Edmonton Valve & Fitting Blog

Weekly posts for northern and central Alberta engineers, plant operators, and buyers.

FAQs from the Edmonton Valve Customer Service Desk

by Taryn Hardes, on Thu, Jul 04, 2013 @ 16:07 PM

At Edmonton Valve & Fitting, and at the two branches, our customer service representatives face many of the same questions on a day-to-day basis.  Here are your top five questions answered, with another round of Q&A coming soon. 

1. How do I pronounce “Swagelok”?

The name Swagelok comes from “swaging”, which is the process that our nut and ferrule tube fittings use to clamp onto tubing. It rhymes with “aging”. We hear lots of pronunciations, from “Swedgelok” to “Swag-e-lock” to “Swag-lock”. Really, you can pronounce it however you want, as long as you know who we are.

2. What’s the difference between a cap and plug?

The confusing part about caps and plugs is that the names we use are actually the opposite of the typical industry terminology. To add to confusion, we have Pipe caps and plugs and then we also have our patented Swagelok tube fitting caps and plugs. Here’s the low down:

Swagelok Pipe Plug

 Pipe plug: A male NPT fitting, meant to “plug” off a female NPT end connection.

Swagelok Pipe Cap

 Pipe cap: A female NPT fitting, meant to “cap” off a male NPT end connection.

Swagelok Tube Plug

 Tube plug: Looks more like a pipe cap. This piece replaces the nut and ferrule on a tube fitting and “plugs” the end of a tube fitting.

Swagelok Tube Cap

 Tube cap: This piece is a bit bigger than a tube plug. It has a nut and ferrule end on it that swages onto a piece of tubing, “capping” off the tubing.

The name comes from function rather than appearance. If you have a piece of pipe sticking up, you put a cap on it, same with a piece of tubing. If you have a pipe port, you plug it, same as with a tube fitting port.

We carry all of these items in stock in basic sizing, so if you aren’t sure what you need, come to our customer service area and we will pull them off the shelf for you.

3. What’s the name of those rubber tube supports?

Swagelok P Clamp 

Swagelok provides a variety of tube support systems and they can get a little confusing. The simplest are P Clamp Supports, also known as “P Clips”. It’s a stainless steel clamp lined with black EPDM, like a rubber. These clamps are also available in carbon steel. They are easy to install, using one screw or bolt to attach them to a wall or cabinet.

4. What about those blue tube support clamps?

These supports are a little more complicated. In our Tubing Tools and Accessories catalogue they are called Bolted Plastic Clamp Support Kits, but we usually call them bolted plastic clamp supports. They require a few different pieces.

First off, you need to decide if you need a Single Support Kit (housing one tube at a time) or a Twin-Support Kit (housing two tubes).  That’s on page 8 of the catalogue. Then you need the appropriate Weld Place Mounting Option, either in standard length or in an elongated length. Don’t forget that the Single Support Bolted Plastic Clamp Support Kits can be stacked up to three high, using a lock plate between each layer. 

You may also need a Mounting Rail with Rail Nuts to mount the supports, or you could choose a Strut Nut Mounting Option, which is one page 10. The full contraption is available on page 7 if you need a visual. 

5. What is a metric thread?

A metric thread is recognized under ISO (International Standards Organization) and is a general purpose thread that is used more widely in Europe.

The most common assumption is that if a thread is not NPT then it is considered to be metric.  This is not the case. Generally threads can be broken down into National Pipe Threads (NPT), British Standard Pipe Thread (BSP), DIN, JIS, SAE Straight Threads, and True Metric threads. There are two kinds of ISO metric threads: coarse and fine. 

  Metric vs. NonMetric
Metric: millmetres per thread (left) and
Non-metric: threads per inch (right)

The measurement of metric threads are based on its outer diameter and its pitch which are measured in millimetres per thread, compared to threads per inch for non-metric threads. 

Have another question that wasn’t answered in today’s post? Ask us and it could be featured in an upcoming blog!



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