An O-ring is a crucial component of a fluid system, and how it is installed can make or break that system. To ensure the success of an application, O-ring requires not only careful material selection and design but also proper installation procedures. A small mistake during installation can result in untold damage. Fortunately, there are simple tricks you can employ during O-ring installation to avert any problems that are associated with the poor installation including:
Choose the Right Size O-ring
It is imperative that you choose the right O-ring size for your needs. Using an inappropriate O-ring size in an application can result in damage. However, it can be difficult to measure O-rings at the workplace if you don’t have proper measuring equipment. Fortunately, you can get specialised tools from reputable O-ring suppliers, such as Specialist Sealing Products, which are geared to help you chose the right O-ring size for your application.
Employ Good Design Practices
Another great trick to ensure proper O-ring installation is to install the O-ring according to the manufacturer’s good design practices. For example, you should consider the defined O-ring dimensions to uphold adequate compression on the O-ring without surpassing the capacity of the grove.
Use the Right O-ring Lubricant
It is imperative that you lubricate O-rings before installation. You can simply apply a thin film of mineral oil, silicone oil, grease, or application fluid. This will help minimise friction between the sealing ring and the surface with which it is paired. As such it ensures that the ring fits in the groove quite easily. Lubrication also helps to minimise the potential for seal damage and twisting. In fact, when you use the right lubricant for male and female radial seals, you will have an easier time during seal installation and when inserting the piston in the bore. When it comes to selecting the right lubricant, you should keep your system in mind. You want a lubricating agent that is well-suited for the O-ring material that you’re using. The lubricating agent should meet the following requirements:
- Appropriate for the application’s temperature range
- Works well with the system fluids
- Able to produce a high–surface tension film
- Should not clog up system filters
Apply The Right Amount of Torque When Tightening Tube Fitting
The amount of torque needed when tightening an O-ring tube fitting varies with the design of the tube fitting. However, as a general rule, you need to ensure that the mating halves of the fitting bottoms out with metal-to-metal contact. Consider contacting the tube fitting manufacturer if you need detailed information. It is also worth noting that proper seal installation requires that you use proper installation tool kits. With the above O-ring installation tips, you’ll be able to prevent O-ring installation issues such as overstretching and improper gland volume, as well as a failure without evidence. You can get a wide range of high-quality O-rings from Special Sealing Products. For more information about what Special Sealing Products has to offer, click here.