How to Identify and Order Columns and Restrictors
Overview of Column and Restrictor Ordering:Because of the wide variety of column options available, the ordering process for columns is often somewhat different than for other spare parts.
Every column sold should be equipped with an etched or labeled metal tag. Some columns (for example capillary columns and some very common packed columns) have unique part numbers which should be printed on the tag. Any column that has a unique part number can be ordered using that part number.
Most packed columns however, are custom made and do not have unique part numbers. Instead, they are identified by a combination of length, tubing material, and (usually) a "column number" that identifies the packing. Some older columns are not stamped with the column number. Instead, the actual column packing information will be stamped on the tag.
When ordering columns from PCO it is necessary to provide the length, tubing material, and either the column number or packing material information. In addition to being stamped on the tag, this information is available with the custom documentation package that is shipped with the analyzer associated with the column.
Further hints for column ordering:1. If the needed ordering information is not available (both the tag and custom documentation are missing), it is still possible to order replacement columns from PCO. The serial number of the analyzer associated with the column is required for this.
2. Most columns are Stainless Steel. If the material is Stainless Steel, it will probably NOT be stamped on the tag. Columns made of other material (Hastelloy or Nickel, for example) WILL have this information stamped on the tag.
3. Capillary columns will be equipped with a label provided by their manufacturer (for example, Restek). Regardless of the manufacturer, these columns should each have a unique PCO part number and can be ordered using this part number. If the Siemens part number is not available these columns can still be ordered from PCO using either the information on the tag or by providing the serial number of the analyzer associated with the column.
4. Since most columns are custom made the lead time for ordering any column or restrictor from PCO is 2 to 3 weeks.
Restrictors:Restrictor coils are similar to columns in that they usually do not have unique part numbers and that they are labeled with a metal tag. However, the labeling information is different.
For older restrictors, the restrictor ordering information consists of the tubing size and tubing internal diameter as well as the length or the head pressure.
For newer the restrictors, the tag is labeled with an "R" number as shown in the example photograph below. This "R" number consists of three sections that indicate the proper information for ordering the part.
If the restrictor is not labeled with either the "R" number or the necessary ordering information, this data can be found in the custom documentation package that is shipped with the analyzer that is associated with the restrictor. If the custom documentation is not available, a restrictor can still be ordered by providing the serial number of the analyzer that is associated with the restrictor.
Examples of Column and Restrictor Labels:Example of column label with part number. In this instance, the column is one of two attached together to form a single column. Each column has a label (in this case column 2 of 2).
Example of a label for a custom column that is stamped with identifying information as well as a column number. Most newer columns are marked in this manner. The column number is 1526. Additional information required to order is the length (1 meter, marked at the top of the label) and tubing material. Note that since the tubing material is not marked, it is Stainless Steel.
Another custom column. In this case the column number is 1901. The tubing material is Hastelloy and the length is 2 feet. Note that in this case the packing material information is not marked.
This is a label from a capillary column.
Example of a restrictor label. This is 7 mil ID with 40 lbs of pressure drop at 40 CC’s of helium flow at 23°C.