Swagelok Northern California Blog

12-Year-Old Becomes Youngest to Achieve Nuclear Fusion Using Home Lab

The Open Source Fusor Research Consortium has confirmed that Jackson Oswalt of Memphis, TN has become the youngest person in history to achieve nuclear fusion. In what used to be the playroom in his parents’ house, Jackson used 50,000V of electricity to heat deuterium gas in a vacuum, fusing the atoms’ nuclei and creating a fusion reaction.

Topics: Mission Critical

How to Manage Vaporization in Sampling Systems

If the analyzer in your analytical sampling system requires gas, but the sample is liquid, the only option is to convert the liquid to gas. This process is called vaporization or flash vaporization. The objective is to convert a sample of all liquid to vapor instantly without changing the composition. It’s common to use a vaporizer, a pressure-reducing regulator with the capacity to transfer heat to the sample at just the right location, in a three-stage process.

Topics: Mission Critical

The Inside Story On Swagelok Ball Valves

With so many configuration options, it's worth getting familiar with the catalog

Topics: Valves

Flying Pink Objects and an Autoclave in Your Kitchen

Add North American flying squirrels to your list of animals that fluoresce under UV light. Faculty at Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, made this accidental discovery and have been working to understand the phenomenon. In other news, instant pots and other pressure cookers can be used to sterilize scientific equipment. A new study shows which ones work best.

Topics: Mission Critical

Scientists Use a Blender to Reveal What's in our Smartphones

Scientists at the University of Plymouth blended an entire smartphone to dust and then conducted chemical analysis of the dissolved results. Their results put a spotlight on the quantities of rare elements contained in each cell phone (as well as other high-tech everyday items), which is putting ever-increasing pressure on the global mining industry. The researchers encourage greater recycling rates, at the least.

Topics: Mission Critical

Researchers Close in on Physics’ Holy Grail with ‘Super’ Breakthrough

A team of American scientists has made a giant leap in the effort to achieve superconductivity at room temperature. This achievement, the “holy grail” of superconductivity, could revolutionize the way our computers and power grids are built.

Topics: Mission Critical

Preventing Pitting and Crevice Corrosion of Offshore Stainless Steel Tubing

Stainless steel tubing on oil and gas platforms is used in process instrumentation and sensing. It is also used in chemical inhibition, hydraulic lines, impulse lines and utility applications over a wide range of temperature, flow and pressure conditions. Yet it is subject to corrosion, which can lead to perforations and escape of highly flammable chemicals.

Topics: Mission Critical

Ball Valves Offer A Simple Design With Plenty Of Configurations

They offer the lowest pressure drop, and can handle flow in both directions

Topics: Valves

Hard Hat Turns 100; Impact on Industrial Safety Never Gets Old

Invented in 1919 by a World War I veteran for the mining industry, hard hats were initially used by only a few, progressive employers who wanted to protect their workers. But it was perhaps their use by construction workers on San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge in the 1930s that popularized their use—the team suffered no deaths due to head injury from falling objects.

Topics: Mission Critical

Transitioning Old Oil Rigs into Permanent Reefs

A growing number of decommissioned oil platforms worldwide have found new purpose as human-made reefs, and have become home to millions of individual plants and animals. Researchers at UC Santa Barbara have just published a study of the history, ecology and pragmatics of rigs-to-reefs efforts in order to help California residents and policymakers decide what to do with the platforms that are slated for retirement.

Topics: Mission Critical

Highly Exotic Quantum Liquid is Doing Something Very Unusual

TbInO3, a metal oxide with a crystal structure that is made from the rare-Earth element terbium, has surprised scientists by exhibiting a quantum spin liquid state. This is a highly unusual state of matter that may have application in quantum computing. Although the quantum spin liquid state of matter was proposed 40 years ago by Nobel laureate Philip Anderson, it has only rarely been observed.

Topics: Mission Critical

Location, Location, Location: Ensuring Accurate Pipeline Sampling

When designing your sampling system, deciding where on the pipeline to place the nozzle for sample delivery is of crucial importance. There are several factors to consider in order to ensure accurate and timely analytical measurements of consistent, representative samples. The first factor is turbulence.

Topics: Mission Critical

Video: Another Way To Deal With The Supply Pressure Effect

Two-stage reduction does the trick, and can be done in two different ways

Topics: Regulators Tips Video

Fingerprints are More Than Just Patterns; They’re Chemical Identities

Smudged fingerprints that are difficult to use for pattern analysis can now yield other information thanks to new methods. Scientists can now work with samples containing as little as 500 nL of material, giving them the ability to analyze molecules such as DNA, amino acids, and explosives in fingerprint residues.

Topics: Mission Critical

Research Details Sticky Situations at the Nanoscale

Brown University researchers have gained an insight with implications for nano-engineering: miniscule differences in the roughness of surfaces can have surprising and important effects on how they stick together. The implications are important for designing micro-electro-mechanical systems, which have micro- and nanoscale moving parts. Another application could be using nanoscale patterning of surfaces to make solar panels that resist a build-up of dust, which robs them of their efficiency.

Topics: Mission Critical

Redesigned Periodic Table Reveals Elements Now on the ‘Endangered List’

A new periodic table design vividly illustrates the amount of each element believed to exist on earth. It especially highlights how many of the elements needed for mobile phones may barely last 100 years at current rates of use.

Topics: Mission Critical

Material Matters: Selecting the Right Material for Corrosion Resistance

Just about every metal corrodes under certain conditions, yet some materials resist corrosion better than others. Yet while managing corrosion may begin with materials, it is vital to ensure that the components you select have been manufactured to the highest standards. From bar stock qualification to final inspection, quality should be part of every transaction.

Topics: Mission Critical

It's Not Hard To Tame The Supply Pressure Effect

The right regulator can hold the line as pressure from a supply cylinder drops

Topics: Regulators Tips Video

Unusual Quantum Liquid on Crystal Surface Could Inspire Future Electronics

For the first time, an experiment has directly imaged electron orbits in a high-magnetic field. The electrons, when kept at very low temperatures to allow their quantum behaviors to emerge, can spontaneously travel in identical elliptical paths on the surface of a crystal of bismuth, forming a quantum fluid state. This behavior has been predicted but never seen, and may pave the way to faster and more efficient electronics.

Topics: Mission Critical

First-of-their-kind 3D Experiments Shed New Light on Shape Memory Alloys

Despite having been discovered over 70 years ago, shape-memory alloys (SMA) are vastly underused in commercial applications. Worldwide there are over 20,000 patents but few products for these materials known for their ability to return to their original shape even after being crumpled. Recently published results on a series of novel experiments on nickel titanium, the most widely available SMA, aim to change that.

Topics: Mission Critical

‘Magnetic Graphene’ Breakthrough Pushes Laws of Physics to Breaking Point

A graphene-like material can switch from an insulator to a conductor, seemingly defying the laws of physics. When subjected to extremely high pressure, the planes of the crystal structure of iron trithiohypophosphate (FePS3 – commonly called “magnetic graphene”) are pressed together and gradually move from 3D to 2D and from insulator to metal.

Topics: Mission Critical

Reading Flow Curves to Confirm Regulator Sizing

A regulator’s main purpose is to maintain steady pressure in a fluid system application across the full range of anticipated flow rates. To help confirm that your regulator is sized appropriately, consult its flow curve, which represents the range of pressures the regulator will maintain, given certain system flow rates.

Topics: Mission Critical

Need To Protect Shaft Seals? You'll Need A Plan, Too

API Standard 682 has plenty of plans, and Swagelok can help you navigate them

Topics: Tools Tubing Video