High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) is one medical area where manufacturing accuracy and surface finishing are critical. The inner surface of chromatography tubes must be smooth or else false readings or inaccurate separation may occur. Tube manufacturers are limited in the inner surface finish they can offer and will only be interested in improving on it if extremely large orders are at stake.
Traditionally, in order to get the inner surface polish that scientists and researchers desire, tubes need to go through an additional and sometimes time-consuming step.
Extrude Hone’s surface solution for higher-quality chromatography tubes lets customers make up for, or even bypass, the limitations of traditional manufacturers. It’s called abrasive flow machining (AFM).
AFM is a surface finishing solution patented by Extrude Hone in the 1960s. It involves forcing a silicon-based, viscoelastic, non-Newtonian fluid that’s packed abrasives through the tubes. The temperature, pressure, and viscosity of the fluid medium and the size of the abrasive — between 5µm and 4mm — are chosen based on the diameter of the tube to be polished. Larger tubes require a stiffer medium, while tubes below 1mm inner diameter need a more fluid medium.
The flow of the abrasive (normally silicon carbide) through the tubes polishes the inner surface as it moves, removing surface roughness that might negatively influence the speed of travel of the tested sample. Inner surfaces finished with the AFM process are improved by two to four times, depending on the original surface roughness.
The result is a high-quality and more uniform HPLC tube that traditional manufacturing processes cannot match.
Running your current HPLC tubes through the AFM process will improve your chromatography results, but it’s still a time-consuming second step for preparing tubes for use. Extrude Hone wants to save you that trouble.
Extrude Hone can offer a complete solution, with the supply of tubes cut at the desired length (up to 1 meter, depending on diameter), polished, and equipped with connectors and filters. With this solution, you deal with only one supplier and remove the need fit connectors manually at the lab, giving researchers and scientists more time to concentrate on more important things. All while improving the accuracy of your chromatography analysis.
The flexibility and speed of AFM means that you can purchase any quantity of tube of nearly any size and reap its benefits. No longer do you have to sacrifice quality when you don’t need to order massive quantities of a particular tube, plus, you can reduce your need for storage. Extrude Hone also offers yearly contracts to supply tubes as needed.
AFM technology offers the chromatography market great flexibility and, most importantly, an inner surface quality that cannot be matched by standard technologies, leading to more consistent and accurate chromatography analysis and better separation. Talk to your local Extrude hone salesperson today to find out what AFM can do for you.