My GC is working like a top, yet I'm not getting results. What's wrong? The problem may not the GC, it may be the sample pathway. If the flowpath is not inert, sample reliability will suffer. What to do? Here are 3 quick tips to assure your sample pathway is not conspiring to ruin your day.
Make it inert
Many issues seen at the GC (like missing peaks, calibration issues, or poor repeatability) are actually caused by a reactive sample transfer pathway. Coating the entire flowpath with an inert coating, like SilcoNert® 2000, enables the analyst to hold and transfer low level active/reactive compounds with confidence, assuring inert sampling reliability.
When I say coat the entire flowpath, I mean the entire flowpath. Including:
SilcoNert® 2000 can be applied to all sampling components including stainless steel, alloy, and glass components. SilcoNert 2000 is a high tolerance, high temperature, and durable surface that can coat even the smallest ID stainless steel tubing and fritted filters.
Keep it clean
If sample results have been good, but now, suddenly system performance is lousy, it could be system contamination due to inadequate cleaning of the flowpath. Missing peaks, poor peak shape, difficult calibration, and erratic results can all be symptoms of inadequate or overly aggressive cleaning of the system. Carryover from previous samples can be a factor, but overly aggressive cleaning can be just as detrimental to system inertness. Cleaning inert coatings with products that leave a film on the surface or react with the sample surface can degrade flowpath inertness over time. Also abrasive cleaning or cleaning with steam can damage surface integrity and inertness.
The best sample system and GC is no good to the chromatographer if the flowpath is contaminated with adsorptive moisture. SilcoNert® 2000 repels moisture; preventing moisture build-up and eliminating a potential source of sample loss; reducing moisture purge time from hours to minutes. A second benefit to keeping the sample flowpath dry is prevention of corrosion of flowpath surfaces. Rust particles can adsorb active sample compounds and contaminate the system.
Want to learn more about how SilcoTek® coatings can improve your flowpath?