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Protecting your seals

Dust gets everywhere.  We see it across the surfaces of our homes and even in our workplaces, especially when the light shines through to show it in its full glory!  However, dust that seeps and builds up within engineering equipment can be disastrous.  Causing damage...

Importance of durometer testing

Durometer or shore durometer is a way for industry professionals to measure how hard such things as plastic, rubber, and non-metallic materials genuinely are.  Its focus is to measure on a Shore A or Shore D scale, looking at how robust material is when examining its...

Metal Detectable O Rings

Metal detectable o rings became a necessary must when it was identified that some chemicals, exposure to extreme temperatures, and continuous vibrations could cause failings in standard o rings.  Failings that not only mean a breaking of the seal, but there is also an...

Tips for best o ring maintenance

If o rings are not maintained, leaks can occur, and water and other fluids can enter the appliance or application, and even product in the mix!  If this happens, damage can occur to internal parts and mechanisms, causing deployment failings, potential false readings,...

What you need to know about O Ring Lubricants

Silicone grease and lubricants aren’t just a nice to have for o rings, but they can quite often be a must-have.  However, with so many greases and lubricants to choose from, it can often be a minefield choosing the best ones and the right ones for your o ring and...

O Ring Replacement

Replacing an O Ring in pressure washer wands is probably one of the most common replacements you'll find when working with seals.  Unfortunately, O Rings don't last forever, and over time they do deteriorate, and you will require an O Ring replacement.  It's important...

Reasons behind seal failure and a look into seal replacement

Unfortunately, there are occasions where O-rings, in particular, fail.  The failure of these seals is not simply due to one factor, but various factors that can occur across a range of applications – hence why locating the exact cause of such problems is just that, a...

Gaskets and seals for Aerospace

Gaskets and seals used for aerospace applications and equipment must be of premium quality and to a substantially high standard.  They are used across a range of applications such as radars, antennas, lighting, access panels, electrical conductivity, pressure sealing,...

Finding the best sealing materials for Food Grade Applications

You will find rubber seals across various industries, providing an important element and operating as a vital fixing across a wide range of different applications and equipment.  However, these FDA gaskets must follow strict, set guidelines, in terms of their material...

The Evolution of Gasket Solutions

When we talk about gaskets and the history of a gasket, we must start at the very beginning.  What is a gasket?  Ultimately, a gasket is a manufactured seal that is used to fill the gap/space between two or more surfaces.  Gaskets are typically manufactured by cutting...

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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