Scientific Systems Chemical Compatibility Guide

Chemical Compatibility Reference

Wetted Materials

Pump heads, check valve bodies, and tubing are made out of type 316 stainless steel or PEEK, depending on version ordered (NOTE: Titanium is also available, as well as other exotic materials like Hastelloy C.) Other common materials are synthetic ruby and sapphire (check valve internals and piston), UHMWPE (seals), PTFE (check valves), and PFA (pulse dampener diaphragm, if applicable).

Solvents with Harmful Effects

Except for PEEK pump heads, all portions of the pump that contact mobile phase are manufactured of type 316 stainless steel, ceramic, sapphire, ruby, or fluoropolymers. Some of these materials are extremely sensitive to acids (including some Lewis acids) and acid halides. Avoid using solvents that contain any amount of hydrochloric acid.
NOTE: THF and most solvents are only compatible with all-Stainless Steel systems. THF will attack PEEK.

Cole-Parmer Chemical Compatibility Guide

Some solvents to specifically avoid with PEEK are:

  • Aqua Regia (80% HCL, 20% HNO3)
  • Benzene Sulfonic Acid
  • Bromine
  • Carbolic Acid (Phenol)
  • Carbon Bisulfide
  • Carbon Disulfide
  • Chlorine Water
  • Chlorine, Anhydrous Liquid
  • Chromic Acid 10%
  • Chromic Acid 50%
  • Fluorine
  • Formic Acid
  • Hydrobromic Acid
  • Hydrofluoric Acid
  • Iodine
  • Nitric Acid
  • Phenol (Carbolic Acid)
  • Sulfuric Acid
  • Tetrahydrofuran (THF)
Some solvents to specifically avoid with 316 Stainless Steel are:

  • Aluminum Chloride 20%
  • Aluminum Fluoride
  • Aluminum Hydroxide
  • Ammonium Phosphate
  • Aniline Hydrochloride
  • Antimony Trichloride
  • Aqua Regia (80% HCL, 20% HNO3)
  • Aromatic Hydrocarbons
  • Benzonitrile
  • Bromine
  • Chloric Acid
  • Chlorine Water
  • Chlorine, Anhydrous Liquid
  • Copper Chloride
  • Copper Fluoborate
  • Ethyl Sulfate
  • Ferric Chloride
  • Ferrous Chloride
  • Hydrobromic Acid
  • Hydrochloric Acid
  • Hydrofluoric Acid
  • Hydrofluosilicic Acid
  • Iodine
  • Lead Sulfamate
  • Magnesium Chloride
  • Melamine
  • Mercuric Chloride (dilute)
  • Mercuric Cyanide
  • Nickel Chloride
  • Nitrating Acid
  • Pentane
  • Perchloric Acid
  • Phosphoric Acid
  • Plating Solutions
  • Sea Water
  • Silver Bromide
  • Sodium Bisulfate
  • Sodium Bromide
  • Sodium Fluoride
  • Sodium Hypoclorite
  • Sodium Sulfide
  • Stannic Chloride
  • Sulfur Chloride
  • Sulfur Trioxide
  • Sulfuric Acid
  • Tartaric Acid
  • Trichloroacetic Acid

This chemical compatibility information is taken from the Cole Parmer chemical compatibility database, which can be found at:  coleparmer.com/Chemical-Resistance

WARNING
The information in this chart has been supplied to Cole-Parmer by other reputable sources and is to be used ONLY as a guide in selecting equipment for appropriate chemical compatibility. Before permanent installation, test the equipment with the chemicals and under the specific conditions of your application.
Ratings of chemical behavior listed in this chart apply at a 48-hr exposure period. Cole-Parmer has no knowledge of possible effects beyond this period. Cole-Parmer does not warrant (neither express nor implied) that the information in this chart is accurate or complete or that any material is suitable for any purpose.
DANGER
Variations in chemical behavior during handling due to factors such as temperature, pressure, and concentrations can cause equipment to fail, even though it passed an initial test. SERIOUS INJURY MAY RESULT. Use suitable guards and/or personal protections when handling chemicals.

Scientific Systems Chemical Compatibility Resource

In addition to the above chemicals, the following is a link to chemical compatibility information gathered by Scientific Systems, Inc.

Resistance

  • E – Excellent
  • G – Good
  • F – Fair
  • N – Not Recommended
Material

  • PTFE – Polytetrafluoroethylene including of Teflon®
  • SS – Stainless Steel (316)
  • PE#1 – Convenional Polyethylene
  • PE#2 – Rigid Polyethylene
  • PP – Polypropylene
  • PVC – Polyvinylchloride

Scientific Systems, Inc. Chemical Compatibility Resource
Chemical PTFE SS PE#1 PE#2 PP PVC
Acetaldehyde E E G G G G
Acetamide E E E E E N
Acetic Acid, 5% E E E E E E
Acetic Acid, 50% E E E E E E
Acetone E E E E E E
Aluminum Hydroxide E E E E E E
Ammonia E E E E E E
Ammonium Hydroxide E E E E E E
Ammonium Oxalate E E E E E E
n-Amyl Acetate E E G E G F
Amyl Chloride E N F N N
Aniline E E E E G N
Benzaldehyde E E E E N
Benzene E E F G G N
Benzoic Acid, Sat. E E E E E E
Benzyl Acetate E E E E F
Boric Acid E F E E E E
Bromine E N N F N G
Bromobenzene E N F N F
n-Butyl Acetate E F G E G N
sec-Butyl Alcolhol E E E E G
Butyric Acid E E N F N G
Calcium Hypochlorite E F E E E G
Carbazole E E E E N
Carbon Disulfide E E N N E N
Carbon Tetrachloride E G F G G G
Chlorine E G G G G E
Chloroacetic Acid E F E E E F
Chloroform E E F G G N
Chromic Acid E G E E E E
Citric Acid E E E E E G
Cresol E E N F E N
Cyclohexane E E G E G G
Decalin E G E G E
o-Dichlorobenzene E F F F G
p-Dichlorobenzene E F G E N
Diethyl Benzene E N F N N
Diethyl Ether E N F N F
Diethyl Ketone E G G G N
Diethyl Malonate E E E E G
Dimethyl Formamide E E E E F
Ether E E N F N F
Ethyl Acetate E E E E E F
Ethyl Benzene E F G F N
Ethyl Benzoate E F G G N
Ethyl Butyrate E G G G N
Ethyl Chloride, Liquid E E F G F N
Ethyl Cyanoacetate E E E E NF
Ethyl Lactate E E E E F
Ethylene Chloride E E G G G N
Ethylene Glycol E E E E E E
Ethylene Oxide E F G F F
Fluorine G F G G N
Formic Acid, 50% E F E E E G
Formic Acid, 90-100% E N E E E F
Fuel Oil E E F G E E
Gasoline E E F G E G
Glycerine E E E E E E
n-Heptane E E F G E F
Hexane E E N G E G
Hydrocloric Acid, 1-5% E N E E E E
Hydrocloric Acid, 35% E N E E E G
Hydrocloric Acid, 4% E N E E E G
Hydrocloric Acid, 48% E N E E E G
Hydrogen E E E E E
Hydrogen Peroxide E F E E E E
Isopropyl Acetate E G E G N
Isopropyl Benzene E F G F N
Kerosene E E F G G E
Lactic Acid, 3% E G E E E G
Lactic Acid, 85% E F E E E G
Magnesium Salts E G E E E E
Methoxyethyl Oleate E E E E N
Methyl Ethyl Ketone E E E E E N
Methyl Isobutyl Ketone E E G E G N
Methyl Propyl Ketone E G E G N
Methylene Chloride E E F G F N
Nitric Acid, 50% E G E G G G
Nitric Acid, 70% E N E G G F
Nitrobenzene E E F G F N
n-Octane E E E E F
Orange Oil E F G G F
Perchloric Acid E G G G G
Perchloroethylene E E N N N N
Phenol, Crystals E E G G G F
Phosphoric Acid, 1-5% E E E E E E
Phosphoric Acid, 85% E G E E E E
Potassium Hydroxide E G E E E E
Propane Gas E E N F N E
Propylene Glycol E E E E E F
Propylene Oxide E E E E F
Resorcinol E E E E F
Salicylaldehyde E E E E F
Sulfuric Acid, 1-6% E F E E E E
Sulfuric Acid, 20% E N E E E E
Sulfuric Acid, 60% E N E E E E
Sulfuric Acid, 98% E N E E E N
Sulfur Dioxide, Liq. E E N F N F
Sulfur Salts E E F G F N
Tartaric Acid E G E E E E
Tetrahydrofuran E E F G G N
Thionyl Chloride E N N N N
Toluene E E F G G F
Trichloroethane E E N F N N
Trichloroethylene E E N F N N
Turpentine E E F G G G
Vinylidene Chloride E N F N N
Xylene E E G G F N
Zinc Salts / Stearate E G E E E E
Resistance at 20°C PEEK PE PP PPS FEP EFTE PFA PTFE
Acetaldehyde A A A
Acetic Acid (20%) A A A A A A A A
Acetic Acid (80%) A A A A A A A
Acetic Acid (glacial) A A A A A A A A
Acetone A B A A A A A A
Acetonitrile A A A A A A
Acrylic Acid A A A A
Ammonia, Anhydrous A A A A
Ammonia (10%) A B A A A A A A
Ammonia (liquid) B A A A
Ammonia Hydroxide A A A A A A A A
Aqua Regia C C A A
Aromatic Hydrocarbons A B C A A A
Benzene A B C A A A A A
Benzoic Acid A A A A
Benzaldehyde A A A A
Bromine / Dibromoethane C C A A
Bromine (dry) C C A A
Bromine (wet) C C A A
Boric Acid A A A A
Butanol A A A A A A A A
Calcium Hydroxide A A A A
Carbon Tetrachloride A A A A
Chlorine (gas) A C A A
Chlorine (liquid) C C A A
Chloroacetic Acid A B B A A A A A
Chlorobenzene A A A A
Chloroform A B B A A A A A
Cyclohexanone A C C A A A A A
Diethylamine A C A A A A A
Diethylether A A A A
Diethylformamide A A A A A A A A
Dioxane A A A A A
Ethanol A B A A A A A A
Ether A B C A A A A A
Ethyl Acetate A B A A A A A A
Ethylene Chloride B B A A A A A
Ethylene Glycol B B A A A A A
Heptane A B B A A A A A
Hexane A B B A A A A A
Hydrobromic Acid (20%) C B B A A A A
Hydrobromic Acid (100%) C B A A A A A
Hydrocloric Acid (20%) A A B C A A A A
Hydrocloric Acid (100%) A B C A A A A
Hydrofluoric Acid (20%) A A A A A A A
Hydrofluoric Acid (100%) C B C A A A A
Hydrogen Peroxide (10%) A A A A A A A A
Hydrogen Peroxide (50%) A B B A A A A
Hydrogen Peroxide (100%) A B B C A A A
Ketones A B B A A A A
Iso-Octane A A A A A A
Isopropanol A A A A A A A
Isopropyl Ether A B A A A
Methanol A A A A A A A A
Methyl Dichloride C A A
Methyl Ethylketone A B B A A A A A
Methyl Chloride B B B A A A A A
Nitric Acid (20%) A B A C A A A A
Nitric Acid (100%) C B C C A A A A
Pentane A C C A A A
Perchloric Acid A B B B B A
Phenol (dilute) A A A A
Phenol (concentrated) C A A A
Phosphoric Acid (40%) A A A A A A A A
Phosphoric Acid (100%) A B A A A A A A
Potassium Hydroxide (dilute) A A A A
Potassium Hydroxide (70%) A A A A
Propanol A A A
Pyridine A B A A A A A A
Tetrahydrofuran B B B A A A A A
Toluene A B B A A A A A
Trichloroacetic Acid A A A A A A A A
Trichloroethane A B A A A
Trichloroethylene A A A A
Triethylamine C A A A A
Sodium Hydroxide (20%) A A A A A A A A
Sodium Hydroxide (80%) A B A A A A A
Sulfuric Acid (40%) A A A A A A A A
Sulfuric Acid (75%) C A A A A A A A
Sulfuric Acid (100%) C B B A A A A A
Water A A A A A A A A
Water (distilled) A A A A A A A A
Xylene A A A A

Additional Comments

Some users of HPLC systems have observed that Chloroform and Carbon Tetrachloride slowly decompose to liberate hydrochloric acid, which, as noted above, attacks stainless steel. Do not leave these solvents in the systems for a prolonged period.

It is also recommended to avoid ammonium hydroxide. Although ammonium hydroxide will not harm the pump itself, it is likely to damage the stator and rotor in injection valves.

Fluorinated polymers like PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene), and PFA (perfluoroalkoxy) are inert to almost all common acids, bases, and solvents. They have limited life time in the presence of Hexafluoroisopropanol (HFIP). To ensure the longest possible life with HFIP, it is best to dedicate a particular pump to this solvent, not to switch solvents, and not to let dry out the internal fluid path, including the pulse dampener.

On a final note, any chemical resistance is likely to be a function of the time and temperature of exposure, and also if there are any mechanical stresses on the part. If chemical compatibility information cannot be found for a specific chemical product, it is recommended that customers test their product with the pump and fluid path in the actual application to ensure appropriate chemical resistance.