Pyrex is a brand name for glassware, introduced by Corning Incorporated in 1915. Originally, Pyrex was made from thermal shock resistant borosilicate glass. In 1998, Corning sold its consumer products division which subsequently adopted the name World Kitchen. Pyrex kitchen glassware is now made of tempered soda lime glass. [] . Pyrex laboratory glassware is still made of borosilicate glass [] .


A Corning executive gave the following account of the etymology of the Pyrex brand name:cquote|The word PYREX is a purely arbitrary word which was devised in 1915 as a trade-mark for products manufactured and sold by Corning Glass Works. While some people have thought that it was made up from the Greek pyr and the Latin rex we have always taken the position that no graduate of Harvard would be guilty of such a classical hybrid. Actually, we had a number of prior trade-marks ending in the letters ex. One of the first commercial products to be sold under the new mark was a pie plate and in the interests of euphonism the letter r was inserted between pie and ex and the whole thing condensed to PYREX. [cite journal | journal = American Speech | volume = 32 | issue = 4 | year = 1957 | pages = 290 | title = title unknown | last = Mathews | first = MM]


According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, borosilicate Pyrex is composed of (in weight %): 4% boron, 54% oxygen, 3% sodium, 1% aluminium, 38% silicon, and less than 1% potassium. [cite web | publisher = National Institute of Standards and Technology | title = Composition of Pyrex Glass | accessdate = 2008-03-17 | date = n.d. | url =]

According to glass supplier Pulles and Hannique [] , borosilicate Pyrex is made of Corning 7740 glass, and is equivalent in formulation to Schott Glass 8830 glass sold under the "Duran" brand name. The composition of both Corning 7740 and Schott 8830 is given as 80.6% SiO2, 12.6% B2O3, 4.2% Na2O, 2.2%Al2O3, 0.04% Fe2O3, 0.1% CaO, 0.05% MgO, and 0.1% Cl.

Brand Name

Though borosilicates had been produced before the Pyrex brand, the name Pyrex is widely used as a genericized trademark for the material. Corning sold off its Consumer Products division in 1998 as World Kitchen but retained the Pyrex brand name, licensing it to World Kitchen and other companies that produce Pyrex-branded cookware (e.g. Newell Rubbermaid's Newell Cookware Europe).cite web | url = | title = ARC International page |publisher = Hoover's | accessdate = 2007-08-01] . The brand in Europe, the Middle East and Africa is currently owned by ARC International who acquired the European business in early 2006 from Newell Rubbermaid who in turn had acquired it from Corning in the 1990s. [cite book | isbn = 184685556X | title = The Little Book of Collectable British Pyrex | first = Susan | last = Hibberd | publisher = Exposure Publishing | year = 2007 ]

Pyrex kitchen products in Europe made and sold by a subsidiary of ARC International tableware company are made from borosilicate glass. [cite web | url = | title = Glass Ovenware | publisher = ARC International | accessdate = 2008-03-17 | year = 2005] .

Usage in telescopes

Because of its low expansion characteristics, Pyrex is often the material of choice for reflective optics in astronomy applications. The California Institute of Technology's convert|200|in|m|sing=on telescope mirror at Palomar Observatory was cast by Corning during 1934–1936 out of borosilicate glass.cite web | url = | title = Caltech Astronomy: History - 1908-1949 | date = nd | accessdate = 2008-03-17 | publisher = Caltech ]

In 1932, George Ellery Hale approached Corning with the challenge of fabricating the required optic for his Palomar project. A previous effort to fabricate the optic from fused quartz had failed.

Corning's first attempt was a failure, the cast blank having voids. Using lessons learned, Corning was successful in the casting of the second blank. After a year of cooling, during which it was almost lost to a flood, in 1935 the blank was completed. The first blank now resides in Corning's Museum of Glass.

The University of Arizona is currently engaged in the fabrication of seven 8.4 meter optical blanks for its Giant Magellan Telescope using Borosilicate Glass. []


In May 2008, in a report broadcast on a Chicago TV channel, Pam Zekman reported that people have complained that the glass bakeware has shattered or even exploded during what customers believe was ordinary use. US Senator Dick Durbin and US Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky from Illinois have called on the Consumer Product Safety Commission to find out if there is a problem with Pyrex. [] . The failures reported by the TV channel are those that consumers say happened in their homes. Zekman's segment did not include any reports on actual laboratory tests of Pyrex glassware. The segment went on to say that none of the US hospital emergency rooms surveyed by the Consumer Product Safety Commission reported treating any injuries in in 2005 or 2006 that were due to breakage of Pyrex glassware. The CPSC has nonetheless received a number of reports of failures directly from consumers. The company has a web page devoted to these and other consumer issues [] .




External links

* [ Pyrex official website]
* [ Vintage Pyrex Reference Guide]

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  • pyrex — pyrex …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • pyrex — [ pirɛks ] n. m. • 1937; nom déposé, de l angl. pie « tourte » ♦ Verre très résistant pouvant aller au feu. Plats à four en pyrex. ● Pyrex nom masculin (nom déposé) Verre à base de silice (81 %), d acide borique (12 %) et d un faible pourcentage… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Pyrex — ist ein Markenname für ein Borsilikatglas der amerikanischen Firma Corning. Wegen seinem niedrigen Längenausdehnungskoeffizienten und seiner chemischen Beständigkeit wird es, für Haushaltswaren und Laborgeräte und für Spiegel in Spiegelteleskopen …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Pyrex™ — [ˈpaɪreks] [ˈpaɪreks] noun uncountable a type of hard glass that does not break at high temperatures, and is often used to make dishes for cooking food in   Word Origin: [Pyrex] …   Useful english dictionary

  • Pyrex — Pyrex®,   Handelsname für Borosilikatgläser der amerikanischen Firma Corning. Aufgrund ihrer chemischen Beständigkeit eignen sie sich für Laborgläser und für Küchengeräte. Der geringe Ausdehnungskoeffizient ermöglicht die Verwendung für… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • pyrex® — {{hw}}{{pyrex®}}{{/hw}}o pirex s. m. Nome commerciale di vetro pirofilo usato per recipienti da laboratorio e domestici …   Enciclopedia di italiano

  • Pyrex — 1915, proprietary name (Corning Glass Works, Corning, N.Y.), arbitrary coinage, in which eager etymologists see implications of Gk. pyr fire and perhaps L. rex king; but the prosaic inventors say it was based on PIE (Cf. pie), since pie dishes… …   Etymology dictionary

  • pyrex — (marca registrada) sustantivo masculino 1. Pírex …   Diccionario Salamanca de la Lengua Española

  • Pyrex — ► NOUN trademark ▪ a hard heat resistant type of glass …   English terms dictionary

  • Pyrex — ☆ Pyrex [pī′reks΄ ] [arbitrary coinage < PIE1 + r + ex (with implication of Gr pyr, FIRE + L rex, king), arbitrary suffix of manufactured products] trademark for a heat resistant borosilicate glassware used for cooking, lab work, etc. n.… …   English World dictionary

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