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Do I Need an LC Guard Column?

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Column lifetime is always an important consideration when doing liquid chromatography (LC). Some type of column protection is a good choice to improve the lifetime of your analytical column, especially if you are doing minimal sample cleanup. When you do decide to use a guard column, make sure the style and phase of the column are compatible with your analytical column as well. 

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Hi everyone! Thanks for joining us today for our Restek Tip. Our topic today is guard columns, and it's a question we get a lot from our customers, whether or not a guard column is required for their analytical LC column. Now, we always recommend some kind of column protection, especially if you're doing a limited amount of sample prep.

Because our guards are 5- or 10-millimeter packed bed, it will add some extra column volume to your separation. For UHPLC systems, where minimizing the dead volume is very important, you might consider an UltraShield pre-column filter. It has a 0.2- or a 0.5-micron filter, and it does a great job of column protection, especially with the extra sample prep that you're doing anyway for a UHPLC system.

Finally, it's important to match the phase of the guard with the phase of the analytical column. So, C18 goes with C18, Biphenyl goes with Biphenyl. Also, because we have many column families, the type of guard and holder are critical to match, as well. So, Roc guards and holders go with Roc columns, EXP guards and holders go with Force and Raptor columns, and for our Legacy phases, like Ultra, Allure, Pinnacle II, Pinnacle DB, and Viva, those use our Trident system of guard protection.

Thanks for joining us today, and we hope you come back for the next tip from your Restek friends.

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