The art of pipe making has advanced by leaps and bounds in recent years. It’s to the point now that a lot of people buy their glass pipes from our online head shop based on looks alone, and not whether it’s particularly durable or practical. And while buying a pipe based on aesthetics alone is fine it does raise a few questions, including whether or not that glass or silicone pipe will be able to handle the heat load it will be subjected to. In this post, the team at 710 Pipes will be looking to answer the question “Is heat a problem for silicone and glass pipes?
The Team at Our Online Head Shop Look at the Issue of Heat
Before we venture into the issue of whether or not silicone and glass pipes can handle the type of heat they’re likely to be subjected to, let’s first take a closer look at these types of smoking paraphernalia.
What is a silicone pipe?
Though it’s been around for a while, when compared to glass silicone is the new pipe material on the block. In recent years, silicone pipes have gobbled up a lot of market share primarily because they tend to be both cheaper and way more durable than glass. Silicone is a polymer derived from combining sand and quartz. The resulting material has a plasticity to it that glass simply can’t touch. Even if you drop your silicone pipe from a decent height there’s a pretty good chance it will survive intact.
Silicone usually doesn’t require as much maintenance as a glass pipe, meaning you won’t have to clean it that often (although you probably should). And while it’s possible for mold and algae to grow inside a silicone bong it’s not as likely to happen as it is with a glass bong. So for people who aren’t big fans of pipe maintenance those of us at the 710 Pipes online smoke shop usually recommend a silicone pipe as a good choice.
What is a glass pipe?
Handcrafted glass herb pipes have been around for decades. They first became popular with hippies waaaaay back in the 1960s and have slowly grown in popularity as weed has become more mainstream. And while their market share has taken a bit of a hit lately due to the rising popularity of silicone, glass pipes are still extremely popular, witness the fact that they’re one of the top-selling items at our online head shop.
Glass pipes can be small one-piece affairs that fit neatly into the palm of the hand or they can be complex water pipes that look like they were crafted by very stoned aliens. For the purposes of this article, we’re concentrating on the compact, handheld type.
How Do They Hold Up to Heat?
When it comes to heat both silicone and glass exhibit impressive resistance. And that’s a good thing because unless you’re vaping you can’t enjoy your herb without sparking it up. But are there any conditions under which a glass or silicone pipe will experience heat-related failure?
Let’s just say it’s very unlikely. Silicones are typically considered safe within a temperature range of -60 to 230° Celsius (-76 to 446° Fahrenheit). Unless you are planning to use your silicone pipe in Antarctica or while taking a vacation on Venus or Mercury the odds that your silicone pipe will fail because of heat are practically zero.
Glass pipes are also very heat resistant and considered safe up to their melting point, which is a pretty astonishing 1,400° Celsius or 2,552° Fahrenheit. So unless you’re sparking up your glass pipe with a welding torch (and please don’t do that) the odds of it cracking from the heat of smoking are again, practically zero.
Glass or silicone will never experience temperature-related failure?
The relative durability of glass and silicone pipes doesn’t guarantee that both types are immune from temperature-related failures. While it’s rare glass pipes have been known to crack when one part of the pipe gets extremely hot while the other part remains fairly cool. Why? Because, like most things, when glass heats up it tends to expand. So if one part of the pipe has become overheated it may try to expand and then crack when the cooler part of the pipe doesn’t expand with it.
Glass pipes can also crack if they are exposed to extreme temperature variations. Say for instance that you and your friends have been working that pipe pretty hard all afternoon and it’s become hot to the touch. You then decide to toss it in the freezer with the pork chops and ice cream to cool it down. After a few seconds, you hear the telltale sound of glass cracking and open the freezer to see your pipe in two or more pieces.
The Internet’s Premier Online Smoke Shop
At 710 Pipes we sell a lot of glass and silicone pipes through our online head shop and we can’t think of more than a handful of occasions when anyone had a problem with them. And if there was a problem it usually stemmed from dropping the pipe, not overheating it. Suffice to say that both silicone and glass pipes have an admirable track record of long life and heat resistance and will provide you with years of outstanding service.
For the best variety of glass and silicone pipes check out the 710 Pipes online head shop.