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Why don't you use a cleaning process for RSA vials?

Reference Number: AA-01061 Created: 11/20/2012 03:59 PM Last Updated: 03/28/2017 05:09 PM

When autosampler vials are manufactured from high purity glass tubing, to eliminate the vertical and horizontal strain on the vials, they must be annealed using heat that is between 1,200 - 1,400°F. At this temperature all organic material is burned off and eliminated leaving vials as clean as can possibly be. However, if the proper application of heat and other factors are not followed, a layer of sodium silicate dust may be formed on the surface of the glass. RSA™ vials are made with a patented process whereby this layer of silicate (introducing glass particulates from the glass) that forms on ordinary glass vials is never formed. This silicate layer is problematic for GC, GCMS, HPLC, LCMS and mostly LCMS/MS as it can cause metals to accumulate at the vial surface that cause adducts in MS, can permanently adsorb basic compounds especially in low abundance and cause pH shifts in DI water due the pKa of the silicate and its reactivity.


Some vial manufacturers will use a cleaning process to purge it of glass particulates (silicate that delaminates) in hopes of making these vials more MS compatible but this very cleaning process will re-introduce organic contaminants to the vial's inner surface which may be detected in the chromatographic runs. Also, the rinsing step of any "cleaning" process will also re-introduce contaminants to the vials.


If a "cleaning" process uses acids or surfactants, it is impossible to remove all residual materials from the cleaning solution which actually will degrade the "cleanliness" of the vials. In addition, after rinsing or "cleaning" the vials the drying process will also reintroduce contaminates from air or any gas. If particulates are visible in any autosampler vial, they would indicate that best practices in manufacturing are not followed. The source of the organic particles would be from the air, the vial machines, the gas used for flames in the forming step or from the "cleaning" process.


RSA glass vials do not undergo a "cleaning process" since they do not have the glass particulates thus leaving them to be the "cleanest" vials available as well as least reactive. Due to the "precision manufacturing" and the slower rate of production used for RSA limited vials and inserts, petroleum lubricants normally used during the "heating phase" is not used. Petroleum lubricants (grease and oil) introduce organic material into the vials.


RSA vials are packaged immediately from the lear in a Class 100,000 clean room by robots and are never touched by human hands. The entire manufacturing process is ISO certified.


It is important to remember that low cost vials are made as fast as possible to keep the costs low and not for consistent, predictable surface or contaminants.

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