articles made of glass, used to store or hold drugs or injection and bacteriological solutions or used in patient care.
Medical glassware includes pharmaceutical vessels, the vials used for antibiotics, ampuls, syringes and other objects used in patient care, and tubes (intermediate products used in making a variety of articles). Pharmaceutical vessels are made of colorless, opaque, or colored photoprotective glass. Vials for antibiotics are made to hold 10, 15, or 20 milliliters. The diameter of the tubes used to make ampuls ranges from 0.4 to 1.8 cm, and that of vials, test tubes, and other articles, from 0.6 to 2.5 cm.
Medical glassware is divided into three groups, according to physicochemical properties. Neutral glassware is highly resistant to sterilization by steam in an autoclave under a pressure of 0.2 meganewtons per sq m (2 kilograms-force per sq cm). A second type of medical glassware can be sterilized in an autoclave and does not form highly alkaline solutions or flaky sediments as a result. The third type, ordinary alkaline glassware, cannot be sterilized by steam because of the formation of highly alkaline solutions.
Most glass articles are mass-produced on continuous flow lines of high-output glass-forming machinery.