Unless you have X-ray vision, it’s pretty hard to inspect your chromatography resin bed in a stainless steel HPLC column. Here’s how transparent columns can improve the performance of your analytical size exclusion chromatography (SEC) run.
What’s on the inside matters
When using and reusing a chromatography column, over time, some resin defects might occur. Some examples of defects are gaps, cracks, dryness, and discoloration of the resin. All of these chromatography resin issues can have a negative impact on the performance of your analytical SEC run.
Air in the column
See what goes on inside your column
To prevent defects like the ones mentioned, it’s very important to inspect the packed resin bed visually before and after use. A visual inspection is of course impossible with the stainless steel columns commonly used in HPLC.
Transparent glass columns, on the other hand, make it easy to inspect the packed bed. As chromatography resin issues can be clearly seen through the glass, you can easily act on and fix the problem. That way you avoid the negative impacts the defects would have had on the performance.
Protected, even when broken
But what if the column is exposed to too high pressures and the glass breaks? Or if it slips through your fingers and falls on the floor? For protection, GE’s glass columns are coated with a thin plastic film. So, even if the HPLC column accidentally breaks, the film keeps the glass in place.
For more insights on analytical SEC fundamentals, check out this SEC white paper.