What is a Septa?

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By definition, a rubber septum consists of a disk of rubber or similar material used to seal a vial or other device. It is installed along the inside of a cap, which is typically made of metal or plastic. A syringe needle pierces the rubber septum for the purpose of injection and, on withdrawal, the elasticity of the septum ensures that the hole reseals.

Rubber septa are most commonly used to seal medicinal vials containing either a liquid or freeze-dried solid (which is then liquefied in water or other substance). The medicine is drawn from the vial using a needle, then injected. Septa may also be used when a substance either needs to be injected into or pulled from a vial (or other device) then re-sealed. An injection port on a gas chromatograph is a good example. Other uses include but are not limited to:

  • Rubber septa to seal vials used to store samples in a lab. These vials are typically used in conjunction with either a gas or liquid chromatograph.
  • Sealing the injection port on top of a gas chromatograph. These injection port septa are meant to seal the entire chromatographic column.
  • Sealing test ports on chemical or pharmaceutical processing equipment. When samples need to be taken in a closed system, use of an injection port septum may be a good way to insert a needle to take a sample without having to shut the entire system down.

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