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Cutting a GC Fused Silica Capillary Column

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When doing gas chromatography, it is important to get a good, square cut for your GC fused silica capillary column, and a ceramic scoring wafer is the right tool for this job. A good cut is an integral part of making sure you have proper column installation and leak free connections.  

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Hello, everyone, and welcome to another Restek tip. In this video, we are going to cut a GC fused silica capillary column, and we only really need one tool for that: a ceramic scoring wafer. Our first step is going to be to check out the different edges of our scoring wafer and find the smooth side.  

We can just run our fingernail along the edge of the wafer, and that will allow us to differentiate between the serrated edges and the smooth edges. When we want to cut our column, we'll use the smooth edge. When we do that, we'll just lay the column along the length of our finger and run the ceramic scoring wafer perpendicular to the length of the column.  

We want to use that smooth edge to place a small score in the polyimide layer on the outside of the column. Then, we just flick it off. That's it. We can check our column cut if we have a magnifying glass, or maybe a jeweler's loupe. We can use those to inspect the cut for nice, square edges. Or, if your eyes happen to be a little bit better than mine, you can probably get away with holding the column up against the back of the scoring wafer.  

There usually is enough contrast for you to tell if you have a nice, square cut. That's it. That's all that's involved with cutting our GC Fused Silica capillary column. Thanks very much for joining us for this Restek tip.

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