Care of Spray Chambers

Glass and quartz Spray Chambers

Important Note

HF (hydrofluoric acid) should not be used with glass or quartz. Using any amount of HF will damage the product. Our spray chambers are supplied clean and ready to use. Please do not pre-treat spray chambers with HF. Avoid touching any internal surfaces of the spray chamber as this may damage its wetting properties.

Handling, Storing and Transporting Glass Spray Chambers

Glass Expansion spray chambers for HF analysis are generally made from a special plastic, which is quite robust. However most Glass Expansion spray chambers are made from a high-quality borosilicate glass or quartz, so you should exercise the same care that you would normally use for glass labware. In particular, don't knock a glass spray chamber against hard objects or leave it unprotected when not in use.

Glass should be treated with the care that is due to a brittle material. It can fracture and produce sharp, cutting edges, so handle all glass objects with deliberate movements and don't apply large mechanical forces to them, especially when connecting drain and aerosol tubes or nebulizers.

Don't use metal or ceramic brushes or scraping tools. Damage is quite likely to result from doing this.

Daily Maintenance

It is good practice to always start and finish use of a glass spray chamber by nebulizing a mildly-acidic blank solution for several minutes. This ensures that sample deposits or crystals don't form inside a spray chamber when the solvent inside the chamber dries out. Don't wash glass spray chambers in an ultrasonic bath.

Cleaning

If you notice a degradation in performance (such as poorer precision or detection limits), then clean the spray chamber with Fluka 'RBS-25' (P/N FLUKA25). In the first instance, aspirating a 2.5% Fluka solution for 15 minutes will probably be sufficient to recover the performance. However, if this is not effective, the spray chamber should be soaked overnight in a 25% Fluka solution.

If you see droplets collecting on the internal surfaces of your spray chamber, this is a sure sign that stability is suffering - such 'resident' droplets in the spray chamber are the most common and visible indication of spray chamber instability, and they should be removed. A long soak in 25%-strength RBS-25 solution is recommended.

Does your ICP's sensitivity change regularly with the time of day, or the season? Remember that a spray chamber temperature change of 1 degree can cause some line sensitivities to change by 1% ... to ensure a constant spray chamber temperature, the IsoMist Programmable Temperature Spray Chamber is recommended.

PTFE and PFA Spray Chambers

The PTFE and PFA spray chambers have an internal surface that is specially treated to ensure that it wets evenly and provides consistent drainage. The treatment turns the surface a characteristic brown colour. It should be noted that the treatment actually changes the molecular structure of the PTFE and PFA. It is not a coating and it does not introduce any potential contaminants.

While the surface treatment is long lasting, it may degrade after prolonged use. The lifetime of the treated surface depends on the type of samples used and could range from several months to several years. To ensure that you get the best performance from your PTFE and PFA spray chambers, we recommend the following:

IMPORTANT NOTE: The internal surface of each PTFE and PFA spray chamber has been specially treated to ensure proper drainage. It is clean, free of contaminants and completely inert. Touching, scratching or damaging the surface in anyway may result in poor performance.