Our Bal Seal® spring-energized seals are custom-engineered for HPLC plunger pumps, providing reliable service at pressures from aspiration to 20,000 psi (1379 bar) at 70 ºF (21 ºC), while providing superior protection against contamination.
Download our HPLC plunger pump application bulletin to learn more.
What is HPLC?
High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) is a technique used in analytical chemistry to separate, identify, and quantify each component in a mixture.
In HPLC, a pressurized liquid solvent containing the sample mixture is pushed through a column filled with a solid adsorbent material. Each component in the sample mixture interacts with the adsorbent material, separating the components.
HPLC is employed across pharmaceutical, food, environmental, government, research, and medical disciplines. For example, the process can be used to:
- Facilitate the development and manufacture of pharmaceutical and biological products
- Detect performance-enhancing drugs
- Separate components in a complex biological sample
- Evaluate vitamin levels in blood serum
Because HPLC is used for so many critical processes, it is essential to make sure HPLC equipment is properly designed to minimize complications. In the following section, we’ll review why seal design plays a key factor in the success of HPLC.
Prevent Leaking with HPLC Plunger Pump Seals
Pumps play a central role in HPLC equipment. Most commercial HPLC pumps are based on a reciprocating plunger in which a motor-driven cam, or line drive motor, pulls the plunger back and forth in the pump head.
A specialized seal near the front of the plunger prevents the mobile phase from leaking into the back of the pump. Check valves mounted in the head open and close in response to small changes in pressure to maintain a one-way flow of solvent.
The seal’s ability to wear evenly, resist aggressive solvents, and provide reliable service over millions of cycles can have a significant impact on the precision and consistency of the HPLC equipment, as well as the accuracy of the results it produces.
Benefits of Custom HPLC Plunger Pump Seals
Bal Seal spring-energized HPLC pump seals are custom-engineered, providing reliable service at pressures from aspiration to 20,000 psi (1379 bar) at 70 °F (21 °C) in HPLC solvents such as AC0N, water, MeOH, etc.
Designs can incorporate precision-engineered flanges and lip designs to optimize friction and sealing effectiveness, while providing superior protection against contamination. Metallic, ceramic, or PEEK backup elements can be integrated to prevent seal extrusion.
Seal jackets are available in a variety of materials (including graphite, PTFE, and filled polyethylene) to meet specific chemical compatibility, friction, temperature, and pressure requirements.