Leaks at gas chromatography (GC) column connections are a common source of frustration and wasted time in laboratories. Time is often spent manually tightening connections between columns using a handheld tool - time which could otherwise be spent analyzing results or running more investigations. Preventing GC leaks has become a priority for researchers looking to save time and money while achieving high quality results.
GC column connections leak because capillary column ferrules made of graphite polyimide blends loosen after heating cycles, creating gaps in the mechanical fitting. This can lead to high-frequency baseline noise and questionable results.
In addition, leaks at the GC column fitting can also cause significant losses of expensive high quality gas, shorten equipment lifetimes, and destroy columns. Furthermore, some detectors can be damaged by exposure to oxygen through column connection leaks - all of this adds up to inaccurate results and additional costs.
The first step in reducing the risk of leaks within gas chromatography is ensuring users have good GC connections. Tight column connections provide reduced background noise, reliable results, and saved time, due to not needing to retighten fittings.
New supplies are available that help to ensure these critical column connections are secure by offering a tight, consistent seal without any expensive upgrades or adaptors. One such development is the new Agilent Self Tightening Column Nut which works using a spring-driven piston, which continuously presses against the short graphite/polyimide ferrule and creates a seal which can endure hundreds of injections.
• Agilent provides new fittings and inert flow path products that:
• Facilitate robust, leak free column connections
• Improve Inertness
• Reduce downtime and maintenance
• Simplify complex or problematic connections