How “Clean” Does My GC Tubing Need to Be?

cg_tubing_aluminumUsing clean, high-quality tubing is essential when setting up a new GC or when replumbing an existing gas delivery system, especially for carrier and detector gases.
“Clean” tubing often only means that it has been processed according to ASTM B280 or CGA G-4.1. However, in our experience, tubing prepared by these methods alone is not clean enough for chromatography applications. Residual drawing oils and other manufacturing artifacts may still be present and can easily contaminate an instrument after installation.

Check out Mandel’s line of GC tubing from Restek

This process can quickly damage components and can also gradually increase background and decrease sensitivity over the long term. To produce truly clean tubing, Restek developed a proprietary procedure that removes all residual material, ensuring that you have a product that will perform exceptionally well for chromatography applications.

In addition, our unique deactivation treatments are available for when maximum inertness is needed.

Which Tubing Should I Use with Hydrogen?

In addition to using properly cleaned tubing, it is important to use the correct type of tubing for your application. For example, if you are using hydrogen as your carrier gas, it is critical that you use stainless steel tubing rather than copper tubing. Hydrogen can act as a “scrubbing” agent and over time can weaken copper tubing. This could lead to cracking and failure of the copper tubing, which could create a safety hazard.

Get Fittings to Match Your Tubing

gc_tubing_fittingWhen it comes to fittings, it really does matter that you match them to your tubing, as mismatched materials may not seal correctly and could even corrode at the joint. Always use stainless steel fittings with stainless steel tubing and use brass fittings with copper tubing. Restek offers a wide range of Swagelok and Parker fittings in both brass and stainless steel; surface deactivating Sulfinert and Silcosteel-CR treatments are also available to ensure an inert, corrosion-resistant pathway.

Find a fitting

Tubing Cutting and Bending Tools

Being able to make clean, precise cuts and bends is a final step in properly plumbing your GC. To ensure you can cut and bend your tubing to the correct lengths and configurations, Restek supplies a selection of top-quality cutting and bending tools designed for laboratory use.

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