One of the most common causes of HPLC column failure is particulate material collecting on the inlet frit of the column, causing high back pressure and/or distortion of peak shape. By one estimate, over 70% of the failures of HPLC columns are caused by inlet frit plugging. UHPLC columns, especially those packed with sub-2 μm size particles, are particularly vulnerable to inlet frit plugging.

Pre-column filters for UHPLC and UPLC columns

As the name implies, UltraShield pre-column filters are engineered specificallyfor use in fast, high efficiency “UHPLC” separations requiring high mobile phase velocities and ultra-high pressure. The ultra-low dispersion of UltraShield maintains the efficiency of UHPLC columns, assuring no loss of critical resolution. With its simple design, UltraShield installs on any analytical, UHPLC or UPLC column in seconds and is leak tight to 1000 bar (15,000 psi). Simply finger tighten initially, then wrench tighten beyond finger tight an additional ¼ turn.
Pre-column filters for higher performance HPLC columns or smaller bore columns
3.5 µm and 3.0 µm particles are often packed in HPLC columns with smaller bores (<3.0 mm ID) and shorter lengths (20 - 50mm). These columns facilitate faster separations and are routinely employed with mass spectrometers as detectors. The operating pressure is not as high as with UHPLC columns, but the need still exists for low system dispersion, since these columns typically generate peaks with small volumes. ColumnShield pre-column filters are optimal for these types of columns. They provide effective, low-dispersion filtering at a lower cost than the UltraShield. Although they are not recommended for ultra-high pressure applications, they can still be safely used at pressures up to 400 bar (6,000 psi). ColumnShield pre-column filters utilize a PEEK finger-tight design that connects directly to any 1/16” 10-32 internal thread inlet fitting port, regardless of the manufacturer.
Pre-column filter for more typical standard bore (3.0 to 8.0 mm) HPLC columns
ColumnSavers provide economical protection for HPLC columns packed with 3um size particles or larger and with bore sizes (internal diameter) 3.0mm to 8.0mm. We recommend using these pre-column filters on the inlet of guard columns to extend the life and reduce the replacement costs of these items.
Care and Use Sheets Available on Request (email