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See tubing or hose burst and get a sample of our training.
Best guess wins a prize!

Swagelok Northern California Blog

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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 Northern California Teaches At Graduate School


We help UC Santa Cruz teach a new generation of scientists and engineers

Swagelok Northern California Training
Swagelok Northern California's lead trainer, Mike Valentine teaches graduate students at U.C. Santa Cruz's Silicon Valley campus about fluid system components used in semiconductor manufacturing. You can learn more about Swagelok education and training here »

Mike Valentine, one of our senior account managers and lead trainer, got a chance to discuss Swagelok products with a different kind of audience recently. He spent an afternoon as a guest lecturer, explaining the theory and application of Swagelok components to engineering graduate students from UC Santa Cruz.

The opportunity came about as an invitation from Dr. Michael Oye, a professor of electrical engineering and co-director of the Advanced Studies Laboratories at the NASA Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley. The Advanced Studies Laboratories is a partnership between UC Santa Cruz and NASA Ames Research Center to foster collaborations between Academia, Government, and Industry.

Remembering his own days as a graduate student, Oye wanted to get a new generation of scientists and engineers off to a stronger start than he had. “I first learned about parts selection second-hand from senior grad students back in the '90s, so I never had an opportunity to interact with the people who know best until I moved up to the Bay Area,” Oye said.

Junior graduate students tend to accept what they are taught by senior graduate students as “law.” Then the junior graduate students eventually become senior graduate students and pass along the same information. Some of that information is simply wrong, Oye said, and it has been one of his pet peeves for years.

Word of authority

To break the cycle, Oye invited Valentine to talk about Swagelok parts and how to select them. He also explained the right way to install them. Regular readers of our blog already know that Swagelok makes a wide variety of valves. Valentine explained the different kinds and the applications they are best suited for. The students also learned to watch out for reactivity between valve components and the fluids being sent through the line.

Even something as simple as properly tightening a fitting has to be learned. Valentine showed the right way and some wrong ways, and the kinds of failures that result from improper installation.

“In order to be able to conduct research, we need Swagelok parts,” Oye said. The better the students understand the components and how to use them, the better their research projects will go. Now when the students go back to the lab and tell colleagues how to properly use a Swagelok part, they can speak with authority.

Lastly, Valentine showed some of the products used in semiconductor applications like Atomic Layer Deposition and 1-1/8” Modular Gas Systems.

The students are not all going to go into research, Oye noted, so it’s useful to get an early look at the Modular Platform Components (MPC) they may encounter in the field. “When they go into a company and see this, they know what it is,” Oye said. “Or if they don’t see it, they know they could use it as an efficient way to minimize the dead space in their parts.”

Long distance learning

Video conferencing technology allowed three different groups of people to attend Valentine’s guest lecture. About one-third of the students were seated in the room at UCSC Silicon Valley Center. Another third watched on monitors from Santa Cruz. The final third watched online. It was a fully interactive experience. Cameras were pointed at both the students in Santa Cruz and at Valentine so that they could see one another. Live microphones in the classrooms made it easy to ask questions no matter where the students were located.

Swagelok is the only company that Oye has asked to send a representative for this class. It’s important to learn the theory of gas flow and the equations that govern it, he said, but it’s also valuable to know practical elements, such as the fact that any bend in a tube will create a pressure drop.

“I'm an experimentalist by trade. I’m in the lab and always putting together parts for gas handling and vacuum systems. Because of that I know of Swagelok,” he said.

The guest lecture worked so well that Oye plans to bring Valentine back again at the end of April. This will be an opportunity for companies as well as students. As long as there are enough chairs in the room, Oye is glad to have Swagelok Northern California customers sit in on the guest lecture. If you’d like to attend, call me at Swagelok Northern California at 510-933-6200, or send me an e-mail at Jeff.Hopkins@norcal.swagelok.com.

When Will It Burst?

Valentine will be testing the students knowledge and guessing abilities by showing them our first few When Will It Burst? videos.  There's still time for you to watch the first burst video and enter a guess for a chance to win!  You can watch it here.  

Additional Resources

When Will It Burst?    
Watch the video then enter a guess for a chance to win "When Will It Burst?"    

When Will It Burst? In The Swagelok Burst Chamber - Copper Tubing


See 3/8 inch copper tubing burst, while refreshing your knowledge on how to install a Swagelok tube fitting

Watch the first burst contest video here, and then enter your guess for a chance to win. We will announce the winner in the next video on April 23rd. 

We introduced our When Will It Burst video series on March 26 by reviewing the components involved in Swagelok tube fitting installation. This week the series gets to the fun part. First, we give you a sample of the training we provide in our Tube Fitting Safety Seminar, and then we test the stamina of a piece of 3/8 inch soft annealed copper tubing. Watch the video, then make your best guess at what pressure it will burst and enter it in the comment section below this blog or here on the WWIB? #1 video page. We'll tally all the answers we get up until 12pm PST on Thursday, April 17th. So enter your guess before noon next Thursday. We'll announce the winner in the next video in the series, which will be released Wednesday, April 23rd. While you are at it, why not suggest some other item for us to burst?

How to play "When Will It Burst?"

  1. Make sure you're getting Swagelok Northern California email updates
  2. When we email you about a new WWIB? video, follow the link
  3. Type your guess in the comments area under the blog post or fill in the form on the WWIB? #1 video page here.

The following Thursday at noon, we determine who posted the best guess. We congratulate him or her in the next WWIB? video and blog article, and send them a prize.

So, have a little fun with us while you learn about fluid systems, and enter your guess for a chance to win!

Additional Resources

swagelok tube fittings

swagelok fittings

swagelok tube fittings

Get the catalog on gaugeable tube fittings & adapter fittings. More »

Get the Tube Fitter's Manual from the company that invented the tube fitting. More »

Keep abreast of the latest fluid system technologies - learn about education & training options. More »

Swagelok Northern California's Video Series Asks When Will It Burst?


Before we get to the fun part, a word about tube fitting safety

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The consequence of a leak can range from minor inconvenience to a significant event requiring immediate attention and repair. Employing the techniques provided in the Swagelok® Tube Fitting Safety Seminar can prevent most leakage.  Learn more 

If you watched the first video in our When Will It Burst? video series, you saw the various components of a Swagelok tube fitting. Perhaps the most important component is one that people forget about: You. After all, everything else depends on you installing the fitting correctly.

Since installing a Swagelok tube fitting isn't a difficult task, sometimes an installer may overlook the proper technique if he has not done it for a while. When we offer our tube fitting training classes to people who have been in the field for a while, we'll ask them what's the proper way to pull up a Swagelok tube fitting. It's not unusual to get several different answers from the class members. A lot of people like to install it by feel. For those folks, our trainer Mike Valentine assigns a simple task of having the attendees assemble fittings made from different materials.

“We have them do the easy one first and the harder one second,” Valentine says. “If they can go by the feel of the easy one, they usually significantly under-tighten the harder one.”

Under-tightening, of course, may result in leakage.

Learn from the experts

Our Tube Fitting Safety Seminar makes sure that everyone gets it right: fabricators, contractors, engineers, draftsmen, quality control personnel, safety engineers and more. They get a complete rundown on tube fitting safety:

* Evaluation of tube fitting design and function.

* Identification of good tube system fabrication procedures.

* Proper tube selection, care and handling.

* A comparison of a tube system and a pipe system.

* A review of important installation techniques.

* Discussions of safe plumbing practices.

* A demonstration of the proper application of thread sealants and lubricants.

Each student also goes away with useful reference materials and a certificate of completion. So when you watch our upcoming "When Will It Burst?" videos, remember that Swagelok tube fittings stand up to high pressure because of the Swagelok Tube Fitting Advantage and proper installation. Through the video series, we hope you have a little fun while you learn about fluid systems, but more importantly, we want you to get safe, reliable, and top performance out of your Swagelok components.

When Will It Burst? Wednesdays

When Will It Burst? Wednesdays begin next week. Last week we introduced you to the series through our When Will It Burst? Intro video.  If you have not seen it, you can watch it below in Additional Resources. On Wednesday, April 9th, we will release the first burst contest video in the series. In it, you will get a sample of the training we provide in our in person training courses, and then we will ask you to guess "When Will It Burst?".  The best guess will win a prize! 

Additional Resources

When Will It Burst? Intro Video    

Swagelok Training: Welcome to the "When Will It Burst?" Video Series!


See tubing, hose, and other items burst while refreshing your knowledge of best practices

Every two weeks we'll burst an assembly of Swagelok components and announce whose guess about burst pressure was best. (In the future, we may try bursting something that has nothing to do with standard fluid systems. If you have a suggestion about what to burst, please put it in the comments below.) 

Each year our Swagelok Northern California trainers help hundreds of people learn the proper way to install Swagelok products, and refresh the memories of more experienced workers. A great example is our Tube Fitting Safety Seminar.

Now we're introducing a series of videos that give you a sample of the training we provide. One of the highlights of our Tube Fitting Safety Seminar is the tube-burst demonstration. We do it to show that, when properly installed, Swagelok fittings can handle higher pressure than the tubing itself.

We put an assembly in a clear protective chamber, then pump up the pressure way beyond what the tubing is rated to hold. The Swagelok fitting doesn't leak, even as the wall of the tubing swells and bursts. To make it a bit more fun and interesting, we ask attendees to guess how much pressure it will take to burst the tube.

Today we introduce our new video series, "When Will It Burst?" Then every other Wednesday we will post a new video showing us bursting tubing, hose and other items as we talk about Swagelok products and training for fluid systems.

You can enter a guess about the pressure required to make it burst (in each video and post, we will help you out by providing the manufacturer's suggested maximum allowable working pressure), and we'll announce the winner in the next video and blog post. The winner even gets a prize (including bragging rights).

How to play "When Will It Burst?"

  1. Make sure you're getting Swagelok Northern California email updates
  2. When we email you about a new WWIB video, follow the link
  3. Type your guess in the comments area under the blog post

After 1 week, we determine who posted the best guess. We congratulate him or her in the next WWIB video and blog article, and send them a prize.

So, have a little fun with us while you learn about fluid systems, and enter your guess for a chance to win!

Additional Resources

swagelok tube fittings

swagelok fittings

swagelok tube fittings

Get the catalog on gaugeable tube fittings & adapter fittings. More »

Get the Tube Fitter's Manual from the company that invented the tube fitting. More »

Keep abreast of the latest fluid system technologies - learn about education & training options. More »

Seven Reasons to Use Swagelok Tube Adapter Fittings


Swagelok tube adapters can help you shrink assembly size, fitting inventory, installation time and labor costs as you simplify installation and eliminate difficult alignment problems and potential leak points

Swagelok Tube Adapters resized 600
Download the Swagelok Tube Fittings and Adapter Fittings Catalog and get An Installer's Pocket Guide for Swagelok Tube Fittings, the Swagelok Tube Fittings Wall Chart and this bonus catalog "Adapter Elbows and Tees" get more info »

If you are looking for ways to simplify installation, save time, and reduce costs and potential leak points, check out Swagelok's catalog of tube adapter fittings. If you've seen the catalog before, but not recently, it's time for a return visit.

Reduce inventory

Swagelok tube adapters can be used with any Swagelok tube fitting in the Swagelok Tube Fittings and Adapter Fittings catalog. If you stock union elbows and union tees in various sizes and materials, along with commonly used Swagelok adapters, you'll eliminate the need to stock special fittings that might have long lead times. Swagelok tube adapter fittings are available in a wide variety of configurations, so you can easily adapt from many different threads to tubing or reduce your tubing size with only one Swagelok tube adapter or reducer fitting.

Swagelok Tube Adapters

Solve alignment problems

When installing pipe elbows or tees, it is often difficult to align the fitting with the desired run.

1. In this example, the installation requires connecting tubing to a female end connection.

Alignment Problem

2. When the pipe connection is tightened, the male elbow points in the wrong direction for the desired run. Loosening the pipe connection could mean leakage at the pipe thread. And over tightening could result in damage to the pipe thread.

Alignment problem

3. So, instead, tighten the pipe connection of a Swagelok male adapter into the female end connection.

Swagelok Tube Adapter

4. Connect a Swagelok union elbow or tee to the adapter by tightening the Swagelok tube fitting with a wrench, while holding the elbow or tee in the desired direction. Insert the tubing into the other end of the Swagelok elbow or tee and install the fitting.

Swagelok Tube Adapter

Swagelok tube adapters are to be used ONLY in Swagelok tube fittings. Use in fittings made by other manufacturers may result in leakage or slippage.

Save space and simplify installation

Swagelok tube adapters will reduce the size of your assembly. Fittings, valves, and other fluid system components can be closely coupled by using tube adapters. Using them will also speed up installation because you'll need fewer connections. That also means fewer potential leak points. This will save you time and labor costs. Here is an example:  

Tube Adapter Assembly

The top assembly doesn't use Swagelok tube fittings with tube adapters. The bottom assembly does. The bottom assembly has three fewer connections, which reduces installation time and cost, shrinks the footprint of the assembly, and removes potential leak points. Imagine this being done in a much larger assembly or system wide, and you can see how you can leverage the benefits of Swagelok adapter fittings in a variety of ways. 

“Before I worked here, I wasn’t aware of the existence of this product though I wished it existed frequently. I employed many different methods to try to accomplish similar things with varying degrees of success and frustration. Now I’m able to frequently employ these adapter fittings in applications where space is critical and the number of connections needs to be minimized.” Neil Ide, Product Manager, Custom Solutions for Swagelok Northern California

Adapter elbows and tees

Swagelok Northern California stocks a variety of Swagelok adapter elbows and tees.

Swagelok Tube Adapters

Download the Swagelok Tube Fitting and Adapter Fittings Catalog and also get An Installer's Pocket Guide for Swagelok Tube Fittings, the handy Swagelok Tube Fitting Wall Chart and the bonus catalog "Adapter Elbows and Tees".


Additional Resources

 Swagelok Tech Tips  
 Video: Tube Adapter Assembly Swagelok Tech Tip Videos  
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Classic Publication on Swagelok® Tube Fittings Now Available Online


Even after 50 years, Swagelok's Tube Fitter's Manual is still the go-to guide

Swagelok Tube Fitter's Manual
Get access to the definitive book on tube fittings written by the company that invented the tube fitting. More »

Back in 1963, Joe Callahan, Jr., wrote the book on tube fittings. Callahan went on to become the president of Swagelok Company, and his book, the Swagelok Tube Fitter's Manual, went on to become the industry standard. 

Swagelok Company has updated and revised the content four times in the past 51 years, and now the entire 277-page publication is available online in PDF format. The 11 chapters cover the Swagelok® tube fitting itself, plus tubing specification and ordering, tubing and tube fitting handling and installation, severe service, troubleshooting, special purpose fittings, testing and evaluation of tube fitting performance, pipe threads, pressure ratings, the hidden costs of leakage, valves, and more. 

As Callahan wrote in his most recent preface, "The well-known Swagelok two-ferrule fitting is the best tube fitting we know how to manufacture; however, proper installation and use of high quality tubing will go far to ensure leak-free connections." 

The illustrated problems and solutions in the manual come from extensive field research and laboratory studies conducted by Swagelok Company's research and development engineers, plus feedback we have received over the years from our customers.

Tubing too

While the manual is primarily about our tube fittings, it also explains the importance of using the right tubing. For instance, for the tube fitting to work properly, the tubing material must always be softer than the fitting material. So, for instance, stainless steel tubing should never be used with brass fittings.

Tubing wall thickness is important too. If the wall is too thick, the fitting may not properly seal on it. If the tubing wall is too thin, it may collapse when the fitting is installed.

Proper tubing handling is important. Tubing should never be dragged off the delivery truck or storage racks, or across any hard surface. Dragging could score or scratch the tubing or knock it out of round, especially when it's made of a soft material such as copper or aluminum. Damaged tubing can lead to leaks, even with a high-quality fitting that is properly installed.

Callahan also wrote about proper tubing layout. For example, tubing should not be placed in a location where people are likely to use it as a rail for resting their feet, or to grab on overhead.

No trouble

Any complex system will have its share of challenges. The manual has a whole chapter on troubleshooting to keep frustrations to a minimum.

If the tube will not go into the fitting, for instance, there could be any of a half-dozen causes from burrs on the end to simply using the wrong size tubing. If the system leaks, there is a good chance the fitting was not installed properly. The manual explains what to look for when the leak happens after initial installation, after reassembly following maintenance, and under high temperatures.

So take some time to download and read a classic. You will get a better understanding of how Swagelok tube fittings work, and how to get the best performance out of them. 


Additional Resources

Swagelok Northern California Quick Look Infographic  Swagelok Tube Fittings catalog  Swagelok Tube Fitting Advantage
Swagelok Northern California Infographic Swagelok Tube Fitting Catalog and Guide The Swagelok® Tube Fitting Advantage
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Meet the President of Swagelok Northern California, Rod Fallow


Last month we celebrated President's day, in this week's article we are featuring our President, Rod Fallow 

Rod Fallow
Take a quick look at the company Rod leads.  This infographic gives you quick facts on our operation and quick access to a dozen plus resources (click on the interactive PDF and take the infographic to the next level). Go »

Recently, when asked what Swagelok Northern California should be focused on as an organization, Rod replied, "Our vision is to be our customers' favorite story. What that means to me is that central to supporting companies who work with critical gas and liquid applications and have a high cost of system failure, is that we certainly need to do the regular things really well - we need to deliver a high quality product, and it needs to be there on time and in the right quantity, we need to provide instant expert technical support, but we need to do more than that….the companies that work with us really need us to deliver on our core values (Customer Focus, Quality, Continuous Improvement, Innovation, Integrity and Respect), so they can concentrate on their core competencies and develop the life-changing, life-saving technology that they are working on."

"The customers that work with us, if they are raving about us, if they’re talking about us, and we become their favorite story that means we are helping them make a difference in their business; they will be able to explain how we are making them more competitive, more productive, and how we make it easier and easier for them to do business.”

We are only as good as our customers say we are

Several years ago, Rod introduced our organization to the Net Promoter Score, a short survey that we regularly ask customers to fill out. It asks only one question: "On a scale of 0-10 considering your most recent experience with us, how likely would you be to recommend us to a colleague or friend?" Then it asks the customer to provide the primary reason for the score. We know that if we are delivering on our promises and values, going beyond the basics of delivering excellent products and services to make a difference in their business outcomes, and heroically recovering when we do not, then our Net Promoter Score will continue to increase.

From salesman to president

Rod has enjoyed a long and varied career with the Swagelok organization. He started in Canada, his native land. His roles have included several international responsibilities. His experience includes sales, distribution, manufacturing, and marketing. His role just before moving to California in 2001 was the vice president of marketing for Swagelok Company in Ohio. Leading up to his current role, he was the president and owner of Swagelok Sunnyvale until 2010, when he oversaw the merger of Swagelok Sunnyvale and Oakland Valve and Fitting, and the birth of Swagelok Northern California.

Aligned and ready

Rod is always coaching, mentoring, and leading the rest of us at Swagelok Northern California. He is continually generating and sharing ideas on how we can continuously improve as individuals and as an organization in order to better serve our customers and provide a challenging, growing and stable company for our associates.

He also listens. This past month, Rod has been meeting with small groups of Swagelok Northern California associates for lunch and a discussion about the company's vision, mission, values, goals, and strategies to ensure that all associates are aligned and ready for the challenges ahead. These discussions have produced some great ideas and have created greater understanding of each associate’s critical role in realizing our vision, executing our mission, living our values, implementing our strategies and achieving our goals.

A brighter future

In addition to leading Swagelok Northern California, Rod has been thinking about ways he can help others. In recent years, he has become involved with Living Classroom, a non-profit educational organization. He is currently an active member of their board. He has also made a personal commitment to use his time, talent, and resources to make a measurable difference in the lives of thousands of children by rallying other like-minded individuals to join him in the endeavor, and sowing the seeds for a future non-profit to carry out this commitment. I am hopeful you will hear more about this in a future article.

Additional Resources 

type keyword here Swagelok Tube Fitter's Manual  eDTR  

A QuickLook at Swagelok Northern California (Infographic)

Swagelok Tube Fitter's Manual PDF

Swagelok's Electronic Catalog

Related Articles

Swagelok Northern California: We Are Only As Good As You Say We Are

Living Classroom Gives Kids Knowledge to Grow On

ISO 9001 Certification: Swagelok Quality System Goes Above And Beyond

Swagelok Northern California Wishes Dirk Miller A Happy Retirement


Account Manager, Dirk talked the talk, walked the walk - and put Swagelok parts to some novel uses

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Dirk Miller ingeniously used Swagelok parts in an accusump to increase oil pressure in his Corvette. Prompting us to imagine, "if only we could use Swagelok for everything" Learn more about our Swagelok for everything campaign here »

Dirk Miller, an account manager with Swagelok Northern California for 25 years, is retiring at the end of February. He embodies the spirit of many of our associates, people who have spent much of their adult lives working with Swagelok products and are dedicated to helping our customers.

Miller doesn't just encourage customers to use Swagelok products. He has used them himself in some unusual ways. Take, for instance, his red Corvette C6. This sixth-generation 'Vette can pull a few Gs on corners and on road courses, starving the engine of oil. No problem when you can bring Swagelok fittings to the rescue. Miller used them to plumb in an Accusump to dump up to three extra quarts of oil into the system when the pressure drops below 24 psi.

"To produce a leak-free system, I used 1/8”, ¼” and ½” SS tube fittings, a 2 ½” glycerin filled C Model General Purpose Pressure Gauge, and PTFE lined hoses: B Series, X Series and S Series," he says.

Training and more training

Miller got involved with Swagelok thanks to his talent on the tennis court. As a young man, he and his wife moved to Southern California for her residency in her last year of medical school. Looking for a job proved frustrating, so Miller was blowing off some steam on a public tennis court. While giving a few tips to a fellow player, Miller learned that his student's father was a real estate agent who, it turned out, had just sold a house to the owner of the Swagelok sales and service center in Long Beach. Miller should give the man a call, the agent suggested. These days, that's called networking. All Miller knew was that he had a shot at a job.

"I didn't even know how to pronounce Swagelok," Miller says. Before long, though, he was in Swagelok training for six months, learning all the product lines and their working parameters. Then they pushed him out of the nest to work with customers.

About a year later Miller's wife landed a job in the Bay Area, and Miller interviewed with one of our predecessor companies, Oakland Valve & Fitting.

"Sure enough, they decided they wanted to have me on as an account manager," he says. Miller's first assignment? Another six months of Swagelok training. "That's the Swagelok way: Let's make sure this guy really knows his stuff," Miller says.

But Miller wasn’t deterred. He'd once sold vacuum cleaners door-to-door in Montana, a lonely job that depended primarily on how many doors he could knock on. With Swagelok he learned that he had an entire organization behind him.

"It's not so dependent on me being out there, but me being an arm interacting with a customer in the field, and the nerve center here in Fremont and the heart pumping back in Ohio," he says. " Everybody does their part. Everybody working together. It is an amazingly efficient way to do things. I was fortunate to be part of the Swagelok body."

Longtime relationships

"Emotionally it has been a little tough to say goodbye to my customers, many of whom I have worked with for 15+ years, and one for 25 years," Miller says. A lot of those customers were in the semiconductor industry, and for the past 15 years Miller has given the biggest part of his attention to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and its National Ignition Facility (NIF). The NIF is the world’s largest and most energetic laser facility, about the size of an entire sports stadium. Its giant laser focuses 192 beams onto a fusion target about the size of a pencil eraser.

In support of the NIF project, Swagelok worked closely with site engineers to expand   the capabilities of its orbital welder to one-sixteenth-inch tubing, about half the diameter that Swagelok's orbital welder had been able to handle previously.

Miller didn't ignore the startups, however. "A lot of my attention was on the new companies in the Fremont area, making sure they had a good understanding of the Swagelok product line," he says.

New directions

Like many new retirees, Miller plans to do some traveling with his wife, who has retired as a doctor. But he also plans to keep serving the community, possibly with Meals on Wheels. "A lot of people have helped me over my years to get me where I have been. If I can, I'll do a little something to give back," he says. "I'm not sure I'm going to call this a retirement. I think I might call it a transition."  Whatever he decides to call it, we thank him for his 25 years of service to Swagelok Northern California and our customers.  Now Dirk, go gas up the 'Vette and enjoy retransitionment!


Additional Resources

type keyword here    
A QuickLook at Swagelok Northern California (Inforgraphic)    

Blogging live at the Swagelok Northern California vacuum show booth


See our vacuum products, demo our electronic catalog, and get a sneak peak at our new video series today in San Jose

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The booth is ready and we are properly caffeinated, come by and see the latest vacuum tecnnology today in San Jose get more info »

Not all fluid systems operate under positive pressure. That's why we are once again at the "Vacuum Show," a shorthand name for the Annual Vacuum Equipment Exhibition sponsored by The Northern California Chapter of the American Vacuum Society for the 35th year. We are here at The Holiday Inn, San Jose Airport, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. displaying Swagelok products supporting vacuum-related industries.

Vacuum technology turns many of the normal rules of fluid systems upside down, since the system has to deal with negative pressure. 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.

Sneak peak

Come by the show, and have a first look at the first two videos in our soon to be released "When Will It Burst?" video series.  You can also demo our eDTR™ (Electronic Desktop Technical Reference) and grab a Swagelok Tube Fitting koozie and complimentary calendar.

Come on by the hotel, 1350 North First St. in
 San Jose. Admission is free and parking is validated. You can get an in-person look at some of the products in our vacuum fittings catalog, and we'll be happy to talk to you about how we can help with any of your vacuum needs.


Additional Resources

type keyword here    
Get a Quicklook at Swagelok Northern California (Infographic)    

Engineered To Perform Under Negative Pressure: Swagelok Ultra-Torr Vacuum Fittings


Exhibit and downloads for engineers and designers of vacuum systems

vacuum fittings
Stop by the exhibit next week or download information on our fittings, convoluted tubing, and hose used in vacuum systems. Get catalogs

Vacuum technology takes a different kind of thinking -- almost an upside-down kind of thinking -- since it means dealing with negative pressure. Some common terms can cause confusion because of conflicting definitions in the industry. For instance, high vacuum is a lower pressure than low vacuum.  An easy way to understand this is to remember that the starting point for positive and negative (vacuum) pressure is atmospheric pressure (1x105 or 100000 Pascal).  The further away from atmospheric pressure you go in either direction (up or down), the higher the positive pressure (up) or the higher the negative pressure ((vaccuum (down)).  Here is a chart that explains the different terms that are used to describe different levels of vacuum.  

Pascal (Scientific Notations) Pascal Degree of Vacuum
1x105 to 3x103   100000 to 3000 Low Vacuum
3x103 to 1x10-1  3000 to 0.1 Medium Vacuum
1x10-1 to 1x10-4  0.1 tp 0.001 High Vacuum
1x10-4 to 1x10-7 0.0001 t0 0.0000001 Very High Vacuum
1x10-7 to 1x10-10 0.0000001 to 0.0000000001 Ultra-High Vacuum (UHV)
<1x10-10  <0.0000000001  Extremely-Ultrahigh Vacuum (EHV or XHV) 

NCCAVS vacuum equipment exhibition 

Vacuum has become such an essential part of many industries that there are trade shows dedicated to showcasing equipment used in vacuum systems. Some of that will be on display in San Jose on Feb. 20 at the 35th Annual Vacuum Equipment Exhibition. Admission is free, and if you show up at 11am for the start of the exhibit, you can have a complimentary lunch. We'll be happy to talk to you about how we can help with any of your vacuum and fluid system needs.  The exhibit will be at the Holiday Inn San Jose Airport, 1350 N. First St., from 11am to 7 p.m.

Swagelok Ultra-Torr and other vacuum products on display 

But if you can't make it to San Jose that day, you can still download information and specifications on vacuum tubing products, our Ultra-Torr vacuum fittings, and other fittings Swagelok manufactures that are used in vacuum systems.  The Swagelok Ultra-Torr Vacuum fitting employs an o-ring seal that can be used on glass, metal or plastic tubing. Seal performance is maintained through repeated disconnects, and it has a knurled nut for easy finger tight assembly.  The Ultra-Torr fitting design has been helium leak tested to a maximum leak reate of 4x10-9 std cm3/s at ambient temperature. 

Note: This exhibit is also a good opportunity to get a demonstration of our Electronic Desktop Reference. The eDTR puts Swagelok catalogs, technical bulletins, installation instructions, videos, archives and more on a flash drive no bigger than your finger. You'll see in person how much easier it is to use than fumbling through multiple catalogs or binders to find what you need.

Additional Resources

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A QuickLook at Swagelok Northern California (PDF) Valve Selection and Sizing 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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