Edmonton Valve & Fitting Blog

Adam Telenko


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Breaking Down the Facts on Why You Should Never Interchange Swagelok Components

Thu, Jul 19, 2018 @ 14:07 PM / by Adam Telenko posted in Fittings, Valves, Q&A

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We take a closer look at the dangers of “interchanging” Swagelok components and how it can impact the performance of the parts.


fittings cluster

Swagelok fittings should never be interchanged or intermixed with parts from a different manufacturer as this will lead to voiding of the Swagelok warranty and other major risks to the components themselves.. 

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With a seemingly endless number of tube fitting manufacturers on the market, we are often asked about the practice of “Interchange” or “Inter-mixing”. This practice is summarized as removing at least 1 component from a Swagelok tube fitting, and replacing the component(s) with those from a different manufacturer.

Is this a safe practice? Will the fittings perform to satisfactory standards? Who is liable if something goes wrong? What are you trying to achieve by ‘inter-mixing’ components?

These are all great questions! Let’s look at some of the issues involved:

  • CRN (Canadian Registration Number) deemed VOID if intermixing components
  • There is NO Commercial Design Standard for tube fittings
  • Swagelok has over 200 active patents for our proprietary design
  • Swagelok Warranty applies to Swagelok fittings only – intermixing voids any and all warranty
  • End Users absorb full liability if inter-mixing fittings
  • Field data clearly shows inter-mixed fittings carry the highest leak %

Swagelok policy

Over the years, we have become aware of many manufacturers with products, which purport to be interchangeable and intermixable with Swagelok-designed products. We do not believe that any manufacturer can reliably, repeatedly and uniformly replicate the products of another manufacturer. For this reason, we believe that interchanging and intermixing component parts made by different manufacturers can result in unpredictable performance and increased costs. We believe also that this is an unsound practice and can be dangerous in critical applications.

3rd-party opinion statements

  • “It is certainly not ABSA’s position to suggest that it is alright to inter-mix components from different manufacturers….. The user of such a hybrid would be assuming a significant safety liability, in addition to contravening the (Safety Codes) Act.” TSSA (Canada) memo ABSA (Alberta Boiler Safety Authority), a branch of TSSA (Technical Standards & Safety Authority)
  • “Experimental tests and finite element analysis has shown that the swaging and sealing mechanisms of fittings are different despite seeing geometric similarities. It was evident that no two companies produced components to the same dimensional or metallurgical specification and that pressure testing alone should not be used as the only means of validation." Intermixing Twin Ferrule Tube Fittings-Is it Safe?  Journal of Engineering Design, Mihsein and Seymour Vol. 10, No. 4, 1999

Not worth the risk

With the information above, an inter-mixed ‘hybrid’ fitting does not retain a CRN#, possesses a high likelihood of leaking or catastrophic failure, and does not carry a warranty. In other words, inter-change opens up users to high levels of risk in various aspects. Keep your Swagelok fittings in-tact and experience the benefit of our over 70 years of manufacturing the highest quality tube fitting components in the industry.

If you have questions or concerns, don't hesitate to call one of our experienced reps for further advice. Please click here to get in touch.

 

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Edmonton Valve’s Inspection Service Can Extend the Life of Cylinders

Thu, May 31, 2018 @ 13:05 PM / by Adam Telenko posted in Custom Solutions, Value Added Services, Sample Systems

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Cylinder assemblies take a beating in the field, so give them the attention they deserve

Cylinders Maintenance

Edmonton Valve’s Cylinder Maintenance program will put your cylinders to the test with a visual inspection, assessment of threads, fittings, etc., and a full detailed report on their overall condition with recommendations for repairs and further testing if required. Contact us if you would like to set-up a discussion for your own cylinder maintenance program. 

INFO: Cylinder Maintenance


Sample cylinder assemblies can face a rough life in the field. Unlike fittings or gauges, you don't just install them and leave them alone while they do their job, possibly for years. Cylinder assemblies go through an endless series of connecting and disconnecting and valves are continuously opening and closing. Valve stems are subject to wear over time as the seals are being exposed to different fluids, range of temperatures, and pressures.

The assembly may rattle around in a truck bed while being transported around the site. There's a lot of potential for sudden damage, such as someone dropping an assembly and breaking a valve handle, or long-term damage such as threads wearing out. Extreme cold weather that we have in Alberta definitely takes its toll too.

If you don't pay close enough attention to the wear and tear, leaks may develop at the connection points. In applications where a coating such as sulfinert is required, repeated use can wear away the coating and give you less accurate readings when the contents are analyzed.

Introducing our cylinder maintenance program

Just as you'd want a trained expert to inspect your car, trust the trained experts at Edmonton Valve & Fitting to inspect your cylinder assemblies. This year we have introduced our Cylinder Maintenance Program as one of our quality assurance services.

We will visually inspect your cylinders and any related assemblies, using a micrometer on the cylinder itself to ensure that the cylinder has not been deformed and is still within tolerance to operate safely under pressure. In our experience, sample cylinders tend to last a long time, but we have seen some instances of thread damage and rust or corrosion.

We'll assess the conditions of threads, needle valves, rupture disc valves, and fittings. When we're done, we'll write up a report for you, with detailed pictures of our findings. We'll make recommendations and, if you like, make repairs and tests.

Sample cylinders and their corresponding components all have a lifespan. This service is a great way to inspect these components to ensure they fall within certain safety parameters and guidelines.

All you have to do is decide how often you'd like us to perform an inspection (every three years or so is typical). One of our associates can visit your site to begin the conversation of a suitable starting point. This service is tailored to each specific customer and what results they are looking to achieve. We are excited about this new program and teaming up even more with our customers to provide a safe and efficient work environment. 

Request more information on this service here. 


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What Are Swagelok's PFA Fittings All About?

Wed, Oct 25, 2017 @ 09:10 AM / by Adam Telenko posted in Fittings, Hoses, Valves, Tubing

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PFA 1.jpgpfa 2.jpg

We have a full line of PFA fittings, valves, and tubing, to get your copy of these catalogues download them below.

PFA Catalogues


Swagelok carries a variety of materials for our fittings and tubing so selecting the correct one for the job can be daunting. We discussed some of the options in our blog on special alloys earlier this year but today we will further explore our PFA line of tubing and fittings.

PFA, or Perfluoroalkoxy, is a type of fluoropolymer. It has very similar properties as the more common polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) – also called Teflon.

PFA is generally used for plastic lab equipment because of its optical transparency, overall flexibility, and extreme resistance to chemical attack. PFA is also often used as tubing for handling critical or highly corrosive processes.

What to consider

You can use Teflon or metal fittings with Swagelok PFA tubing. Just remember using PFA fittings with PFA tubing you need to use a Swagelok groove cutting tool to 'groove' the tubing and achieve higher working pressures.

Some other important things to consider when selecting PFA tubing and fittings are the following:
  • An audible ‘click’ sound ensures tubing is properly inserted
  • 316 SS fittings can be used with PFA tubing
  • PFA Plug and Needle valves are available 

How to order

PFA part numbers are slightly different than Swagelok’s common tube fittings, for example:

  • PFA-420-1-4 for a 1/4" male connector
  • PFA-820-6 for a 1/2” tube union

But don't worry about memorizing part numbers, give your local Swagelok experts a call and we will be glad to help out.


Additional resources


In a hurry or have a question? Please click here to get in touch - we respond fast! Or call 780.437.0640.


 

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Tagging Hoses at Edmonton Valve & Fitting

Thu, Jul 13, 2017 @ 16:07 PM / by Adam Telenko posted in Hoses, Value Added Services, Custom Solutions

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Tagging is a great way to make sure that vital information always stays with the component


Tag machine.jpg

Edmonton Valve's laser engraver can make quick work of your tagging needs. As tags are made in house it easy to customize them with the information you need.


Tagging in

You may be aware that Edmonton Valve & Fitting has been providing hose tags for years, but what may be new is how hose tags are being used in the field under Quality Assurance (QA) Programs throughout our service territory.

Hose maintenance programs are gaining momentum for several reasons:

  • Safety & Preventative Maintenance
  • Traceability
  • Identification
  • Tracking & Replacement scheduling
  • Ease of ordering

What type of information is typically captured on the hose tags? Hose type, CRN#, pressure test date, part number, hose ratings, pressure/temperature ratings, site location, vendor, system media – to name a few! 

At Edmonton Valve & Fitting, we are also populating database records for our customers who have adopted a hose maintenance program. These records are unique to each customer and completely customizable to reflect the program’s intentions.

Ask your Swagelok sales and service representative for more details on hose tag options and how we can help with a hose information database.


Additional resources


In a hurry or have a question? Please click here to get in touch - we respond fast! Or call 780.437.0640


 

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