From the 16th Century onwards, scientists have used glass containers for a very basic reason - glass is transparent, thereby making the contents and the reactions clearly visible. However, owing to the fact that they must heat, cool and mix chemical substances, ordinary glass is not always adequate for laboratory work.

Laboratory work requires that the apparatus for handling chemicals/media offer maximum inertness when in contact with the widest range of chemical substances. Moreover such apparatus needs to withstand thermal shock without fracture, high temperatures without deformity and mechanical shocks from daily washing and sterilization.