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The Use of Silicone Septa in Laboratories

2 May 2023 Posted by: makeyourmark Uncategorized

What is septa?

Septa is the plural word form of septum, which, in laboratory science, refers to a thin, flexible disk or membrane made from various materials such as silicone, rubber, or PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene). Septa are made in different sizes and thicknesses, depending on the specific application and requirements of the laboratory test. 

Why is septa made from silicone?

Silicone is a hugely popular choice when it comes to deciding what material to use as a sealant. Its versatility across multiple industries and applications stems from its unique combination of optimal properties. 

  1. Flexibility. Silicone is very flexible, able to withstand a significant amount of movement without losing integrity as a sealant. In instances where it’s expected that materials will expand and contract, silicone is a perfect solution. 
  2. Resistance to temperatures. Silicone remains intact and functional even in extreme heat or extreme cold. If a sample needs to be stored in a refrigeration unit or will be exposed to high temperatures, silicone will keep the contents of a vial or container safe. 
  3. Resistance to chemicals. Silicone can endure exposure to harsh chemicals in solvents, acids, and alkalis, making it an ideal choice for laboratories, where many of those things are stored.  
  4. Resistance to UV. Silicone can handle UV radiation, making it a common choice for outdoor application in windows or roofing, for example. 
  5. Longevity. Silicone has a long life, and is slow to degrade from exposure to the elements. This makes it a favorable choice for long-term storage requirements.

What is silicone septa used for?

Silicone septa is used in many fields, and is especially popular in the fields of analytical chemistry, pharmaceutical research, and environmental testing. Gas chromatography in particular is one example of an analytical procedure that relies on septa as sample sealants. The fields listed above are some in which the protection of a lab sample or specimen cannot be underestimated. Oftentimes, the validity of an experiment conclusion or finding hinges on how well the test sample was preserved. Silicone septa are placed onto the top of a sample vial or container and held in place by some form of cap or closure. The septa act as a barrier between the sample in the vial and the environment outside, blocking interference from airborne contaminants, particles, or other sources of contamination. They also allow for the use of a needle or syringe to inject or withdraw material without compromising the contents of the vial. 

Does ILT manufacture silicone septa?

ILT currently offers a wide range of septa in various color combinations of PTFE/silicone. Septa manufactured by ILT strives to maintain high laboratory standards of cleanliness, while also remaining uniquely customizable for specific laboratory needs. Our products are available in 8mm to 33mm diameters, as well as a variety of thicknesses. There are also options for heat-resistant PTFE liners. All ILT products are tested onsite in a fully-equipped laboratory to ensure that only the best quality products are being manufactured. 

Read more about the seals and septa industry on our blog page or learn more about ILT, the world leader in manufacturing seals and septa here.