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Chemical Stability of Disposables

Disposables such as Eppendorf Tubes and pipette tips are frequently exposed to chemical reactions and they must withstand the various kinds of stress and strain encountered in everyday laboratory work (such as centrifuging and autoclaving). The stability level of these products is largely determined by the materials from which they are made and this material's processing during manufacture.

As a leading manufacturer of biotech products, Eppendorf uses 100% virgin, pure PP (polypropylene) and PE (polyethylene) granulates. These materials are specifically suited for laboratory applications and manufacturing processes of micro test tubes, Eppendorf Combitips, and pipette tips. Additives are only used if they are essential for proper function, e.g. to improve the gliding ability of Eppendorf Combitips. Since 1984, Eppendorf has only added coloring matter void of organic heavy-metal compounds, maintaining with deliberate care low volumes with correspondingly low-saturated color in the product.

The constantly high level of quality is, among other things, attained by design and comprehensive monitoring of the injection molds and a fully developed process for quality assurance certified according to ISO 9001.

Chemical reactions on disposables Chemicals interact with disposables in a number of different ways. These include:
  • The chemical reaction with the polymer, e.g. by oxidation, reaction with the functional group, and by depolymerization
  • Dissolving the synthetic material with a solvent or introducing the solvent into the synthetic material to induce swelling and a change /TD> 3 / 0 1 / 0 1 / 0 0 / 0 Chlorobenzene 3 / 3 3 / 3 3 / 3 3 / 3 3 / 3 Chloroethane 2 / 3 3 / 3 3 / 3 3 / 3 3 / 3 Chloroform 2 / 3 3 / 3 2 / 3 3 / 3 3 / 3 Chloromethane 2 / 3 3 / 3 2 / 3 3 / 3 3 / 3 Trichloromethane 2 / 3 3 / 3 2 / 3 3 / 3 3 / 3 1-Chloropentane 3 / 3 0 / 0 3 / 3 0 / 0 0 / 0 Chromic acid, 10% 1 / 1 2 / 3 1 / 1 2 / 2 1 / 2 Chromic acid, 50% 1 / 2 3 / 3 2 / 2 3 / 3 2 / 3 Chromic sulfuric acid, conc. 2 / 0 3 / 0 2 / 0 2 / 0 0 / 0 Citric acid 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 Cresol 3 / 0 3 / 0 2 / 0 2 / 0 < TD align=middle width="10%">0 / 0 Cupric sulphate 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 Cyclohexane 2 / 3 3 / 3 2 / 3 3 / 3 1 / 2 Cyclohexanol 1 / 1 3 / 3 2 / 3 1 / 2 2 / 2 Cyclohexanone 2 / 2 3 / 0 1 / 2 3 / 3 2 / 3 Decahydronaphtalene 2 / 2 3 / 3 2 / 3 3 / 3 3 / 3 Dibutyl ether 2 / 3 0 / 0 2 / 3 0 / 0 3 / 3 Dibutyl phtalate 1 / 0 3 / 0 1 / 0 2 / 0 3 / 0 Dichlorobenzene 2 / 3 3 / 2 3 / 3 3 / 3 3 / 3 Dichloro acetic acid 1 / 2 0 / 0 1 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 0 1, 2 Dichloro ethane 2 / 2 3 / 3 1 / 0 3 / 3 3 / 3 Dichloro methane 2 / 0 3 / 0 2 / 0 3 / 0 3 / 0 Diesel oil 1 / 2 1 / 0 1 / 2 2 / 2 1 / 0 Diethylene glycol 1 / 1 2 / 3 1 / 1 1 / 1 2 / 2 Diethylene ketone 2 / 2 0 / 0 2 / 2 3 / 3 3 / 3 Diethyl ether 3 / 3 3 / 3 2 / 3 3 / 3 3 / 3 Diisopropyl ether 1 / 1 0 / 0 1 / 1 3 / 0 0 / 0 Dimethyl formamide 1 / 0 0 / 0 1 / 1 3 / 0 2 / 0 Dimethyl sulfoxide 2 / 2 0 / 0 1 / 1 0 / 0 3 / 3 1, 4 Dioxane 1 / 2 3 / 3 2 / 2 2 / 2 3 / 3 Ether 2 / 2 3 / 3 2 / 3 3 / 3 3 / 3 Ethyl acetate 1 / 1 3 / 0 1 / 1 2 / 3 0 / 0 Ethyl alcohol, 100% 1 / 1 3 / 3 1 / 1 2 / 3 1 / 1 Ethyl benzene 2 / 3 0 / 0 2 / 3 3 / 3 2 / 2 Ethyl benzoate 2 / 2 0 / 0 2 / 2 2 / 2 0 / 0 Ethyl butyrate 2 / 3 0 / 0 2 / 3 0 / 0 2 / 2 Ethylene chloride 3 / 3 3 / 3 2 / 3 3 / 3 3 / 3 Ethylene glycol 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 Ethylene oxide 2 / 2 0 / 0 2 / 2 3 / 3 2 / 3 Formaldehyde, 40% 1 / 0 2 / 0 1 / 0 3 / 0 2 / 0 Formic acid, 98-100% 1 / 2 3 / 3 1 / 2 3 / 3 1 / 3 Fuel oil 2 / 3 2 / 3 1 / 1 3 / 3 1 / 2 Glycerol 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 n-Heptane 2 / 3 1 / 0 2 / 2 3 / 3 1 / 2 Hexane 3 / 3 1 / 1 1 / 2 2 / 3 3 / 3 Hydrofluoric acid, 40% 1 / 0 2 / 0 1 / 0 1 / 0 2 / 0 Hydrogen peroxide, 30% 1 / 2 3 / 3 1 / 2 2 / 2 1 / 1 Hydroquinone 2 / 0 0 / 0 2 / 0 1 / 0 0 / 0 Iodine-Potassium iodide sol. 3 / 3 3 / 3 1 / 1 2 / 3 2 / 3 Isoamyl acetate 2 / 0 3 / 0 1 / 0 3 / 0 2 / 0 Isobutyl alcohol 1 / 1 2 / 3 1 / 1 2 / 2 1 / 1 in the material's mechanical properties
  • The formation of tension cracks resulting from mechanical stress and surface-active substances (detergents, oils). The stress can be caused by internal forces (inherent material stress) or as a consequence of an external process (centrifugation).
The formation of tension cracks reveals that disposables, e.g. micro test tubes of the same type, can react differently with the same chemical, depending on the forces exerted upon the tube. Apart from inherent and operational stress, the disposable's chemical stability is also subject to the influences of temperature, concentration level, period of exposure, and any synergistic effects of solvent mixtures. The following classification is therefore only able to provide information of a general nature. In case of any doubt, you must conduct a test. Please also note our specifications on autoclavability (121C, 20 mins) of Eppendorf disposables. It is possible to attain the ultimate in safety by using the disposable tips and tubes once only.

For each chemical, two figures are stated (X/X). The first figure (left) is the stability at a test temperature of +20C, the second figure (right) is the stability at +50C.

1 = resistant, can be used for weeks and months
2 = sensitive, can be used for 10 minutes to several hours
3 = incompatible through to violent reactions
0 = non tested PE = polyethylene
PMMA = polymethylmethacrylate
PP = polypropylene
PS = polystyrene
PC = polycarbonate Isobutyl methyl ketone 2 / 2 0 / 0 2 / 2 0 / 0 2 / 3 Isopropyl acetate 2 / 2 0 / 0 2 / 2 3 / 3 3 / 3 Isopropyl alcohol 1 / 1 2 / 3 1 / 1 2 / 2 1 / 1 Isopropylbenzene 2 / 3 3 / 3 2 / 3 3 / 3 3 / 3 Lactic acid 1 / 1 2 / 3 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 Linseed oil 1 / 0 1 / 0 1 / 0 1 / 0 1 / 0 Mercury 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 Mercurous chloride 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 2 1 / 1 Methanol 1 / 1 3 / 3 1 / 1 2 / 3 2 / 2 Methyl acetate 1 / 0 3 / 0 1 / 0 3 / 0 2 / 0 Methyl ethyl ketone 2 / 3 3 / 3 2 / 0 3 / 3 2 / 3 Methyl propyl ketone 1 / 2 3 / 3 1 / 2 3 / 3 3 / 3 Mineral oil 2 / 2 1 / 0 2 / 3 2 / 3 1 / 2 Monochloro acetic acid 1 / 1 2 / 3 1 / 1 3 / 3 2 / 3 Naphta 2 / 2 1 / 0 2 / 3 2 / 3 1 / 2 Nitrobenzene 3 / 3 3 / 3 3 / 3 3 / 3 3 / 3 Nitric acid, 10% 1 / 1 1 / 2 1 / 1 3 / 3 1 / 2 Nitric acid, 70% 2 / 2 2 / 2 1 / 1 3 / 3 1 / 2 Nitrobenzene 3 / 3 3 / 3 3 / 3 3 / 3 3 / 3 Nitrohydrochloric acid 3 3 / 3 3 / 3 2 / 3 3 / 3 3 / 3 Octane 1 / 1 2 / 3 1 / 1 2 / 3 2 / 2 Oil of turpentine 2 / 3 1 / 1 3 / 3 3 / 3 3 / 3 Oleic acid 1 / 2 1 / 2 1 / 2 2 / 2 1 / 1 Oxalic acid 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 Paraff in oil 1 / 0 1 / 0 1 / 0 1 / 0 1 / 0 n-Pentane 1 / 0 1 / 0 1 / 0 2 / 0 0 / 0 Perchloric acid 1 / 2 1 / 2 1 / 3 1 / 2 3 / 3 Petroleum ether 1 / 2 1 / 0 1 / 2 2 / 3 2 / 2 Petroleum 2 / 2 1 / 0 2 / 3 2 / 3 1 / 2 Phenol, 100% 1 / 2 3 / 3 1 / 1 3 / 3 3 / 3 Phosphorous acid, 85% 1 / 0 3 / 0 1 / 0 1 / 0 2 / 0 Potassium chloride 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 2 / 2 1 / 1 Potassium hydroxide 1 / 1 1 / 3 1 / 1 1 / 1 3 / 3 Potassium permanganate 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 Propylbenzene 2 / 3 0 / 0 2 / 3 0 / 0 0 / 0 Propylene glycerol 1 / 1 0 / 0 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 2 Propylene oxide 1 / 1 0 / 0 1 / 1 3 / 3 3 / 3 Pyridine 1 / 2 3 / 3 2 / 2 3 / 3 2 / 3 Salicylic acid 1 / 1 0 / 0 1 / 1 1 / 1 0 / 0 Silicone oil 1 / 0 1 / 0 1 / 0 2 / 0 1 / 0 Silver acetate 1 / 1 2 / 2 1 / 1 2 / 2 1 / 1 Silver nitrate 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 2 / 2 1 / 1 Sodium acetate 1 / 1 3 / 3 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 Sodium dichromate 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 0 / 0 Sodium hypochlorite 1 / 0 1 / 0 1 / 0 1 / 0 2 / 0 Styrene 1 / 0 1 / 0 1 / 0 2 / 0 1 / 0 Sulphuric acid, 60% 1 / 1 3 / 3 1 / 1 3 / 3 2 / 2 Sulphuric acid, 98% 2 / 3 3 / 3 3 / 3 3 / 3 3 / 3 Tartaric acid CHEMICALS PE PMMA PP PS PC Acetaldehyde 2 / 3 3 / 3 2 / 3 3 / 3 3 / 3 Acetone 1 / 0 3 / 0 1 / 0 3 / 0 3 / 3 Acetic acid, 50% 1 / 2 3 / 3 1 / 2 2 / 3 2 / 2 Acrylonitrile 1 / 1 3 / 3 2 / 3 3 / 3 3 / 3 Adipic acid 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 dth="10%">1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 Tetrachloro ethane 3 / 3 3 / 3 2 / 3 3 / 3 2 / 3 Tetrachloro ethylene 2 / 0 3 / 0 3 / 0 3 / 0 3 / 0 Tetrahydrofuran 2 / 3 3 / 3 2 / 3 3 / 3 2 / 3 Tetrahydronaphthalene 2 / 0 3 / 3 3 / 3 3 / 3 2 / 3 Thionyl chloride 3 / 3 0 / 0 3 / 3 2 / 2 3 / 3 Toluene 2 / 3 3 / 3 2 / 3 3 / 3 3 / 3 Tributyl citrate 2 / 2 0 / 0 2 / 2 0 / 0 0 / 0 Trichloroacetic acid 1 / 1 3 / 0 2 / 3 2 / 3 2 / 3 Trichloroethane 3 / 3 3 / 3 3 / 3 3 / 3 3 / 3 Trichloroethylene 3 / 3 3 / 3 3 / 3 3 / 3 3 / 3 Triethylene glycol 1 / 1 2 / 2 1 / 1 1 / 2 1 / 2 Tripropylenglycol 1 / 1 2 / 2 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 2 Urea 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 3 / 3 Vaseline 2 / 2 2 / 2 1 / 2 1 / 1 0 / 0 Vinylidenchloride 3 / 3 0 / 0 3 / 3 3 / 3 3 / 3 Xylene 2 / 0 3 / 0 3 / 0 3 / 0 2 / 0 Zinc chloride, 10% 1 / 1 3 / 3 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 Zinc sulphate, 10% 1 / 1 2 / 2 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 Salts were tested as saturated solutions.
All data are recommendations without guarantee. Materials in Selected Eppendorf Products Eppendorf Product PE PP PS PC Autoclaveable (121C, 20 mins) Standard Envirotips (all tips) x x Envirobox and Rack
(bottom of Envirobox is polyurethane; Envirobox can be autoclaved at least 100 times) x x Geloader Tips and Rack x x Filtertip - Tip x - Filter (hydrophobic) x - Box, cover, rack x Positive Displacement Tips - Piston x - Cylinder x - Box and Rack x - Note: temperatures greater than 121C lead to deformation of the piston x Maxitips (valve is polyvinylfluoride) - Piston x - Cylinder x - Maxitip x Combitube (Valve bulb is glass) x Reagent Reservoir x x Flex-Tubes - All tubes x - When lid open x Safe-Lock Microcentrifuge Tubes - All tubes x - When lid open x Eppendorf Combitip and Combitip Plus Tips - Piston (0.5 ml size: wire) x - Cylinder x - Adapter for 25 and 50 ml sizes x - Adapter and 0.05 ml Combitip x Plus/8 Adapter Cartridge - Piston x - Cylinder x - Piston strip (and polyphenylenoxide) x - Hook for cartridge x < TD align=middle width="10%"> PCR* Tubes x Deep-well Plates x 0.25 ml Heparin-Li Tubes x 0.25 ml Heparin-Li-F Tubes x 24-place Standard Lid, for Micro Centrifuge Model 5415D x 24-place Aerosol-tight Lid, for Micro Centrifuge Model 5415D 1 / 1 Allyl alcohol 1 / 1 1 / 3 1 / 1 1 / 2 1 / 2 Aluminum chloride 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 3 / 3 Aluminum hydroxide 1 / 1 3 / 3 1 / 1 1 / 2 1 / 2 Amino acids 1 / 1 0 / 0 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 Ammonia 1 / 1 1 / 0 1 / 1 2 / 2 3 / 3 Ammonium hydroxide, 30% 1 / 1 1 / 1 Fixed-angle Aerosol-tight Rotor Lids, for Micro Centrifuge Models 5417C and Refrigerated 5417R Geloader is a trademark of Brinkmann Instruments, Inc.
Envirotips is a registered trademark of Brinkmann Instruments, Inc.
Eppendorf Tubes and Plus/8 are trademarks of Eppendorf AG.
Eppendorf, Eppendorf Combitip, and Flex-Tube are registered trademarks of Eppendorf AG.

le width="10%">1 / 1 2 / 3 3 / 3 N-Amyl acetate 2 / 3 1 / 1 2 / 3 3 / 3 1 / 1 Amyl alcohol 1 / 1 3 / 3 2 / 3 3 / 3 3 / 3 Amyl chloride 3 / 3 3 / 3 3 / 3 3 / 3 3 / 3 Aniline 1 / 0 3 / 0 2 / 0 3 / 0 2 / 0 Benzaldehyde 1 / 1 3 / 3 1 / 1 3 / 3 2 / 3 Benzene 2 / 3 3 / 3 2 / 3 3 / 3 3 / 3 Benzine 2 / 2 1 / 2 2 / 3 2 / 3 2 / 2 Benzoyl chloride 2 / 2 3 / 3 2 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 0 Benzyl alcohol 3 / 3 3 / 3 3 / 3 3 / 3 2 / 2 Benzyl chloride 2 / 3 0 / 0 2 / 3 3 / 3 3 / 3 Boric acid, 10% 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 Bromic acid 3 / 3 0 / 0 2 / 0 3 / 0 0 / 0 Bromine 3 / 3 3 / 3 3 / 3 3 / 3 3 / 3 Bromobenzene 2 / 3 0 / 0 3 / 3 3 / 3 3 / 3 Bromoform 3 / 3 3 / 3 3 / 3 3 / 3 3 / 3 Butadiene 3 / 3 2 / 0 3 / 0 3 / 3 3 / 3

1-Butanol

1 / 1 2 / 3 1 / 1 2 / 3 2 / 2 Butyl acetate 2 / 2 3 / 3 2 / 2 3 / 3 3 / 3 Butyric acid 3 / 3 0 / 0 3 / 3 3 / 3 2 / 3 Calcium chloride 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 Calcium hydroxide 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 1 / 2 3 / 3 Calcium hypochlorite 1 / 1 2 / 2 1 / 1 1 / 1 2 / 3 Camphorated oil 3 / 0 3 / 0 3 / 0 1 / 0 0 / 0 Carbon bisulphide 3 / 3 3 / 3 3 / 3 3 / 3 3 / 3 Carbon tetrachloride 2 / 3 2 / 3 2 / 3 3 / 3 2 / 3 Caustic soda 1 / 1 0 / 0 1 / 1 1 / 1 3 / 3 Chlorammonium 1 / 1 2 / 2 1 / 1 1 / 3 2 / 2 Chloric acid, 35% 1 / 1 2 / 3 1 / 1 2 / 3 3 / 3 Chloroacetic acid 1 / 0<
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