Packed distillation columns are filled or "packed" with a material that allows rising vapors to contact descending condensate. The more vapor liquid contact the better the separation. Packing material of construction should be compatible with the material being distilled.
Heli-Pak is formed from a metal wire wound around a twisted rectangular rod. It has a free space of 83%. It is most commonly available in stainless steel but is also available in , nichrome, monel, nickel, hastelloy "B":, bronze, and tantalum.
This is an inert packing made of ceramic. It is ideal for corrosive materials or those that will react with metal packing. It is not as efficient as other packing types but is useful for distilling materials that are not compatible with metal.
This packing perfect for cases where the sample might be corrosive to or reactive with stainless steel.
This packing is ideal for cases where packing must be made of glass or Teflon.
This packing is great for rugged industrial type fractional distillation equipment. It is normally made of stainless steel.
There are other types of high-tech structured packing that are very efficient. These are most commonly available in stainless steel but other materials are also available. These tend to have very high open space values as well as very high costs.