By Max Davis
Creating some of the best components for every part of the more technical side of cannabis extraction, Swagelok Northwest has a lot to offer. The company perfects and safely uses high pressure fluid systems, making everything from pressure regulators and gauges to valves and hoses. Swagelok Northwest is one of the most reputable companies supplying parts for the CO2 and butane hash oil (BHO) industries. However, the company was begun far from the present day cannabis industry.
Founded in 1947, the company manufactured pipe fittings until 1959, when they patented their signature fitting. It ultimately became the standard for high- and low-pressure systems. By the 80s, the company had expanded into the global market, designing products for alternative fuels, power generation, oil and gas production, biopharmaceutical, semiconductor manufacturing, and many different kinds of research. They have even had products used on the Apollo program's lunar space suits, Viking 1 Mars exploration vehicle, DSV Alvin—a deep sea submersible, and Bloodhound SSC—a supersonic land vehicle in development.
Even with an impressive resume like that, Swagelok Northwest was very careful in their design of such products, making every kind of extraction as safe as possible for consumers and producers. “We have a duty to make sure the people using our products in extraction are knowledgeable and educated in safe usage,” said Travis, a representative with Swagelok, when asked about their transition into the cannabis extraction industry. The learning process was not long though, with Swagelok Northwest already making some of the safest fittings and valves in the industry.
In an extreme pressure test, Swagelok Northwest tested two of their fittings on each side of a one-inch piece of tubing. The fittings tolerated upward of 1400 psi of pressure before a hole was blown in the tubing.
When asked about what makes their product better, Travis said, “Swagelok has stood for quality since the company [was] founded. The quality control, starting from the supply chain to the manufacturing side of things, is head and shoulders above the rest.”
Swagelok Northwest has recently put together some interesting projects, with cannabis extractors in mind. They created a user-friendly extraction toolkit that includes everything an extractor needs to put together and maintain a system. They also produce a line of backlit pressure gauges that are easier to see in cramped or poorly lit areas of an extraction lab.
Swagelok Northwest also is following through with a plan to educate clients, and plan to move their office space to Seattle, Washington, so they can to start offering training in extraction and proper use of their equipment. It’s an exciting day in the cannabis world to see such a large corporation get involved with the industry.