Care and Handling of Quartz Torches
Obviously, the best way to ensure long torch life is to avoid contamination. From the glassblower to the Quality Control Technicians to the Shipping Department at Precision Glassblowing, great care is taken to avoid contamination. Quartz products are always handled using cotton or latex gloves and care is taken to avoid touching the outer and inner shields of ICP torches. We use a state of the art DI water system to ensure no contaminants are introduced during cleaning and rinsing. Lab technicians should never touch the outer shield of an ICP torch with the bare hand. Additionally, rinsing a dirty torch in water, detergent or acid solution may result in either decreased performance or a broken torch. The heating and cooling cycle inherent to ICP operation places a tremendous amount of stress on the ICP torch and this, combined with any level of devitrification, can cause a torch to shatter instantly when placed in liquid.
Customers often ask for recommendations on a torch cleaning regimen. We have heard customers swear by hot aqua-regia, cold aqua-regia, sonication, baking and a host of other cleaning regimens. In general, however, Precision Glassblowing recommends that torches not be cleaned. As odd as it may seem, the constant strain of temperature changes and solvents used for cleaning actually shorten the life-span of a torch. There are, of course, exceptions. And while we do not recommend a regular cleaning regimen, if a torch must be cleaned due to poor performance, we have found that the best way is to bake the torch in a muffle furnace (we recommend a temperature of 500 C for 30 minutes), followed by a simple rinse with DI water (15 megohm or greater). For more information, talk to your sales representative. And of course, when/if your torch breaks, rebuilding/repairing it is always a cost effective option to consider. Click for more information on our Repair Service.
Precision Glassblowing is committed to providing the highest quality glassware available. We use only the best quartz and borosilicate available and will never compromise our quality standards for the sake of saving a few dollars by using lower quality materials. Our dedicated R&D staff and glassblowers are constantly researching new production methods, ensuring that our quality remains among the highest in the industry. Check with your glassware distributor to be sure that the glassware you’re receiving is Precision Glassblowing glassware. For additional information about our quality standards, materials or product information, please call 303.693.7329 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.