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Capillary GC column installation

GC column installationBrief procedure for column installation

  • Cool all heated zones of GC
  • Check gas purifiers and if they are spent, replace them.
  • Clean injector and detector
  • Replace injector/detector liners with new ones.
  • Replace critical injector and detector seals.
  • Replace septum in the injector.
  • Set make-up and detector gas flow rates.
  • Carefully inspect the column for damage or breakage.
  • Install a nut and ferrule on each end of the column.
  • Cut 10 centimeters from each end of the column. Use a sapphire scribe or ceramic scoring wafer to cut fused silica capillary columns. Use the serrated edge of a ceramic scoring wafer or the edge of a sharp file to cut metal capillary columns. See our catalogue for capillary cuting tools.
  • Mount the capillary column in the oven using a bracket that protects the column from becoming scratched or abraded.
  • Insert column the appropriate distance into the inlet as indicated in the instrument manual.
  • Install the column so that the capillary does not touch the oven walls.
  • Set the approximate column flow rate by adjusting the head pressure to the value listed on the test chromatogram included with the column.
  • Set split vent, septa purge, and any other applicable inlet gases according to the instrument specifications.
  • Confirm the flow by immersing the column outlet in a vial of solvent (acetone or isopropyl alcohol).
  • Insert column the appropriate distance into the detector as indicated in the instrument manual.
  • Check for inlet and outlet leaks using a thermal conductivity leak detector. Do not use soaps or liquid-based leak detectors or the column may be damaged.
  • Set injector and detector temperatures. Turn the detector on when the temperatures have equilibrated. Caution - do not exceed the phase's maximum operating temperature!
  • To set the proper dead time (linear velocity), inject methane or a non-retained substance compatible with the detector being used.
  • Verify system integrity by checking the dead volume peak. It should not tail.
  • Condition the column at its maximum operating temperature to stabilize the baseline. (See the test chromatogram included with the column for the maximum temperature.)
  • Set oven to appropriate temperature and inject methane or an appropriate unretained substance, again to set the proper linear velocity.
  • Inject a duplicate of the original test mixture or your specific test mixture to confirm proper installation, system, and column performance.
  • Calibrate the instrument and inject samples.

Note: If the column is new, you have to run conditioning procedure prior setting the proper dead time.


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