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Swagelok Northern California Blog

fluid systems

Each week a member of our local team posts a tip or update for northern California & northwestern Nevada fluid system pros.

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Swagelok components help propel world's fastest auto


The Bloodhound Supersonic Car is designed to go faster than a speeding bullet

This 30 second video debuted in Northeast Ohio during the 2015 Super Bowl. It features the Bloodhound Supersonic car's pursuit of the land speed record.

A team in Bristol, England, is rolling out an amazing vehicle that will attempt to set a new land speed record of 1,000 mph in 2016: The Bloodhound Supersonic Car. Behind the wheel will sit Andy Green, a wing commander in the Royal Air Force and the man who already holds the land speed record of 736 mph.

Helping him achieve his goal is Swagelok.

Swagelok components play a few key roles in the car's rocket engine oxidizer system, which uses concentrated hydrogen peroxide known as High Test Peroxide (HTP). These include Swagelok fittings, hoses, pressure regulators, and valves. And several Swagelok components are found in the car's hydraulic lines that connect the brake pedal to the air brakes – Andy’s primary means of slowing down. These include Swagelok fittings, quick connects, and a hose. 

The solid aluminum wheels will spin at over 10,000 RPM at top speed. It's not enough for Green to zoom across the land faster than the speed of sound. Swagelok is helping him get into the record books safely.  The video below describes how Swagelok is helping to make engineering history.

Long, lean and powerful

The Bloodhound looks so low and sleek that it's easy to miss how gigantic it is. The car is 44 feet long and weighs 17,000 pounds. To get a monster like that moving at 1,000 mph takes a lot of muscle, and the Bloodhound has it: three engines with a combined 135,000 horsepower.

Bloodhound SSC


First there's a Rolls-Royce EJ200 jet engine, originally designed to sit in a Eurofighter Typhoon fighter plane. For extra thrust, the Bloodhound also has a Nammo hybrid rocket. Then, as an auxiliary power unit, a Jaguar supercharged V8 engine drives a pump to supply high-test peroxide at a rate of more than 9 gallons per second to the rocket.

The rest of the car is a mix of car and aircraft technology, with the front half made of carbon fiber and the back half made of metal panels. Altogether it has 3,500 components. One hundred and ten man-years have been invested in the design, build and manufacture of the Bloodhound.

Land, sea, air and space

It is a tribute to the integrity, quality and innovation of Swagelok parts that they were selected to help this record be achieved safely. From the ocean floor to the surface of Mars and everywhere in between, Swagelok is a part of missions around the world. Swagelok has field engineers, technology and service centers with the purpose of collaborating on specialty custom designs – or supplying top quality fluid components – whatever our customers need.

The Bloodhound has one more role in addition to setting a land speed record. The project is intended to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers by showcasing this car’s unique design and accomplishments. That is something we all feel really proud of here at Swagelok Northern California.

After all, at Swagelok we’ve been growing and serving customers for 60 years. Isn’t it nice to know we’re still racing to stay ahead of your needs?
 From record breaking applications to basic water lines, Swagelok is there.  We would enjoy hearing how you are using Swagelok to propel your applications into the future.  Please tell us about it and we will send you a Swagelok koozie. Tell us about your application here »

Additional Resources

Hose Selection Resources  Swagelok services  
Swagelok for Everything Swagelok Northern California Services  

At Swagelok, We Have A Positive Passion For Negative Pressure


Stop by the Swagelok booth at the annual "Vacuum Show" in San Jose on Feb. 19

swagelok hose solutions
Visit us next Thursday at this year's "Vacuum Show", enjoy a free lunch, and learn more about Swagelok® Hose Solutions More info »

Vacuum systems have become an essential part of many industries, which naturally means that Swagelok takes a keen interest. That's why we're once again heading to San Jose for the annual Vacuum Equipment Exhibition sponsored by The Northern California Chapter of the American Vacuum Society. This year the "Vacuum Show" falls on Feb. 19. The free event is once again to be held at the Holiday Inn, San Jose Airport, (1350 North First St.) from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The event is free, lunch is provided, and there will be an evening hospitality session with food and drinks. We hope you'll hang out with us at Booth 34, where we will be displaying Swagelok products for vacuum-related industries.

But there also will be a full day of speakers at the official symposium, which starts a bit earlier, at 9 a.m. Topics include nanotechnology, oxitronics and magnetron sputtering.

A different world

When the pressure is negative instead of positive, fluid systems enter a whole new world. Familiar terms take on different meanings. For one thing, high vacuum is a lower pressure than low vacuum. There are very few absolutes, and even some common terms can cause confusion because of conflicting definitions. We can provide guidance for customers in the semiconductor industry or any business using vacuum systems.

On display we’ll have products such as fittings and valves used in vacuum service, along with our tube fittings guide. We'll have different types of hose and flexible tubing for vacuum service too.

Assembled to order

This year, we will highlight our hose solutions capabilities. Our team of certified assembly technicians can build hose assemblies to your specifications. All are pressure or leak tested before delivery, and they are backed by the Swagelok limited lifetime warranty.  Learn more »


Additional Resources

swagelok hose solutions  Swagelok hose catalog  vacuum fittings
Swagelok Hose Solutions Swagelok Hose Catalog Fittings for Vacuum Service

Back To Basics: Swagelok Seminars on Tube Fittings and Tube Bending


Newbies and veterans both benefit from our classes on how to do the jobs right

Tube Bending Training
Join us next week for our Swagelok® Tube Fitting Safety and Tube Bending seminars get more info »

Tubing and fittings form the heart of a fluid system. If they aren't handled and installed correctly, the system will cause headaches for the people who have to work with it, and it will cost the company time and money.

Next week we have a pair of two-hour seminars that cover the key elements of properly installing tube fittings and bending tubing. On Wednesday, Feb. 11, we'll present our Swagelok Tube Fitting Safety Seminar. The next day we'll have our Swagelok Tube Bending Seminar. Both will be presented at our Fremont location from noon to 2 p.m.

A good fit

Notice that the class title includes the word "Safety." Leaks can be a real safety hazard, especially in systems that use hot or caustic fluids. Even a puddle of water on the floor can cause someone to slip and fall. When Swagelok fittings are installed correctly, they won't leak.

But many people learn on the job, and sometimes pick up bad habits from others. They may learn to tighten fittings by "feel," which often leads to under-tightening and leaks. Our class will identify this and other common installation errors.

The class also will cover:

• Evaluation of tube fitting design and function.
• Identification of good tube system fabrication procedures.
• The importance of proper tube selection, care and handling.
• A comparison of a tube system and a pipe system, and their strengths and weaknesses.
• Safe plumbing practices.
• Proper application of thread sealants and lubricants.

Our class is designed for anyone responsible for designing, installing and maintaining leak-free tubing systems: engineers, draftsmen, fabricators, contractors, quality control personnel and safety engineers.

Graduates of the class will take home a portfolio of useful reference materials and a certificate of completion.

Seeing past the bend

Our two-hour Tube Bending Seminar teaches the basics of tube bending and a lot more.

You'll learn the math needed to cut tubing to the proper length. Remember, good tubing isn't cheap. Some companies end up throwing out thousands of dollars of scrap tubing each year because it wasn't cut to the proper length before bending.

Good handling practices are important too, because tubing performance suffers with every ding, dent and scratch. We'll explain how to care for your supplies.

We also teach some time-saving fabrication techniques. Because it's a hands-on seminar, you'll get a chance to try them out. Past participants have singled this out as one of the best parts of the training.

Volume discount

Our seminars cost only $149 per person, and we'll knock that down to $129 apiece if you sign up for both. Not only that, but we'll serve you lunch. So register online now.


Additional Resources

swagelok steam training Swagelok University   Swagelok Training
Swagelok Steam Training (March 12th) Swagelok University (Online Training)  Swagelok Training 

One Last Look At Our "Greatest Hits" From 2014


As we move full-speed into 2015, here are some highlights from last year

Swagelok Northern California
Get your year started off right with Swagelok training get more info »

By now most of us have broken our New Year's resolutions, have worked through any backlog that awaited us at work on Jan. 2, and are diving into the work of the new year. As we return to full speed, let's give one last salute to some of the most popular 2014 blog posts from Swagelok Northern California.

It was a year when we got into video in a major way with our series, "When Will It Burst?" We had a blast setting up various combinations of tubing and hose and seeing how much pressure they could handle before they burst. Along the way, we were able to demonstrate that Swagelok® tube fittings, when properly installed, will hold up without leaking even as the tubing or hose ruptures.

The video series was part of a recurring theme in 2014: How to get the most out of Swagelok products and services. Topics included Swagelok University, Swagelok Energy Management Services, and our tube bending training.

Personal touch

We also introduced a few of the people who make Swagelok Northern California what it is. That includes our president, Rod Fallow, our Will Call team of Matt Kearns and Joe Fermandez in Santa Clara and Peter Fraser in Fremont, and steam systems engineer Casey Rivera. For a brief look at some of the other folks who work here, check out our entry in one of the big trends and most successful fundraisers of the year, the Ice Bucket Challenge.

Key data

We put a lot of serious, valuable information within easy reach in 2014 too. Swagelok's Tube Fitter's Manual, a classic for more than half a century, made its online debut. Thanks to our eDTR™ software, the freshest versions of Swagelok's parts catalogs are always available on your desktop computer. We've made it available for the iPad too as a mobile application.

It's tempting to link to every single post from 2014, because each one contains information that helps you better understand Swagelok products and services, and the team here at Swagelok Northern California. But the above samples highlight a great year for our blog. Now we're hard at work trying to top that in 2015.


Additional Resources

TAP Training  hose  Swagelok Tube Bending Training
TAP Steam Training Swagelok Hose Solutions Upcoming Training Seminars 

Top 10 Swagelok Northern California Technical Resources from 2014


Check out the resources that our customers found most valuable last year


Swagelok valve sizing technical bulletin

Choosing Swagelok valves: Valve Sizing Technical Bulletin and the article, "Matching Valve Type to Function" 

Choosing the right valve is an essential part of a quality fluid system.  These two resources will put you on the path to successful selection.



Selection and Sizing of Pressure Reducing Regulators: A Guide to Finding the Right Fit 

Download a guide that demystifies flow curves and explains how to size a pressure reducing regulator using its flow curve. 


Swagelok pressure regulators

Plan Your Steam Systems Success eBook

Our free eBook helps you understand steam and condensate leakage and how it impacts your plant's bottom line.


swagelok pressure regulator flow curve

Swagelok Pressure Gauges Available from Swagelok Northern California

Swagelok Northern California has pressure gauges for a variety general industrial, process, and sanitary applications: general purpose, miniature, low pressure, safety, reinforced, positionable, panel mount, sanitary.


Swagelok Training

Training Classes Available From Swagelok Northern California 

Improve safety, increase productivity, and keep abreast of the latest fluid system technologies with our comprehensive customer training and education programs.



Swagelok Tube Fitter's Manual

Get access to the definitive book on tube fittings and tube fitting installation by the company that invented the tube fitting


Swagelok hose catalog

See Swagelok Hose and Flexible Tubing Available from Swagelok Northern California 

Hoses for a wide range of applications are custom assemble right here at our Fremont facility.  From stainless steel braided PTFE hose to flexible metal to rubber hose, we have 20 different series of hose and flexible tubing each with options and accessories. 



Swagelok Ball Valve Catalogs 

Get access to 17 Swagelok Ball Valve Catalogs including One-Piece Instrumentation, General Purpose and Special Application, Trunnion, Alternative Fuel Service, Medium-Pressure, Multipurpose, and more.  


Swagelok Stainless Steel Tubing

The Swagelok® Stainless Steel Tubing Catalog and Tubing Data Sheet

Swagelok offers general industrial and high purity stainless steel tubing. The Swagelok Tubing Data Sheet provides suggested allowable working pressure for tubing when used with Swagelok® Tube Fittings.


Swagelok tube fittings

Download Details on Swagelok Tube Fittings Available from Swagelok Northern California 

Both of these are essential resources for anyone working with or designing tubing systems.

Bursting with Swagelok Pride: Our Video Series Wraps It Up


When Will It Burst? ends with a look at some of the fun we had behind the scenes

Last spring we started a video series that took an entertaining look at a very important subject: how to properly install Swagelok® tube fittings to get optimum performance under pressure. As you may already know, we called it "When Will It Burst?" 

Let's recap

There was a wide variety of materials used in the videos, including copper, rubber, and stainless steel, but there has been one consistent theme: When properly installed, Swagelok tube fittings can handle higher pressure than the hose or tubing itself. As you can see from these videos, the Swagelok fitting doesn't leak, even as the wall of the hose or tubing swells and bursts. We also got to view the difference in strength when fiber braid reinforcing or a stainless steel overbraid were added to hose. And we covered the key factors to consider when deciding on which hose is right for a particular job.

The derating factors

The video series gave us a chance to bring up important considerations when using hose and tubing in the field. For example, we talked about derating, which is recognizing that some factors, such as heat or weld integrity, change the amount of pressure that tubing can handle.

When Will It Burst? in the classroom

The When Will It Burst? video series is over, but there's still a chance to take part in ‘When Will It Burst?’ in real life. Join us at one of our tube fitting safety seminars, where the tube burst demonstration is one of the seminar highlights.  Check out our upcoming training classes here »

We don't want to “burst” your bubble with no more ‘When Will It Burst?’ videos, so we are concluding with a fun behind the scenes video as we tried to burst a few unusual items (and some of the more desperate measures we had to take when our selected objects refused to cooperate). Also included is a musical montage of all the items that did make the final cut. You can watch it here »

Thanks for watching!

Additional Resources

hose  swagelok hoses tubing  
Swagelok Hose Solutions Swagelok Hose Catalog 

Top 10 Swagelok Northern California Blogs from 2014


Here are last year's most read articles 


Applying PTFE Pipe Thread Sealant Tape

Taking Our Swagelok Tube Bending Training On The Road

Your facility or ours: Tap into our Swagelok tube bending training 


Swagelok tube fittings

Gaining the Swagelok® Tube Fitting Advantage 

Reliable fittings are crucial. Some designs are inherently better than others.


Swagelok Tube Adapters resized 600

Seven Reasons to Use Swagelok Tube Adapter Fittings 

Swagelok tube adapters can help you simplify installation, eliminate difficult alignment problems, and much more.


Swagelok tube fitting

FAQ - What Is the Temperature Rating of a Swagelok Tube Fitting?

Swagelok tube fittings can handle the heat (and cold, too).


swagelok pressure regulator flow curve

What Is the Pressure Rating of a Swagelok Tube Fitting?

The answer depends on the other components in your system.


Swagelok tube fitting

Skill: Tube fitting assembly, one inch and under

A benefit of using Swagelok tube fittings is their ability to be disassembled and reassembled many times. See a demonstration.


Swagelok Industrial Sampling Systems

Tony Waters Wrote the Book on Industrial Sampling Systems 

Tony Waters packs a half century of expertise into the most thorough work on sampling systems ever created.


swagelok pressure regulator flow curve

Flow Control: Don't let pressure regulators throw you a curve

Get an overview of flow curves and how they work plus links to key downloads.


Swagelok pressure gauge

FAQ: To Fill Or Not To Fill a Swagelok Pressure Gauge? 

That is the question, and here are some tips to help you find the answer.


Applying PTFE Pipe Thread Sealant Tape

Skill: Applying PTFE tape to tapered pipe threads

Applying PTFE tape is an important procedure to do right. This article and video show how. Then download information on Snoop®, Goop®, SWAK®, and more.

Need a Hose? Swagelok Can Help You Choose the Right One


Our latest video highlights four steps to choosing a hose

When Will it Burst
When Will It Burst? Watch Guess Win! And learn about hose selection Watch and Guess Now »

If you haven't weighed in with a guess for our latest "When Will It Burst?" video, no better time than the present.  This time around, we are bursting a length of X Series PTFE hose, one of 20 different series of hose in our hose catalog.  While you are watching the video, you will learn about the four main components to consider when choosing a hose. 

Ten years ago, we installed a hose cell at our original Sunnyvale location, so we could locally make several of our hoses quickly for our customers. Since that first hose cell, Swagelok has doubled the number of hoses in our product offering, and we have expanded our local hose fabrication capabilities as well. We have a dedicated team of full-time technicians certified by Swagelok manufacturing engineers. To pass, they have to produce three samples of every kind of hose we build, and each one is put through destructive testing.

We have also increased our knowledge of hose and helped develop custom hose solutions for customers here in Northern California, in the pharmaceutical industry and semiconductor industry. 

The right hose

So while we may be having a little fun with our When Will It Burst? video contest, we also know that the right hose keeps your process performing safely and cost effectively. The wrong hose could undermine your operations, put personnel at risk and compromise your bottom-line — sometimes without you being aware of it.  For example, an improperly chosen hose may kink. This permanent buckling disrupts system media flow and creates a rupture threat. However, kinked hoses aren't easily detected and so afflict many plants.

So, we hold seminars from time to time about the proper selection and use of hose. We also blog about hose and hose selection regularly, and we have even been known to do free lunch and learns about hose at customer sites.  

Which brings us right back to "When Will It Burst?" In this edition, we talk about the four components to consider when choosing a hose, and then we burst some hose. All you have to do is watch and then guess how much pressure it took to burst the hose. Remember, if there's a tie, the prize goes to whoever made their entry first.

Additional Resources

Swagelok hose  Swagelok hose  
Swagelok Hose Catalog Hose Selection Resources  

When Will It Burst? Four Steps to Choosing a Hose


This week's video highlights four parts of a hose to consider when selecting a hose

WWIB Four Steps
Watch the video to learn four key steps to choosing a hose, and then enter the burst contest for a chance to win Watch it here »

In our last When Will It Burst? video we burst a piece of Swagelok F Series PTFE hose. (And congratulations to ???? for the guess that came closest to the actual burst pressure - Watch the video to see who won and the actual burst pressure)

This week we up the ante by bursting a length of Swagelok X Series PTFE hose. The difference between X Series PTFE hose and the F Series PTFE hose in the last video is that we add a stainless steel over-braid on top of the F Series' unique fiber braid reinforcement. Each of those elements adds strength and flexibility, and together they add a lot of it.

Watch the video at http://Swagelok.com/whenwillitburst to find out the working and burst pressure ratings for Swagelok X Series PTFE hose, and then enter your guess.

The differences between the hoses also make this week's video an excellent time to discuss four parts of a hose to consider when selecting the right kind of hose for your job. The four are: core tube material, hose reinforcement, hose cover, and end connections.

Given the combination that makes up Swagelok X Series PTFE hose, at what pressure do you think it will burst?

Enter your guess at http://Swagelok.com/whenwillitburst. The contest ends Monday, December 15th at 12pm.


Additional Resources

Swagelok hose  Swagelok hose  
Swagelok Hose Catalog Hose Selection Resources  

When Will It Burst? Putting the Pressure On Swagelok PTFE Hose


Our video series takes a closer look at our flexible hose with fiber braiding

When Will It Burst PTFE Hose
Watch the next video to learn how Swagelok's unique fiber braiding technology increases hose flexibility and kink resistance and enter a guess for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card and bragging rights too here »

We resumed our "When Will It Burst" video series earlier this month by seeing how much pressure it takes to burst rubber hose. We had some good guesses, but one person came closest to the burst pressure. Want to find who won and the actual burst pressure? The winner and burst pressure are revealed in this week's video.  

You can watch the video here »

We're also upping the ante this week by putting the pressure on a piece of Swagelok PTFE hose. The video includes a few tips on how to get the best performance from hose without it collapsing or kinking on the job. 

Swagelok has four series of PTFE hoses manufactured with non-metallic fiber braiding reinforcement bonded to the PTFE core.  This unique braiding technology creates a more flexible hose with greater resistance to collapsing and kinking when being bent. But how does that reinforcement help the hose perform? Specifically, in this video, we ask you to guess at what pressure a half-inch Swagelok F Series PTFE hose will burst?  Watch the video to find out the working pressure and minimum burst pressure and enter your guess at http://Swagelok.com/whenwillitburst. You have until Sunday, Nov. 30 if you want your entry to count toward winning the prize.  

That's the Sunday after Thanksgiving, so this year in between all those football games on TV gather your family and friends around the video for some fun and guesswork. (Then again, you might want the prize and bragging rights to yourself.)


Additional Resources

Swagelok hose  Swagelok hose  
Swagelok Hose Catalog Hose Selection Resources  
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Swagelok Northern California serves the California counties of Alameda, Madera, San Mateo, Alpine, Marin, Santa Clara, Amador, Mariposa, Santa Cruz, Butte, Mendocino, Shasta, Calaveras, Merced, Sierra, Colusa, Modoc, Siskiyou, Contra Costa, Mono, Solano, Del Norte, Monterey, Sonoma, El Dorado, Napa, Stanislaus, Fresno, Nevada, Sutter, Glenn, Placer, Tehama, Humboldt, Plumas, Trinity, Inyo, Sacramento, Tulare, Kings, San Benito, Tuolumne, Lake, San Francisco, Yolo, Lassen, San Joaquin, and Yuba; and the northwestern Nevada counties of Carson City, Humboldt, Storey, Churchill, Lyon, Washoe, Douglas, Mineral, Esmeralda, and Pershing.

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