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The importance of backup rings to O rings

Backup rings are ultimately used to help stop o ring migration, and they achieve this in both static and dynamic fluid power applications as the pressure cycles occur, preventing the extrusion of an o ring in the gap.  Ultimately a backup ring is a rigid ring that...

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The importance of backup rings to O rings

Backup rings importanceBackup rings are ultimately used to help stop o ring migration, and they achieve this in both static and dynamic fluid power applications as the pressure cycles occur, preventing the extrusion of an o ring in the gap. 

Ultimately a backup ring is a rigid ring that holds a seal or plastic connection in the correct place. Backup rings are most commonly used alongside o rings, but they can also be used with lip seals and as reciprocating shaft seals too. 

Rectangular in shape, backup rings are also available in a range of different compounds, making them suitable for a variety of applications. 

The most common types of backup rings include spiralled, continuous, and slotted. 

Why the style of backup ring is important to your application 

Like anything, choosing the right type of material and in this instance, backup ring for your application is essential for you to achieve maximum functionality and sealability. 

For the continuous backup rings, you will find these primarily used for internal, dynamic, radial static applications. 

The slotted backup rings are used for external sealing, reciprocating, and radial-static applications. 

The spiral backup rings, however, can be used for both internal and external sealing applications. 

This type of backup ring is by far the most popular due to the fact that in applications that have fluctuations in high temperatures, the ring can compensate for these higher tolerance changes without experiencing any problems, using either spiral contraction or extension. Making them a great and supportive backup ring in every sense of the word. 

All of these backup rings are manufactured from PTFE. This material is perfect for medium-duty applications. However, that’s not to say it can’t be used for more heavy-duty applications; it would, in these instances, merely require the PTFE material to be filled. 

Continuous and slotted backup rings can also be manufactured in other materials where necessary too. To find out further information on this, contact the o ring suppliers in Leeds, Specialist Sealing Products. 

Backup rings offer a high level of resilience, making them ideal for external sealing. 

Other benefits include: 

  • Good level of thermal and chemical resistance 
  • Simple groove design 
  • Available in a range of materials 
  • Individual sizes available 
  • Can bridge large seal gaps 
  • Easy to fit 

Why use backup rings? 

To increase the seal quality and resilience across applications. 

We recommend providing backup rings for applications that are exposed to high pressures, where there are large gap dimensions that need to be bridged, and in applications that involve high velocity, fluctuations in high temperatures, heavy pulsation, and more. 

It’s essential to note that if you are expecting reciprocating pressurisation, you will require two backup rings (one at either side of the o ring). Or if pressurisation is only on one side, a backup ring should be installed on the non-pressurised side. 

At Specialist Sealing Products, our team of sealing experts are on hand to answer all of your enquiries and seal questions as well as provide you with the best o rings and backup rings to suit your specific application. 

As one of the leading o ring suppliers in Leeds, we work with individuals and businesses throughout the UK, with customers returning to us time and time again due to the quality of our products and knowledgeable advice and information we can provide. 

To see how we can help you today, call us on 01535 274 776. 

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