab at Wisconsin (Z's group) has some of these tubes, but they are likely some of the last on the planet. If you need a more controlled, narrower wavelength range, you can use three consecutive quartz tubes, with BiCl3/NiCl2/NaWO4 solutions and get ca. 250-400 nM light. In addition you can run the BiCl3 through your Hanovia as the coolant and have your photolysis solution in a continuous flow apparatus ala Hooker, JOC, 2005.

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11. Annette Bak on December 6, 2010 11:12 PM writes...

If you email me I should be able to procure this for you. I'm an amateur glass blower and have a few scraps lying around.

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12. J3 on December 7, 2010 7:17 AM writes...

I'd also check with James glass (, another local shop that may be able to help

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13. AlChemist on December 7, 2010 7:59 AM writes...

corning probably makes tubing with same cut off, call the tech support. On one occassion had to use uranium glass for photochem rxn and they supplied the replacement.

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14. Virgil on December 7, 2010 10:06 AM writes...

If you're out west, Radnoti glass in Moravia CA is also a good scientific glassblower. No idea on whether he has any corex though.

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15. HelicalZz on December 7, 2010 10:06 AM writes...

#6 - JT

Second that endorsement. They have done nice work for me in the past as well, though it has been some time since I used them (It was post disappearance though).


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16. lbf on December 7, 2010 10:51 AM writes...

Try Tec Glass out of Rochester, 3159267639.

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