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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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When Will It Burst? The SWAGELOK Method of Hose Selection

  
  
  

We take a trip to the backyard and ask how much pressure can an ordinary garden hose take before it bursts?


Swagelok Hose Selection
Watch the video to learn about the SWAGELOK method of hose selection and then enter a guess for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card Watch, guess, win! »

You've come to rely on the Swagelok name to give you the best in valves, fittings, regulators, tubing and other products. Now you can use the letters in our name to help you pick out the right hose for any given job. That's because when you choose a hose you will want to consider:

Size
Working Pressure
Application
Guarantee
End Connections
Local Custom Fabrication
Operating Temperature
Kink Resistance

Yes, local custom fabrication means that we build the hose right in the Bay Area. We have a team of full time assemblers who build hose in our dedicated hose assembly cell. We can handle orders from one piece to hundreds of pieces, and we test every one of them before we send them out.

And the winner is...

In our most recent "When Will It Burst" video, we asked you to guess how much pressure it would take to burst a section of our X Series PTFE hose. We had some good guesses, but the best of all was from ?????? (Watch the video to see who won and the actual burst pressure)

You can watch it at http://Swagelok.com/whenwillitburst

For everyone else, we'll give you one more chance to win. We wind up our video series with a piece of ordinary garden hose, the kind you might find in your own back yard. Watch the video to find out the garden hose's working and estimated burst pressures, and then enter a guess for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card. You might win a late Christmas present. Even if you don't, it's a chance for a little extra holiday fun.

As you watch this week's video, you'll also learn the details of how to put the S.W.A.G.E.L.O.K. acronym into practice. That should get you off to a good start for 2015.

Additional Resources

Hose Selection Resources  Swagelok hose catalog  
Hose Selection Resources Swagelok Hose Catalog  

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  

Learn About Hose From Our Blog, Videos, And Swagelok Hose Catalog

  
  
  

With Swagelok hose, the only guesswork is in our "When Will It Burst?" contest


When Will it Burst
When Will It Burst? Watch Guess Win! Watch and Guess Now »

If you haven't weighed in with a guess for our latest "When Will It Burst?" video, you have only until Friday, Nov. 14, to watch and make a prediction. This time around, we are bursting a length of PB Series rubber hose, one of 20 different series of hose in our hose catalog.

We blog about hose with some regularity, because it's a very versatile product. There are even jobs where hose can be more appropriate than tubing. When you need tubing to change direction, you have to bend it or put an adapter elbow on it. That can affect flow rates, increase pressure drop and add to the overall cost.

The right hose

To make sure you are choosing the right hose for the job, remember the acronym S.T.A.M.P.E.D. The letters stand for the Size, Temperature, Application, Material, Pressure, End connection, and Delivery. Once you've determined those details, selection becomes much simpler.

If you are looking for flexibility, our PTFE core hose ties other hoses into knots with our unique Coreflex fiber braid technology.

A hose has to do a lot more than deliver a fluid from one place to another. It also has to stay cool, be flexible and stand up to whatever fluid is flowing through it. Swagelok hose for dielectric media meets these challenges.

We also hold seminars from time to time about the proper selection and use of hose. Some of the most interesting conversations come during the Question-and-Answer sessions at the end.

Local assembly

One of the great things about Swagelok hose is that we can build your order right here in Northern California. 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.

Which brings us right back to "When Will It Burst?". All you have to do is 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.

When Will It Burst? Where The Rubber Hose Meets The Load

  
  
  

How much pressure can Swagelok PB series rubber hose take? 


When will it burst?
Watch the video and enter a guess for a chance to win here »

We've been bursting to get back to our video series, "When Will It Burst?" Just as in the first batch of videos earlier this year, in each video we take an item and see how much pressure it can take before it bursts. It's a lot of fun, and a memorable demonstration showing that if Swagelok fittings are properly installed, they will stand up to pressure without leaking.

Rubber hose

We kick off the new installments by bursting Swagelok PB Series rubber hose. This is our ozone-resistant, general-purpose rubber hose. This kind of hose often is a good lower-cost solution in lower-pressure applications such as compressed air, water cooling and oil transfer. Swagelok PB series rubber hose has a smooth-bore Buna N core, an internal fiber reinforcement that enhances its pressure rating and ensures connection retention, and a flame resistant cover.  The hose is available in 1/4, 3/8, 1/2, 3/4, and 1 inch nominal hose sizes. For the video, we chose 3/8 inch hose installed with Swagelok PB Series hose end connections. It's rated for a working pressure of 300 psig at 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Watch the video to find out its rated burst pressure.

Watch, guess, win!

What happens in real life or at least real life as simulated in our burst chamber? How much pressure can the hose take before it bursts? Watch the video and enter your best guess on our When Will It Burst? video page. The contest ends Friday, Nov. 14th. The person whose guess comes closest to the actual burst pressure, wins a prize, a mention in our next video, and unlimited bragging rights.

Swagelok Training  steam system training  Swagelok hose catalog
November Safety Training November Steam System Training Swagelok Hose Catalog

"When Will It Burst?" Returns With More High Pressure Fun!

  
  
  

Our video series is back with more chances to guess burst pressures and win


When will it burst?
Watch the intro video here to get more info »

After taking a break for a few months, our video series "When Will It Burst?" will return on Wednesday, November 5th. It's our way of bringing a little bit of fun to a very serious subject. Normally, we don't take it lightly when something bursts. It halts production and might seriously injure someone. Our burst demonstrations are designed to show the safety that is built into every Swagelok product. They perform under pressure.

These videos had their origins in the training classes 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 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.

Good and bad

In our initial series of "When Will It Burst" videos, we were impressed at how accurate the winners were with their guesses. In fact, the winner in our first video was only a few PSIG from the actual burst pressure.

But we also were surprised at how far off some of the guesses were. In each video, we pointed out that the manufacturer's minimum estimated burst pressure also comes with a built-in safety factor. Most of the safety factors are 4 to 1, so if the maximum suggested working pressure is 1000 psig, the safety factor would put the minimum burst pressure at 4000 psig. Even with that information to help them, some people guessed below the manufacturer's burst pressure ratings, and some guessed much higher. 



That underscores the importance of understanding how the parts are designed to perform if you want to get the most use from them.

A quick preview

If you didn't get a chance to see our first run of videos, here's a short introduction of where we're about to take you. As you can see in the introductory video, most of the time we play it completely straight with tubing or hoses of different materials. But once in a while we toss in something unusual. Viewers of the first series have offered some suggestions that we hope to use in the future, including bent tubing and sample cylinders. 

Ready to test your knowledge (or at least your intuition)? Look for the start of our new series Wednesday, November 5th, enter your best guess at www.swagelok.com/whenwillitburst, and see how you stack up against the competition.

Additional Resources

Swagelok training  steam system training  Steam system eBook
Safety and Installation Training Steam System Training Steam System eBook 

Calera Made Sure Its Steam System Started On The Right Track

  
  
  

A one-day on-site visit from a Swagelok Steam System Engineer provided advice and training


Steam System Engineer
Learn more about a one-day on-site consultation from a Swagelok engineer and request a free phone consultation here »

Calera Corporation has a novel method for turning a greenhouse gas into something useful. The Los Gatos-based company captures carbon dioxide gas from industrial sources and transforms it into calcium carbonate cement with economic as well as sustainable advantages. The white powder can replace some of the commonly used Portland cement in traditional concrete, or is used as the sole binder in new kinds of products, such as a fiber cement board.

The resulting construction materials are green, while having superior performance over other currently available construction materials.

Steam power

In making the fiber cement board, Calera utilized steam during the curing step of its fiber cement board products. Because adding a steam system meant getting into new technological territory, the company wanted to ensure they got everything right from the outset. Calera brought in Casey Rivera, Swagelok Northern California’s Steam System Engineer, to look over the design and make recommendations for efficient operations.

"We have used Swagelok fittings, and they told us they had a team specializing in steam systems, so we said, 'Let's see if we can add some value to our design and optimize our system,' " says Jacob Nagar, engineering manager.

On-site visit

Rivera spent two half-days at Calera. First he reviewed the drawings of the 150-psig steam system. Then he made an on-site inspection of the final installation of the boiler and piping, which measure about 20 feet by 20 feet. He also trained Calera's operators about best practices for optimizing system performance, including proper startup and shutdown procedures.

"He was able to understand our process drawings and figure them out pretty quickly. He is knowledgeable about the types of fittings that we needed to use, and on the ASME code behind his recommendations," Nagar says. "Safety is first for us. We don't want to play with something, especially since it was the first one."

Calera is a research and development company, so it's always looking for a way to improve on an idea.

"We make a lot of changes as we go," Nagar says. The steam system installed should be able to keep its configuration and still deal with changes on the front end. But if not, or if Calera wants to scale up the operation, Nagar adds, “We will bring Casey back to help us continue to refine and improve our process.”

 

Additional Resources

Steam System Training  Steam System eBook  
November Steam System Training Plan Your Steam System Success eBook  
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New Swagelok eBook Introduces Our Engineers' Best Practices

  
  
  

New eBook shows the high cost of an inefficient or leaking steam system


Plan Your Steam System Succes Cover
Read how blowing off a little steam will hurt your bottom line. Get a copy of our new eBook here »

Steam technology has been around for so long that it's easy to take for granted. If a system isn't working at top efficiency, or even if it leaks a little, is it really such a big deal?

Yes, it is.

A new e-book from Swagelok Energy Advisors and Swagelok Northern California, "Plan Your Steam System Success Vol. 1 - Steam Loss Prevention," shows you how to calculate just how expensive wasted steam can be. During California's drought, we've all been made aware of how important it is not to waste water. But even if water were free and abundant, you pay for the fuel to heat it. You get no benefit from heat that's lost to radiation or which goes out the flue. If your system isn't hitting the benchmark of 90 percent condensate return, it means more make-up water must be injected and heated.

The difference between getting 80 percent returned condensate and using 80 percent makeup water could mean spending tens of thousands of dollars a year for a facility that produces 50,000lb./hr. of steam on average, with a 70 percent run time.

For a truly detailed look at the cost of steam, also figure in emissions payments, waste disposal, labor to operate and maintain the system, and other factors.

As the e-book shows, there are ways to bring costs down. Less expensive fuels, lower operating steam pressure, higher boiler efficiency and other steps can make a big difference.

Lurking leaks

If merely running an inefficient steam system is expensive, think of the extra cost when steam escapes through leaks. Leaks in a steam and condensate system can be as great as 19 percent of the overall energy consumption in a plant's operation. The good news is that most leaks can be corrected without expending large capital.

As our eBook explains, the biggest cause of steam and condensate leaks is the use of threaded pipe connections. Welded or tube fitting connections make a big difference in performance. Another common source of trouble is the packing on standard type valves. Steam is very corrosive when it comes in contact with packing. It's important to use steam isolation valves designed for that type of service.

Another problem to watch for is water hammer. It should never happen in a well-designed and properly run steam system. When it does happen, it can damage pipe connections.

One of the top priorities in any steam producing system should be reducing the overall operating cost. Using the roadmaps and guidelines provided in the new eBook from Swagelok Energy Advisors and Swagelok Northern California, you can expect efficiency, reliability and safety from your steam systems.

Now, don't forget to get a copy of the new eBook here »

Additional Resources

Swagelok steam systems training  Swagelok training  
1 Day Steam System Training for your Industry 2 Hour Safety & Installation Training  
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Is Swagelok Training As Good As Its Fluid System Components?

  
  
  

Tube Fitting Safety and Tube Bending Seminars get high marks from attendees


Swagelok training
Register for next week's training or if you can't make it next week, check out other upcoming training dates here »

We're putting the finishing touches on our upcoming seminars, VCR Fitting Installation on Oct. 14, Tube Fitting Safety on Oct. 15, and Tube Bending on Oct. 16. In preparation, we've been looking at participant evaluations from previous classes, looking for ways to improve the seminars and learning from attendees what is working well. One thing that attendees say over and over is that they appreciate the hands-on nature of our seminars. They aren't just learning theory. They aren't just watching somebody else show the proper way to handle tubing and tools. They get to try out the techniques in person, with the instructors on hand to answer questions and check how well everyone is doing. Mike Carrier, who attended our September Tube Bending seminar, said he came because "I wanted to learn the proper techniques of bending and measuring so I can apply what I learned directly to my job." He said he appreciated learning the math to determine where to mark the tubing for bends, and eliminate guesswork. Even people who think they know the right way to handle tubing have taken our classes to make sure they are doing the work correctly.

Three sessions

Next week's sessions start with our VCR Metal Gasket Face Seal Fitting Installation Seminar on Tuesday, Oct. 14 in our Fremont office from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m (we will provide lunch). The Swagelok VCR fitting has become the go to fitting in high purity applications that need a high purity vacuum or positive pressure seal, a make and break point with virtually no clearance, and a fitting that can handle some of most toxic, flammable and corrosive fluids in industry.  Some of the goals of this training are to teach you how to optimize the performance of the fitting while ensuring complete understanding of proper installation techniques through hands on practice and trouble shooting common installation errors.

Our Swagelok Tube Fitting Safety Seminar on Wednesday, Oct. 15 is also in our Fremont office but starts at 12:30 p.m. and ends at 2:30 p.m (lunch included).  Why do we call it a safety seminar? Because people seldom think much about tube fittings until there is a failure in the system. For most customers a failure is normally defined as a leak. In some cases a leak may be only a minor inconvenience, but there are times when a leak can be a safety problem. We know from experience that by employing the techniques provided in the Tube Fitting Safety Seminar most of this leakage can be prevented.

Bend it like Swagelok

Then on Thursday, Oct. 16, we continue with our Swagelok Tube Bending Seminar. Again, it's at our Fremont office, this time from noon to 2 p.m. with lunch included. Tube bending is a skill that is normally passed from a craftsman to an apprentice. As a supplier of high quality tube benders and tube preparation tools, we offer this class to provide a training resource that demystifies one aspect of fluid system fabrication. Good tube fabrication techniques can improve system performance. Good layout and execution can enhance the aesthetics of a system and reflect on the quality of the product. Knowledgeable, skilled technicians help increase productivity and reduce waste and scrap.

Each course is $149, and if you sign up for both you can take two for $135 apiece, and all three for $119 each. Sign up here today.

Additional Resources

Steam System Training 10 7 14  Swagelok University  
November Steam System Training 30 Day Free Trial of Swagelok University  
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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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