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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...

Gasket manufacturing process explained

Specialist Sealing Products have been providing high-quality gaskets to customers throughout the UK for many years. We pride ourselves in the range of gaskets we have available, suitable for a variety of applications across a range of industries.  Rubber gaskets are...

Designing seals for the food industry

There’s a number of factors to take into consideration when designing seals for the food industry. That’s because seals used within this sector need to work exceptionally hard in all food processing environments where hygiene and health and safety are of the utmost...

Storing your gaskets!

A strange headline for a gasket article, we know.  However, it’s an important area and one, which in this sector is often overlooked.  When we think about most products or items in and around our homes and business, we will recognise that most come with manufacturing...

Flange Gasket materials – What you need to know

Getting the most out of flange gasket materials and ensuring the performance of the gasket is not affected when you come to use it, means several things must be taken into consideration.  For example, factors such as their design, how they’re manufactured, installed,...

Spiral Wound Gaskets and Sheet Gaskets

Gaskets come in a range of different shapes and sizes.  All are offering similar functionality; gaskets are produced using a range of different materials to suit a range and a variety of environmental factors, industrial uses, and product requirements.  When it comes...

Benefits of Kammprofile Gaskets

Used to prevent leakage, gaskets are constructed to fit between a range of different sizes and types of surfaces in order to provide the perfect seal.  Typically used in pipes and heat exchangers, gaskets are widely used as industrial sealants.  Kammprofile gaskets,...

Purpose of a Kammprofile Gasket

The ultimate purpose of a gasket is to stop leaks while being able to deal with varying levels of compression.  When it comes to Kammprofile gaskets, these are ideal for standard pipeline and heat exchanger applications.  As due to their grooved metalcore, with a...

Are your gaskets completely compliant?

In industries where gaskets are not just important but essential, there are numerous challenges to be faced and considerations to take on board.  This is especially true when it comes to making sure this “essential” element is also compliant.  With the implementation...

Everything you need to know about Manway Gaskets

When it comes to manway gaskets, we want to keep things simple, introducing them as the small sealing ring found in hatches/openings that are constructed for large tanks. Openings which give people access to the inside of the aforementioned tanks and vessels. The...

O-Ring: Materials and Usage

Rubber O-Rings Industrial use. on white background.What is an O-ring?

There are many definitions of O-rings. In essence, it is a seal that has the form of a ring with a circular cross-section. O-rings are typically made of rubber and are primarily used for sealing purposes in swivelling joints.

There are many different types of O-rings, and how they look and what they are made of depends on their application. O-rings play an integral part in modern-day engineering and O-ring failure have been known to have disastrous consequences.

When it comes to engineering, nothing beats the importance of proper sealing and isolation. Your selection of O-rings can have a significant influence on the success of your prototype, vehicle or design. O-rings also play a pivotal role in ensuring durability, performance, and minimalisation of the risk of failure. Let’s take a look at some of the things that you should consider when selecting an O-ring.

Material

The material that you choose has to be compatible with other factors and applications of your design. If the material of your O-ring design is not compatible with the rest of your design, it can be detrimental to the functionality and overall effectiveness.

The O-ring material should be compatible with the operating fluid. If not, the operating fluid can cause the O-ring to swell and deteriorate, diminishing it’s sealing ability and increase the risk of failure.

The O-ring material should also be able to withstand the fluctuations in temperature. Temperatures that are too cold can harden the O-ring, causing it to snap. If the O-ring is made from the wrong materials, temperatures that are too high can also reduce the O-ring’s sealing abilities.

If the overall design is applied in a manner that changes the pressure around the O-ring, its material should enable the O-ring to maintain its sealing abilities nonetheless.

Seal Grove Surface

The seal groove surface of the O-ring housing is particularly important to ensure maximum performance and effectiveness of the overall design. The surface is too rough; there can be microscopic openings between the O-ring itself and the surface of the seal housing. This reduces the O-ring’s ability to seal the surface effectively. A sealing house surface that is too smooth, on the other hand, can cause an aqua-plane effect and also diminishes the O-ring’s sealing ability. It is, therefore, clear that the surface roughness should be somewhere in between.

Generally speaking, a seal groove surface of 16 rms will ensure optimal sealing for gases where a sealing grove surface of 32 rms works best for fluids. If the objective is dynamic applications, make sure that the O-ring’s surface housing has an rms of anything between 6 to 18.

Conclusion

Before selecting an O-ring for your application, it is important to ensure that you understand the sealing requirements of your design. Keep all the circumstances of the design’s functionality in mind, including temperature and pressure. Make sure that the O-ring material is compatible with the operating fluid and that the roughness of the housing surface allows for optimal sealing.

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