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Different elastomers for o rings and various applications

An elastomer is a primary raw material used for most o rings. They are typically manufactured as gum rubber or manufactured synthetically, and surprisingly today, there are approximately over 32 different synthetic rubbers now available.  Elastomer compounds will...

Spiral wound gasket thickness – what’s best?

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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...

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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