Chromatography Vial Seals: 9 Types for Reliable Analysis
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9 Types of Seals Used in Chromatography Vials

Sep. 28th, 2023
Chromatography is an invaluable analytical technique used in both chemistry and biology to isolate complex mixtures for separation and analysis. To achieve accurate and reliable results, proper sealing of chromatography vials is key for accurate and reliable results - these seals prevent sample contamination while maintaining sample integrity during storage and analysis. In this article, we'll look at nine common seal types commonly employed with chromatography vials.
Crimp Seals:
Crimp seals are one of the oldest and most common sealing methods in chromatography, often featuring an aluminum collar with an attached cap and septum connected by an adhesive strip, along with a crimping tool used to secure them in place by crimping it. Crimp seals offer secure, airtight sealing capabilities suitable for gas chromatography (GC) and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) applications.
Screw Caps:
Screw caps provide easy use in HPLC analysis and are widely utilized. Their threaded design allows users to simply screw them onto vials. In addition, these caps often come equipped with septum made of materials like PTFE or silicone that ensure a reliable seal.
Snap Caps:
These caps feature a snap-ring design to securely fasten their caps in place and are convenient for applications requiring frequent access to vials; often used with autosampler systems.
Press-On Seals:
Press-on seals are typically composed of rubber or silicone materials and designed to fit securely over vial openings without the need for crimping or screwing, providing a secure seal suitable for headspace analysis.
Magnetic Seals:
Magnetic seals utilize a magnetic cap and vial fitted with an internal magnetic ring that ensure a tight seal when the cap is placed onto it, using magnetic forces. Highly reliable and suitable for applications requiring high precision.
Septa Caps:
Septa caps combine both cap and septum into one unit to simplify sealing processes. They come in various materials such as PTFE and silicone to meet different chromatography applications.
Snap-On Seals:
These seals are designed to securely snap onto vials, providing an efficient and fast way of sealing. Ideal for applications requiring quick sealing times.
Pre-slit Septa:
These septa feature an easily needleable septum with precut slits to facilitate sample injection without coring or coring needles, thereby minimizing risk of septum damage during autosampler systems.
Tamper-Evident Seals:
Tamper-evident seals add an additional level of security by signalling when a vial has been opened or altered, thereby maintaining sample integrity and chain of custody in applications where this must occur.

Selecting an effective seal for chromatography vials is paramount to the success of analytical experiments. Each type of seal offers its own set of advantages, making an informed decision easier for researchers and analysts. Airtight crimp seals for GC experiments or user-friendly screw caps for HPLC use may provide airtight protection of samples while simultaneously increasing reliability in chromatographic results. Understanding all available sealing options gives researchers and analysts more options to tailor decisions specifically to their own needs.
For comprehensive insights on HPLC vials, explore this informative article:50 Most Frequently Asked Questions on HPLC Vials