High Purity and High Performance
Transferring our experience manufacturing tubes for several core industries and applications, Fine Tubes has been able to develop a broad variety of products for other fields where high purity and high performance are critical. Our commitment to precision and excellence has created demand for our tubes in various growing sectors including semiconductors, sports, pharmaceuticals and more.
Companies manufacturing High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) columns routinely rely on Fine Tubes and we supply tubes covering all the standard sizes required in this industry. Our HPLC column tubing is at the forefront of technology used in chemistry and biochemistry, providing unparalleled peak performance thanks to the innovative manufacturing and process control methods we’ve developed. This market requires equipment with specialty smooth ID and OD conditions, and we offer tubes at an Ra of 0.35 microns ‘as drawn’, and below 0.20 microns Ra after electro polishing.
Our Ultra High Purity (UHP) tubes are used throughout both the semiconductor wafer processing and medical industries. Fine Tubes has supplied the smooth bore UHP tubes used in semiconductors ever since microchips were first manufactured on an industrial scale. Similar to HPLC these UHP clean bore tubes are offered ‘as drawn’ at 0.40 microns Ra and below 0.20 microns Ra after electro polishing.
We also supply high performance tubes designed specifically for pharmaceutical applications. Here customer requests vary from large volumes of standard instrumentation tubes right down to small quantities of bespoke and specialist products. Fine Tubes will work with you to meet your needs. We manufacture seamless, welded and welded and redrawn tubes in a range of corrosion resistant alloys to satisfy the demands of design engineers.
Materials with a high strength-to-weight ratio can provide the winning edge in a whole variety of sports. We’ve been able to take what we’ve learned manufacturing mission-critical tubes for the aerospace, medical and nuclear power industries and apply that experience to developing high performance tubing for sporting equipment. You’ll find Fine Tubes products providing great mechanical strength in Formula 1 cars, bicycle frames and lacrosse sticks, for example.
- HPLC columns for chemistry and biochemistry
- Hydrophobic Interactive Chromatography
- Size Exclusion Chromatography
- Ion Exchange Chromatography
- Affinity Chromatography
- Reverse Phase Chromatography
- UHP tubes for semiconductor wafer processing and medical industries
- Pharmaceutical instrumentation
- High mechanical strength sports applications
Our HPLC products are manufactured using a seamless cold drawn process, and size ranges are typically:
- Standard bores - 1.0 mm to 4.6 mm (0.079” to 0.182”) ID
- Semi-preparative bores - 6 mm to 20 mm (0.36” to 0.79”) ID
Profiles and supply form
Tubes are made in round or section profiles, and generally supplied in straight lengths which are precision cut (ECM, laser, radial saw) to lengths you specify.
The condition of the inside surfaces in analytical columns is critical to the performance and peak symmetry achieved. Interaction or drag created by the tube surface during the mobile phase will slow down molecules near the surface while those further away from it accelerate. This ‘wall effect’ can increase band broadening and decrease the efficiency of the column.
The manufacturing techniques we apply to the HPLC/UPLC column tubes are specifically designed to produce an internal surface that minimizes variable migration rates at the packing/column interface. Further benefits are achieved in areas such as column efficiency, tailing and front peaks, avoiding band broadening, small ID sensitivity and increased column length performance.
Cleanliness and electropolishing
The relationship between inclusion metallurgy and product application is clearly understood by Fine Tubes. Inclusion level assessment is also of utmost importance when manufacturing grades to the most demanding standards. Products provided by Fine Tubes far exceed the general assessment standards of ASTM E45 method A, JK and SEP1570 procedures.
Electro polishing the inside surface of an HPLC or UPLC tube improves the performance of the column. The procedure develops the nature of the surface so that there is optimum performance at the surface interface and surface migration (the wall effect) is kept to a minimum. Other benefits include the removal of residual energy from the tube’s surface and heightened passivation. This further reduces friction or drag in the mobile phase through the column at the interface of the column’s internal surface. Electro polishing achieves surfaces of 0.1μm (0.25μ") and there’s a corresponding improvement in cleanability and corrosion resistance alongside the optimum column efficiency.