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Ensuring Reliable Sample Containment with Autosampler Vials

publication date: Feb 11, 2015
author/source: Agilent Technologies

Reliable containment of samples is crucial and the integrity, cleanliness and consistency of vials is critical for accurate analysis.

agilentMany analysts think of vials as simple components that do not affect results which is an easy mistake to make…until something goes wrong.

Using vials that are not fit for purpose can have a significant impact on the quality of analysis and there are a number of issues to look for in uncertified autosampler vials, including:

  • Non-uniform bottom thickness which can damage needles and cause inconsistent sample draw
  • Autosampler sequence interruptions resulting in the mishandling of vials and sample loss
  • Sample evaporation and loss caused by poor sealing
  • Misaligned, dislodged or cored septa resulting in sample contamination and damage to autosampler injectors

Many analysts are now choosing certified autosampler vials which can significantly reduce the opportunity for such issues to affect analysis. There are a number of factors to consider when selecting the right vial for your application; for example for highly sensitive samples such as pesticides or semi volatiles, as well as samples that are prone to sudden shifts in pH, deactivated vials are best, because their surface is more hydrophobic and inert. Polypropylene vials are an excellent choice for biological applications and for applications involving samples with high metal content, such as ion chromatography, AA, or ICP-MS.

Agilent Certified Vials are the only vials designed and tested for full compatibility with Agilent autosamplers. Because many Agilent autosamplers use a robotic arm to grip vials by the neck, it is important the vial is the correct size to prevent vials being dropped causing the loss of samples. Agilent provides a range of tools to help you choose the right autosampler for your application. Theinteractive vial selection tool and vial selection poster both provide information required to assist analysts in making an informed decision working best for their own unique application.

Analysts are increasingly looking for ways to reduce the time and cost of their analyses and reusing vials, caps and septa is often perceived as an easy way to reduce costs, protect the environment and spend less time maintaining stock. However, it is important to consider the impact reusing vial consumables can have on your results.  Consumables are designed to perform at an optimum level and after one use, the performance of an autosampler vial, cap or septa cannot be guaranteed to the same levels.

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