Edmonton Valve & Fitting Blog

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4 Advantages of Swagelok Tube Adapter Fittings (2021 updates)

by Katie Reid, on Thu, Apr 03, 2014 @ 13:04 PM

Today we'll cover four reasons to use Swagelok tube adapter fittings.

Tube adapters complement Swagelok tube fittings and allow fitting-to-fitting connections. Besides simplifying installation, they can reduce inventory you need to have on hand, solve alignment problems, and make assemblies more compact. We'll show you examples below, along with a video on how to assemble tube adapters.

Fittings Literature  Quicklook & Line Card

1. Reduce inventory by stocking adapter fittings

Swagelok tube adapters can be used with any Swagelok tube fitting in the Swagelok Tube Fittings and Adapter Fittings catalogue. So 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 longer lead times than standard ones).

Swagelok Tube Adapter FittingsSwagelok tube adapter fittings are available in a variety of configurations (above), so you can adapt from many different threads to tubing or reduce your tubing size with only one Swagelok tube adapter or reducer fitting. Edmonton Valve also stocks a variety of specialty adapter fittings.

2. Solve alignment problems with adapters

When installing pipe elbows or tees, it is often difficult to align the fitting with the desired run. When using threaded fittings, it can be difficult or impossible to align the connection properly without over- or under-tightening fittings. Luckily, the Swagelok Tube Adapter Fitting provides ease of alignment without the hassle of rerouting the line.

Here's an example:

tube-adapter-chart-1 Say an installation requires connecting tubing to a female end connection.
tube-adapter-chart-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.
tube-adapter-chart-3 So instead, tighten the pipe connection of a Swagelok male adapter into the female end connection.
tube-adapter-chart-4 Last, 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.


WARNING: Only use Swagelok adapters, reducers, and port connectors should only be used in Swagelok tube fittings. Never mix or interchange Swagelok parts with other manufacturers' parts.


3. Speed up installation (assemble fewer parts)

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 the Swagelok Tube Adapter will also speed up installation because you'll need fewer connections. See below for an example.

4. Reduce potential leak points

Fewer connections means, of course fewer potential leak points. Let's look at two assemblies to see the difference: 


For example, in the image below, 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 system wide or repeated within a larger assembly, and you can see the advantage of Swagelok adapter fittings.

How to assemble tube adapters


This clip shows assembly of tube adapters that are 1 inch or smaller and examples of various tube sizes under 1 inch. Assembly requires two open-end wrenches (or one open-end wrench and a vise), a gap inspection gauge, and a marker.

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Please get in touch to discuss adapter fittings, and enjoy free download of our Fittings Resource Collection (which includes the latest info on our adapter fittings):

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