Reed Switch Glass

Product Description

The name "reed switch glass" is derived from its application. It is the glass encapsulation of reed switches cut to a specified size.
SCHOTT’s 8516 reed glass tubing was specially developed for the encapsulation of reed switches. Typical tubing diameters range from just more than 1 to over 5 mm. Tubing is cut precisely to the customer’s size requirements. Sections can be as short as 5 mm for truly miniaturized applications. To ensure excellent rim quality, all sections are slightly fire-polished at both ends.
The reed switch glass is green due to its high iron content, which ensures particularly high IR absorption rates. This enables our customers to seal this glass in their process absolutely contamination free by using light (e.g. using Nd-Yag lasers or tungsten halogen lamps) rather than flames.


With automated cutting and cleaning technology, SCHOTT’s reed switch glass meets the most stringent requirements for applications in the electronic and automotive fields:
  • Excellent accuracy in terms of glass composition and dimensional tolerances
  • All products are lead-free
  • Automated online-quality control
  • Uniform fire-polished ends
  • Suitable for sealing with all IR heat sources
  • Superior cleanliness for long-term reliability
  • Fast and flexible sampling for custom-made solutions


Reed switch glasses are specially designed for the hermetic encapsulation of reed switches:

Each reed switch has two electrically conductive metal contacts (reeds). The ends of these two reeds are hermetically sealed into the opposite ends of the SCHOTT glass tube. While the switch is open, the reeds do not touch each other and form a gap. An electrical circuit is created when a magnetic field causes the encapsulated contacts to close. Once the magnetic field ceases, the stiffness of the reeds causes them to separate again.

Due to the hermetic encapsulation, reed switches are extremely reliable over millions of switching cycles. Another advantage is that they don’t consume any power in the “stand-by” mode. This sets them apart from semiconductor solutions.

End-use applications for reed switch glass are found in a variety of fields:
  • Automotive applications include brake fluid control, seat belt or crash sensors.
  • Home appliance applications include switches for electrical appliances such as toothbrushes, water heaters etc.
  • In semiconductor test equipment, reed switches guarantee loss-free switching of signals during test cycles.

Technical Details


The fabrication of glass tubes is one of SCHOTT's key competencies.

All high precision cutting equipment has been developed in-house. Key developments in the last few years were focused on reducing dimensional tolerances as well as miniaturization. Washing and packing in modern clean rooms ensures excellent cleanliness and direct usability in our customers’ processes.

Features / Specifications

Please refer to the following table for properties of SCHOTT’s 8516 reed switch glass:
Glass number 8516
Sealing alloy NiFe 52
Evaporation tendency 1) o
CTE 10-6/K 8.9
Transformation temperature °C 440
Softening point (107.6dPas) °C 650
Working point (104dPas) °C 990
Density g/cm3 2.56
Modulus of elasticity GPa 72
Refractive index 1.516
tk100 (DIN 52326) °C 250
Electrical volume resistivity (in cm)
log ρ at 250°C
Electrical volume resistivity (in cm)
log ρ at 350°C
Dielectric constant (25°C, 1MHz) 6.5
Loss angle tanδ (25°C, 1MHz) 25x10-4
Classes of chemical stability
Transmiss. of 0.5 mm glass at 1.1μm 16
Water resistance (DIN 12111) class 3
Acid resistance (DIN 12116) class 1
Alkali resistance (DIN 52322) clas 2

Forms of Supply and Product Packaging
  • Reed glass tube sections are packed in antistatic trays
  • Other special packaging options are available upon request
  • Products can be delivered with special cleaning and packing in clean room conditions


For information on our quality assurance programs, please refer to our quality assurance pages.
Trade Fairs & Events
Trade fair Compamed, Düsseldorf, Germany, 15.11 - 18.11.2021
Trade fair SPIE Photonics West, San Francisco, USA, 25.01 - 27.01.2022
Christoph-Dorner-Strasse 29
84028 Landshut
E-Mail to SCHOTT+49 (0)871/826-0