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Test Tube

Test tube used in laboratory

1. What is test tube?
2. Types of test tube
    2.1 Boiling test tube
    2.2 Cell culture tubes
    2.3 Centrifuge test tube
    2.4 Cuvettetest tube
    2.5 Cylinder test tube
    2.6 Disposable test tubes
    2.7 Dry test tube
    2.8 Flat bottom test tubes
    2.9 Gas detection tubes
    2.10 PCR test tube
    2.11 Plasma separator tube
    2.12 Capillary tubes for blood collection
3. Material of test tube
    3.1 Glass test tubes
    3.2 Plastic test tubes
4. Dimension of test tube
5. How to buy the test tube?

What is a test tube?

A test tube is used as a reaction vessel for small quantities of reagents in laboratories. It is a tube that is finger-length and made of glass or plastic which is open at the top and closed at the bottom. The testing tube is also called the culture tube (no lid) or sample tube which are different names for their different applications. As handheld tubes, some test tubes are for reused propose, others are disposable.

When operating, the test tubes are commonly placed in test tube racks, which are also named test tube holders.

Types of test tube

Test tubes are divided into boiling test tubes, centrifugal test tubes, cell culture tubes, and so on. Different applications, different sizes, and different machines should match up with the different relative test tubes. There are different sizes for test tubes. They are large size test tubes, small size test tubes, and micro test tubes or mini test tubes.

Boiling test tube

The boiling test tube is designed for boiling chemicals. Its tube wall is thickened and is about 50% bigger in dimension than the normal test tube. It is a kind of thick cylindrical testing tube. Because of its material - borosilicate glass, it has a strong heat resistance and explosion-proof properties. The tubular material allows the boiling test tube even exposed to extreme heat without breaking or melting. Due to its resistant character, it can be immersed in the Bunsen burner flame. The bigger size and special material let boiling test tubes boil anything violently inside. If there is no room for gas bubbles in a standard tube, the liquid will explode.

Cell Culture Tubes

Cell culture is a very important experimental technology and has become an indispensable research method in the fields of biopharmaceuticals, life science, clinical transplantation, and so on. A cell culture tube in biology is usually used to treat and culture a variety of living organisms like bacteria, plant cuttings, mold, seedlings, etc. Generally, it is widely used to store the samples of blood or other fluids in medicine and forensic science.

The cell culture tubes can be divided into disposable tubes or reusable tubes. For both of them, the disposable one is more commonly used. According to materials, there are cell culture tubes made of polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, etc. Among them, polyethylene and polypropylene cell culture tubes have good chemical resistance and high mechanical strength and are suitable for serological studies of low protein adsorption, while polystyrene cell culture tubes are suitable for a wide range of applications.

Centrifuge test tube

A centrifuge test tube, centrifugal tube, or centrifuge tube is a finger-like tubular sample tube in seal or gland condition. As one of the most often used supplies in laboratories, centrifuge test tubes are usually made of plastic or glass which are according to the requirements of international standards and international medical industry standards.

In general, the advantage of all the materials is not easy to destroy. Even though, plastic centrifuge test tubes have smaller hardness, easier deformation, poorer corrosion resistance to organic solvents, and shorter useful life than glass centrifugal tubes. The disadvantages of glass centrifuge test tubes are that the sealing is not good enough, easy to deformation, and easy to lose balance when working under high-speed centrifuge force.

Cuvette test tube

Cuvette test tubes are the main instrument used for visual colorimetric analysis in chemical experiments, which can be used to roughly measure the concentration of the solution. When using test tubes for colorimetry, one tube should contain the solution to be measured, while the other cuvette test tube should contain the standard solution. Both of them should be placed in front of a piece of white paper with the same illumination level on it. Then experimenters should observe the color difference with the naked eyes.

The cuvette test tube has one more precise scale line than the standard test tube. Usually, it is equipped with a rubber plug or glass plug, and the tube wall is thinner than the standard one.

Cylinder test tube

A cylinder test tube is a kind of measuring device used in the laboratory. It is designed to take liquid by volume quantification, but the measuring result is only for reference as the cylinder test tube is generally of low accuracy. The shape of it is generally a vertical cylinder with a mouth on one side of the upper edge for easy dumping and with a rounded flat bottom for stability. The cylinder wall is graduated with a volume range for the user to read the volume. When reading the volume data on the tube, the experimenter should be aware that the line of sight should be level with the lowest point of the concave surface (or the highest point of the convex surface) of the liquid. The measuring test tubes in laboratories are cylinder test tubes, measuring cups, and beakers.

Disposable test tubes

Disposable test tubes are usually made of plastic. As consumables for a variety of molecular biology tests, the disposable test tube is mainly used for tissue culture, bacterial culture, storage of clinical samples, and powder or liquid samples. Disposable test tubes are the preferred choice of consumables for clinical sample storage, bacterial tissue culture, and molecular biology testing.

Dry test tube

A dry test tube is with a red tube lid, used for blood collection tube without additives. It is used in the field of routine serum biochemical, blood bank, and serological tests.

Flat bottom test tubes

For different purposes, the test tube is divided into the flat bottom test tube, round bottom test tube, and conical bottom test tube. Among them, the appearance of the flat-bottomed test tube makes the experimental process more convenient, because it can be conveniently placed on the desk.

Gas detection tubes

Detection tubes are the transparent tubes that are filled with chemical reagents, using the indicating powder in the chemical reaction to observe color changes to determine the concentration or type of gas. A gas detection tube is a tool for rapid determination of the concentration of harmful gases in the air. When detecting the gas in the tube, it is filled with a certain amount of detection agent in a thin glass tube and fixed with material, and closed two ends of the heating fusion. The testing agents are generally silica gel, activated alumina, glass particles, and other carriers. With those kinds of testing agents, the method of measuring the concentration of pollutants becomes simple and rapid. But the disadvantage is that the test is of low accuracy.

PCR test tube

In biotechnology laboratories, PCR tubes are suitable for different kinds of quantitative PCR tests and other PCR tests. It is designed as transparent eight-row tubes for better operation and is usually made of high-quality polymer material polypropylene (PP). The uniform thickness of the ultra-thin tube wall design facilitates heat transfer and precise temperature control to optimize heat transfer to the reaction solution. The matching lid has excellent sealing performance.

Plasma separator tube

PST tube is generally matched with a light green lid. Combining with serum separation glue and heparin sodium or heparin lithium anticoagulant, it is usually used for separating blood cells, serum, and plasma, improving their output and ensuring the stability of plasma composition. It is often used for electrolyte detection and often used in the hospital intensive care and emergency plasma biochemical determination examination.

Capillary tubes for blood collection

Capillary tubes which are used to collect capillary blood samples are called capillary tubes for blood collection. Usually, the capillary blood samples are collected from the fingers of adults or the heel of infants and applied for hematological and chemical testing.

The inner wall of capillary tubes is coated with anticoagulants. It is effective to prevent blood from clotting by mixed with anticoagulants.

Material of test tube

There are no kinds of materials that can meet all the experimental requirements. Considering the specific properties of the material and the cost, glass test tubes and plastic test tubes are commonly used in laboratories.

Glass test tubes

High transparency, strong shape stability, and good chemical resistance for salt solutions, acids, bases water, and organic solvents are the reasons why glass test tubes are more popular than plastic tube tests.

There are many different types of glass materials that can be chosen in the laboratory with different properties.

Sodium-calcium Glass
Sodium-calcium glass has good chemical and physical properties. This material is suitable for applications with short-time exposure to chemical reagents and limited thermal shock.

Borosilicate Glass
Borosilicate glass has excellent chemical and physical properties too. As stated in the international standard DIN ISO 3585, the linear expansion coefficient of primary hydrolyzed glass is 3.3, suitable for applications requiring excellent chemical and thermal endurance (including resistance to thermal shock), as well as high mechanical stability. Glass is typical for chemical instruments, such as round-bottomed flares and beakers and metering products.

Quartz Glass
Quartz glass is also one of the common materials in glass test tubes. It has good heat resistance, chemical resistance, and a combination of high heat resistance and high infrared radiation transmission. It is a good choice for glass test tubes.

Plastic test tubes

Experimental plastic test tubes consume a lot in laboratories every year. They are made of different materials like PET, PP, PC, and so on. PET tubes are often used to collect and preserve blood, urine, pus, and synovial fluid. PS test tubes are often used in laboratory testing and experimental instrument teaching.

Polyphenylene Terephthalate (PET)
With excellent chemical and physical properties, and perfect adaptability to modification, PET now is widely used in producing plastic test tubes. There are a lot of modified PET plastic materials to meet different demands.

Polypropylene (PP)
High-quality PP materials should be in the conditions with high purity, non-toxic, non-irritating, good chemical stability, non-degradation, no inflammation, no allergic reaction, good biocompatibility, no cancer, no hemolysis, and coagulation. Besides, it should withstand the disinfection treatment of ethylene oxide.

Polycarbonate (PC)
The typical characteristics of PC are toughness, strength, rigidity, and heat resistance to steam disinfection, which make it a preferred choice for the applications like blood dialysis filters, surgical tool handles, biotechnology laboratories operates, and oxygen tanks.

Dimension of a test tube

ProductDiameter LengthPicture
5ml test tube /
5ml test tube with cap
12*75 mm


10 ml test tube13*100 mm


15 ml test tube15 ml test tube


20 ml test tube18*150 mm


25 ml test tube25 ml test tube


30 ml test tube27*110 mm


50 ml test tube25*200 mm


100 ml test tube40*150 mm


How to buy the test tube?

ANTITECK provide lab equipment, lab consumable, manufacturing equipment in life sciences sector.
If you are interested in our test tube or have any question, please write an e-mail to, we will reply to you as soon as possible.

    AntiTeck Life Sciences

    A1-519, XingGang GuoJi, Yingbin Road, Huadu, Guangzhou, China, 510810
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