Topics - Stainless Steel Column

Stainless Steel Column The first columns to be used in chromatography were glass, both for liquid-solid chromatography by Tswett (the inventor of chromatography) in his separation of plant pigments and by James and Martin in their first gas chromatograph. However, as the technique developed, and separations were improved, the length of the columns in both gas and liquid chromatography were increased and the particle size of the packing reduced and so the columns had to be operated at higher pressures. To accommodate these higher pressures, metal column were introduced first copper columns, then cupronickel columns and finally stainless steel columns. Today liquid chromatography columns and packed gas chromatography columns are mostly made of stainless steel. Stainless steel columns are strong and rigid, can withstand the high pressures used in liquid chromatography (ca. 6000-10000 psi or more) and are chemically very inert and not prone to corrosion. However, stainless steel columns have limited application when used for the separation of proteins as the material can cause protein denaturisation and for such applications the stainless steel tubes are replaced by titanium, or titanium lined tubes