Swagelok Northern California Blog

Foamy Laser Graphene Gains New Powers in Many Common Materials

A material composed of flakes of interconnected graphene is a relatively new product, made by using a commercial laser to burn a sheet of polyimide plastic. The resulting foamy material is flexible, but rather delicate. Researchers have discovered that combining it with materials such as wax, plastic, rubber or cement turns it into a super-material with a wide variety of applications.

Topics: Mission Critical

Case Study: Swagelok Application Expertise Aids in Petrochemical Safety for INEOS

INEOS is a global manufacturer of petrochemicals, specialty chemicals and oil products. Swagelok’s expertise as a trusted advisor supports INEOS as they work to solve their fluid system challenges. With supplemental competency in four key areas, the Swagelok-INEOS relationship has not only helped them to find solutions, but has allowed INEOS to successfully reach their safety goals for over a decade.

Topics: Mission Critical

The World’s Fastest Supercomputer Breaks an AI Record

The US Department of Energy has revealed that Summit, recently crowned the world’s fastest supercomputer, has broken a new record. Researchers set it on a machine-learning experiment to predict climate events over the next 100 years. It blasted through the data at a rate of a  billion billion operations per second.

Topics: Mission Critical

Our Feature Presentation: How a Pressure Gauge Is Made


Video shows the skilled labor that goes into building these precision instruments

Topics: pressure gauges Measurement Devices

Newly Discovered Magnet has Field that Pops In and Out of Existence

A new “singlet-based magnet,” first envisioned in the 1960s, has unusual properties, including the ability to quickly shift from magnetic to non-magnetic phases. This is because of the instability inherent in its magnetic fields, which can abruptly move in and out of existence.

Topics: Mission Critical

Choose the Right Sampling System Transport Line

An analytical sampling system relies on transport lines to convey fluid from a process stream to an analyzer. The goal is to supply the fluid as efficiently as possible to avoid lengthy time delays between sampling and analysis, as well as to minimize sample waste. While there are two basic types, there are several factors to consider when designing each type.

Topics: Mission Critical

Ultra-lightweight Ceramic Material Withstands Extreme Temperatures

A new ceramic aerogel is much more durable when exposed to extreme temperature changes, and much lighter than traditional aerogels, which have been used for industrial insulation since the 1990s. When heated, this material contracts rather than expanding—and it does so perpendicular to the direction it’s compressed—making it far more flexible and less brittle than other aerogels.

Topics: Mission Critical

A Customer's Torture Test Proves Swagelok's Quality

FKB Series valves held up far beyond their rated pressure

Topics: Valves Case Study

Helping the Microchip Industry Go (very low) with the Flow

New research by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is helping the microchip industry understand a serious error common to a widely used calibration technique. The detected error could cause microchip manufacturers to lose more than a million dollars in a single fabrication run. The inconsistency is found when Mass Flow Controllers (MFCs) are calibrated using different “rate of rise” (RoR) flow measurement systems.

Topics: Mission Critical

Consider Flow Regime’s Impact On Sample Analysis

Fluid within the lines of an analytical sampling system exhibits one of two flow patterns — laminar or turbulent. Flow pattern is determined by the velocity, density, and viscosity of the sample fluid. It’s important to know the type of flow to expect when designing your system so you can make adjustments to enhance the timeliness and accuracy of your analytical measurements.

Topics: Mission Critical

Underground Robotic Insects Could Soon be Unleashed in the UK

Scientists at several UK universities are developing insect-sized robots that would be sent down sanitation and gas pipes to clear blockages and make repairs without disrupting surface traffic

Topics: Mission Critical

Reinventing the Wheel

Have you ever thought about the tires on the lunar lander? Or the mars rovers? It turns out that making tires for space exploration is a discipline unto itself, and has been a focus of research since the Apollo missions in the 1960s. Now it’s one of the missions of NASA Glenn.

Topics: Mission Critical

Stop Squinting at Your Pressure Gauges and Thermometers


Our new illuminated gauge and thermometer faces are easy to read in low-light environments

Topics: pressure gauges Tips Best Practices FAQs Measurement Devices

The History Behind Duct Tape and What Makes it a Handy Solution for Just About Anything

Did you ever wonder who the brilliant inventor of duct tape is, and what it was originally for? The answer is a Vesta Stout, an ammunition packer during WWII. She designed the tape to seal ammunition boxes watertight, but also make them easy for soldiers to open.

Topics: Mission Critical

Video Projector + Light-sensitive Resin = Star Trek “Replicator”

A new type of 3D printer makes objects materialize in the fashion of a Star Trek replicator by beaming a series of computer-generated images onto a rotating cylinder of light-sensitive resin. The technique allows for feats that traditional 3D printers find challenging, such as making flexible objects or adding a part to an existing object.

Topics: Mission Critical

Advances in Stretchable Semiconductors, Integrated Electronics

Scientists have reported major improvements in stretchable rubbery semiconductors such as rubbery integrated electronics, logic circuits, and arrayed sensory skins. The main breakthroughs are increases in the speed at which electrons can move through the material, and the integration of the electronics within the material.

Topics: Mission Critical

Orbital Welding Training: Tools for the Emerging Welding Workforce

Automatic orbital Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW) is gaining popularity in a variety of industries in which maximum leak integrity, high performance, or ultra-cleanliness are of paramount importance. But implementing this system requires that weld operators acquire a deep understanding of the automated welding system on top of their basic industry knowledge.

Topics: Mission Critical

Why Hoses Fail and How You Can Prevent It

Refineries can be extra tough on hoses, so take extra care to extend useful life

Topics: Hoses Assembly Services

The International Year of the Periodic Table Officially Kicks Off in Paris

Chemists and physicists from around the globe congregated on January 29 in Paris to launch the International Year of the Periodic Table (IYPT). It is the 150th anniversary of Dmitri Mendeleev’s (the “hero of Chemistry”) systematic ordering of the known elements based on their properties. The celebration focuses on the theme of collaboration across international boundaries thanks to this universal language of Chemistry.

Topics: Mission Critical

Can AI help crack the code of fusion power?

Controlled fusion, the holy grail of energy because of its near zero emissions, plentiful fuel, and much higher safety than standard nuclear (fission) power, may be attainable with the help of AI. TAE Technologies has teamed up with Google in using “the Optometrist algorithm” to identify the best conditions to achieve fusion.

Topics: Mission Critical

This New Material Does Something Pretty Unusual When Stretched

Researchers have discovered the first synthetic material—a liquid crystal elastomer—that becomes thicker, at a molecular level, when stretched. This property can exist in some natural materials (like human tendons), but being able to fabricate it is a breakthrough, and is thanks to recent advances in engineering, particularly 3D printing.

Topics: Mission Critical