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Thread: Leaking 5ml vials - be aware of differences

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    Senior Member FredRydr's Avatar
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    Default Leaking 5ml vials - be aware of differences

    I recently bought more vials for ink samples. I compared them to older vials I had rinsed intending to reuse, but the latter are now destined for the bin. Note the threads of each in the photo below. If buying vials, be aware of variations in quality and be willing to pay a little more for vials less likely to leak when shipped via high altitude airmail.


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    FPG Donor ♕ Chrissy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Leaking 5ml vials - be aware of differences

    Which ones are better and less likely to leak? Those at the top or those at the bottom?
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

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    Senior Member FredRydr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Leaking 5ml vials - be aware of differences

    The bottom. The cap seal and the threads are more robust. I bought 50 of them from Syringa Lab Supplies. A pack of 25 vials and caps for $6.74 via Amazon.com.

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    Default Re: Leaking 5ml vials - be aware of differences

    Oh yeah, the vial pictured on top are bad news. I buy mine from Goulet/Anderson because they send out lots of ink samples and aren't likely to use cheap leaking vials.
    "What are moon-letters?" asked the hobbit full of excitement. He loved maps, as I have told you before; and he also loved runes and letters, and cunning handwriting, though when he wrote himself it was a bit thin and spidery.

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    Default Re: Leaking 5ml vials - be aware of differences

    I've never seen any vials like those at the top of the picture. Now I'm happy about that.
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

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    Senior Member azkid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Leaking 5ml vials - be aware of differences

    As you may know I've been struggling to prevent leaking mystery Ink samples.

    I've bought vials of slightly different styles from a few different eBay vendors.

    Some of these come with a silicone(?) o-ring and those seem less leak-prone, but weren't 100% reliable. (my fault? Maybe...)

    Some were missing the O-ring and most of those leaked.

    I broke down and got a batch from Goulet and these seem to be the best quality so far. I should have been more scientific about it.

    Would it help to fill up the vial more? As in, less air to expand?

    I wonder if treating the seal with silicone grease would help? Maybe even the threads.

    I can test both theories, actually. I have a Bulova watch seal tester I could use. If I get around to doing that I will post.

    One time I used 2ml glass vials to send some ink to replace leaked samples and none leaked as far as I know.


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    Senior Member Sailor Kenshin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Leaking 5ml vials - be aware of differences

    I wonder if a small square of plastic wrap between the cap and vial would help...

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    Senior Member azkid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Leaking 5ml vials - be aware of differences

    It might.

    Here are three of the vials I've used. The white cap is from Goulet and does not have an O ring, the others from Ebay. The purple cap has an O ring. The white cap vials seem to be of higher quality molding.



    I put each vial filled with 5ml of waterman blue in my watch waterproof tester for appx 5 minutes, tilted so any air pressure might force ink out.



    Not surprisingly, the blue vial leaked since it has no o-ring. The other two didn't leak.

    The caps showed that a tiny bit of ink appears under/outside the o ring. Only a tiny trace appears past the lip on the white cap.



    Next, I tried white and purple again but with more air and less ink: 3ml.



    Again no leaks and same result with the caps.

    I was kind of hoping I could reproduce the failures I've seen. But this device probably doesn't produce as low of a pressure as is seen at cargo plane cruising altitude.

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    Senior Member FredRydr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Leaking 5ml vials - be aware of differences

    Quote Originally Posted by azkid View Post
    ...One time I used 2ml glass vials to send some ink to replace leaked samples and none leaked as far as I know....
    I have two of these tiny bottles that I was going to use for ink, but their necks were too narrow to insert a fountain pen section.

    For the price of the good vials, it's hardly worth messing with the others. Nonetheless, for mailing I wrap a strip of electrical tape around the top of each vial (stretching clockwise) and place them inside a small plastic freezer bag with a good seal.

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    Senior Member FredRydr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Leaking 5ml vials - be aware of differences

    Quote Originally Posted by azkid View Post
    ...my watch waterproof tester....
    Do you increase or decrease pressure inside that device? If the latter, do you look for bubbles coming from your watches?

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    Senior Member azkid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Leaking 5ml vials - be aware of differences

    It creates a vacuum. When the lever pulls down and latches, it draws the middle of the rubber diaphragm down. One applies soapy water around a watch case and then looks for bubbles when the vacuum is applied.

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    Senior Member azkid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Leaking 5ml vials - be aware of differences

    [QUOTE=FredRydr;276821]
    Quote Originally Posted by azkid View Post
    Nonetheless, for mailing I wrap a strip of electrical tape around the top of each vial (stretching clockwise) and place them inside a small plastic freezer bag with a good seal.
    Tried using electrical tape and self sealing tape, still unable to achieve 100% leak free transport. I must be missing something.

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