Why do you use the sample container that you use? Is it something you've ever thought about? Sample containers and crucibles are both wonderfully simple, to hold your sample without influencing the analysis, and wonderfully complex... to hold your sample without influencing the analysis.
But are you using the best container for your type of sample?
Consider our carbon and nitrogen determinator, the CN828. This furnace provides an unparalleled sample analysis throughput for a busy lab, but it does require a little more than just pushing a sample into the combustion chamber. The sample needs to be contained in either a capsule or a cup.
The CN828 works with four different sample containers, each one ideal for a different purpose.
Quick-Cap Capsules are gel capsules with an open end that allows contained atmosphere to be purged within the purge chamber, decreasing possible nitrogen biases and eliminating the need for an atmospheric blank. However, these capsules do not work with liquid samples or samples with a high moisture content.
Tin Capsules are a versatile option for both solid and liquid samples, but they oxidize completely into tin oxide, which results in a higher ash load and more frequent crucible replacement.
Tin Foil Cups have a wide opening, which makes sample addition and weighing much easier and quicker. They do get sealed before the analysis, which requires an atmospheric blank to be analyzed for corrections, but their larger size allows for larger samples, which are needed for materials with low concentrations of the carbon and/or nitrogen being measured.
Copper Capsules and Tin Plugs are excellent for liquid samples and very useful for hydrocarbon samples, following ASTM procedure D5291.
Using the correct sample container for your samples doesn't have to be a challenge. LECO has an easy user's guide for all of our Organic sample containers and crucibles.
Next time you run an analysis, spare a moment to appreciate your sample container!