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General Questions

  • How accurate is volumetric plasticware?

    Azlon® plastic labware is manufactured to perform with the same level of accuracy as traditional volumetric glassware products. The Azlon® volumetric range includes pipettes, volumetric flasks, burettes and measuring cylinders manufactured to comply with class A and class B accuracy tolerances.

  • What is GHS?

    GHS stands for Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals. GHS labelling was introduced by the UN as a global system for classifying chemicals according to their health, environmental and physical hazards. GHS will eventually replace COSHH (Control of substances hazardous to health) in the UK and came into effect in the EU from 2015. As GHS will become globally recognised we print GHS symbols onto Azlon® wash bottles to help the end user identify the hazards of chemicals being used.

  • Can I air freight Azlon® bottles containing liquids?

    The ISTA guidelines concerning airfreight packaging are very strict and incorporate testing in 4 key areas: handling/drop and impact, transport vibration, stack loading, atmospheric conditions. Azlon® bottles are not routinely tested to comply with these regulations and are therefore not considered as suitable for air freight packaging.

Properties of Plastics

  • How can I find out which chemicals are compatible with DWK Life Sciences’s plastic products?

    For information regarding the chemical compatibility of a particular plastic polymer, please refer to the Azlon® technical guide.

  • Are Azlon® bottles manufactured from food grade plastics?

    Many Azlon® products are compliant to the following regulations: EU Directive 2002/72 relating to plastic materials and articles intended to come into contact with foodstuffs and Code of Federal Regulation (CFR), Title 21, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Part 177.1520 ”Olefin Polymers”, (a) 2 (i) and (c) 2.1 and 2. Please contact us for further details on specific products.

  • Can I use Azlon® products for in-vitro, in-vivo or medical device applications?

    Azlon ® products are not CE marked or tested for cytotoxicity, biocompatibility or DMF and USP compliance. We recommend you seek a product that complies with the appropriate regulations required for your application.

  • Can I gamma irradiate plastics?

    It is possible to gamma irradiate plastics, however, some polymers such as HDPE and Polypropylene become brittle and discoloured after this process. Other polymers such as polystyrene are safe to be irradiated. For more information please refer to the Azlon ® technical guide.

  • Can I use a plastic beaker on an electric hotplate?

    No. Direct heat of any kind can and will melt the polymer. This is especially important when using PTFE beakers. Although usable at temperature up to 260°C, PTFE is known to release fluorine gas at elevated temperatures.

  • Can I use Azlon® beakers in a microwave?

    Azlon® polypropylene beakers can be used to microwave aqueous solutions e.g. for the preparation of culture media. Please refer to the Azlon® technical guide for more details on which polymers can be safely used in a microwave.

Cleaning and Autoclaving Plastics

  • Can I autoclave Azlon® and Wheaton® plastic products?

    A red 'A' autoclave symbol is used throughout DWK Life Sciences website and catalogues to identify autoclaveable products. Our company defines an autoclave cycle as 121°C at 15 psi (1bar) for 20 minutes. As a general rule only, polypropylene, PTFE, PFA and PMP (TPX) products can be autoclaved. However, it is not recommended to subject plastic volumetric products to temperatures above 80°C as this can affect their accuracy. It is important to remove or loosen any caps before autoclaving bottles as the pressure difference can cause implosion.

  • I am using Azlon® bottles for sampling and storage. Do you recommend washing and drying prior to use?

    As part of good laboratory practice, it is advisable to wash any item with distilled water before use. Although we endeavour to keep Azlon® bottles contamination free it is not always possible.

  • What kind of detergent should I clean my plasticware with?

    Plastics usually have a smooth non-wetting surface that can be easily cleaned. For this we recommend a low or non-alkaline detergent. Plastics such as polystyrene and polycarbonate are susceptible to attack by alkalis which can impair their strength. In this case we strongly recommend a neutral detergent such as Lipsol®. Do not use abrasive cleaners or scouring pads on any plasticware and keep automatic washer time to a minimum and the washing temperature below 60°C. For further information on safe cleaning of plastics please refer to the Azlon® technical guide.

  • Can the Wheaton® sterile PET Media Square Bottles be autoclaved?

    No. The maximum use temperature of PET is 60°C. PET may be sterilized with Ethylene oxide gas or irradiation.

  • Can you supply a cleanliness certificate for your Azlon® bottles?

    As our bottles are not manufactured in a clean room environment we cannot offer any cleanliness documentation. We do however suggest that you pre-rinse our general laboratory bottles with distilled water (or other suitable solution) prior to use. Alternatively you may wish to wash the bottles in a laboratory washer on an “analytically clean” cycle to ensure your own cleanliness.

Plastic Product Questions

  • Can I use PTFE bottles for digestion work?

    Although PTFE can withstand the chemicals used in digestion work, using sealed bottles is not recommended as the gases produced during the chemical reaction process will cause an increase in pressure, resulting in possible explosion.

  • What is a CAS number and why are they printed onto Azlon® wash bottles?

    CAS is short for the “Chemical Abstract Service” which gives a unique identification number to chemicals. Chemicals may be known by different names (e.g. Isopropanol, Propan-2-ol, isopropyl alcohol) or even brand or generic names, but they only have one CAS number, making them easier to identify. As CAS numbers are universally recognised we print them onto our wash bottles to help the end user identify which chemical is being used.

  • Can the plastic Wheaton® Cryogenic Vials be stored in the liquid phase of liquid nitrogen?

    We do not recommend storage directly in contact with the liquid phase, only in the gas phase.

  • Why are round bottom skirted CryoELITE Cryogenic vials not included in the Wheaton® range?

    Our key reason for not having skirted round bottom is due to the high recovery design of our freestanding cryovials. As compared with many vials on the market, our freestanding vials do not have a true, deep V conical bottom. Instead, the vials have a shallow V bottom, which allows samples to be spun at low speeds if necessary, but provides a better ability for complete sample recovery. We have found that the available round bottom vials with a skirted bottom do not provide a stable free standing vial.

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