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Choosing the correct oil seal application

Choosing and using the proper sealing devices within oil and gas applications can be vital when preventing dirt, dust, water, and other debris from potentially getting inside and contaminating products.  Of course, all rubber materials and seals will provide a range...

Nitrile rubber, NBR, and Buna-N – how well do you know your o ring materials?

A widely used elastomer, Nitrile, Buna-N, or NBR rubber, are all oil and fuel resistant and provide a great level of strength, making them a popular material for seals across various industries.  Suitable for a range of applications, this versatile rubber material,...

Optimum squeezing force for an o ring

It is true that the more squeeze you place on an o ring, the tighter the seal it will provide. In essence, the more squeeze (compression) you apply, the greater the force between the o ring and its mating hardware.  And ensuring you have the perfect seal is all...

O Ring Squeeze

The squeeze and shrinkage on an o ring are vital to understanding as these factors stand in the way of your application either experiencing a perfect seal or your application suffering from leaks.  You can measure the shrinkage of an o ring during...

Keeping your o rings bonded

EMI o rings. Those seal ring gaskets are made of silicone compounds, combining environmental sealing with electromagnetic interference protection.  Consisting of metal or metal-coated particles, silicone o rings are filled with silver, silver aluminium, or nickel...

The importance of mechanical seals when reducing water consumption in mining

Environmental considerations are at the top of most industry's agendas in the 21st century as companies evaluate and improve operations, processes, and systems.  Conserving water in mining is one such area that is now being investigated further with the rotation of...

How choosing the correct gasket reduces risks

Health and Safety across any industry are vital, especially so in industrial facilities and settings.  Why?  Because harmful leaks and emissions must be avoided at all costs to avoid serious accidents or injury to your teams and property.  That’s why having the right...

How to tighten your bolts perfectly

How to tighten your bolts and which tools you should use to achieve the perfect seal is not as seamless and straightforward as we would like. Various factors come into play in these situations, such as bolt grade, size, and even application type.  Tightening torques...

Static and Dynamic o rings

A range of factors and application dynamics come into play when choosing a particular type of o ring.  You need to understand the type of seal exert you require, the dimensions, and even compounds.  Due to the nature of an o ring and its overall design, o rings use...

Gasket Sealants

Fortunately, no one gasket suits a range of applications, but rather we have a multitude of gasket sealants available to meet various specifications and requirements.  Ultimately, sealants are used to effectively ensure gasket seals.  Helping to extend a gasket's life...

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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