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Fingertight fittings comprise a special category of fittings designed to replace stainless steel fittings. The first Fingertight fitting was designed and introduced to the HPLC market in March, 1984.
There are several types of finger-tightenable fittings on the market now, and the fingertight fittings have become very popular. There are several reasons for their popularity:
First is the convenience of fingertight fittings. It is convenient to be able to disconnect tubing without getting out the wrenches. Second, fingertight fittings are universal and the fitting does not attach permanently to the tubing. You can use the fitting in one receiving port, disconnect the tubing and fitting, attach the tubing to another manufacturer’s port and use the same fitting.
Third, since you are using your fingers to tighten the fitting, there is less chance of over-tightening (a major cause of leaks and hardware damage with stainless steel fittings). Lastly, fingertight fittings use a polymer (plastic) ferrule. The polymer ferrule does not score or scratch the cone in the mating fitting, so your fittings last longer. This is one of the reasons you should use fingertight fittings on your column — column end fittings and other mating ports will last longer with fewer leaks.