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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 Selection

O Ring Materials SelectionThis is a quick overview of the various O-Ring materials that are available for applications and found at select UK O-Ring suppliers. When it comes to Specialist Sealing Products, it is a good idea to be clued into every option that is on the market. The materials can range from the common O-Ring with Shore 70A hardness to more complex elastomeric items.

This list will give any engineer a brief understanding of how to make the correct O-Ring selection for their application.

O-Ring Requirements

Some of the factors to take into consideration when choosing the right O-Ring are:

  • Temperatures to which the application will be subjected
  • Pressure, the seals, will encounter
  • If the application chemicals will be compatible with the O-Ring material
  • What size and budget restraints are required
  • Durometer readings

Once the engineer knows these key points, it will be possible to determine the correct O-Ring material that is suitable. If there is any doubt that the standard materials aren’t acceptable for an application that demands extreme performance or environment, a customised specialist material can be designed.

Common O-Ring Materials

All O-rings are manufactured from an elastomeric materials. However, they have many different formulaic compositions that change the function specifications.

The more common O-Ring materials are:

  • Nitrile, or NBR
  • Viton®, or FKM
  • Silicone
  • Neoprene
  • EPDM

Nitrile/NBR/Perbunan: If there is one substance O-Rings must be able to tolerate, it is lubricants. Nitrile was developed for sealing systems that encounter large quantities of oils and fuels. This is the O-Ring material of choice for gasket manufacturers. Even though it has been around since the 1930s, it remains a fundamental, popular choice.

Viton®/FKM/Fluoroelastomer: A synthetic rubber developed for high performance, Viton® is the O-ring of choice for any application that demands a high tolerance to chemicals and fuels. Harsh corrosive chemicals can erode or damage an O-ring after a continued interaction. FKM performs well under high temperatures, making it a good choice for combustibles like gas. Strict tests have indicated that Viton® is not suitable for any applications using steam.

Silicone: This ubiquitous synthetic rubber remains durable in most temperature extremes. Unique compounds have been added to the silicone O-Ring gum stock to make it more tear-resistant. It comes in a variety of colours and can withstand fluctuations in weather.

Neoprene®/Chloroprene: Neoprene® has been around for many decades because it is well-priced and has an overall solid performance. Some of the outstanding qualities of Neoprene® is its ability to be customised for certain specifications. In its commercial uses, it is fuel and lubricant resistant, durable in all weathers and performs well in dynamic applications.

EPDM: This material is made of synthetic rubber that is resistant to long periods of exposure to weather and harsh conditions. This gives EPDM a solid rating when added to its excellent performance against fuels, oils and lubricants.

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