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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...

How to preserve your gasket

Gaskets and seals don’t last forever. However, they are designed, or they should be, last for a considerable period.  In this sense, it is vital to look at ways to preserve your gaskets in order to avoid any application downtime.  Downtime that involves additional...

Important Design Features of Rubber Sealings

When it comes to designing the perfect rubber sealing, there are a few design features to bear in mind to help achieve the optimum solution.  In this post, we explore these rubber sealing features further and provide information on the benefits and best uses for these...

Optimal Squeeze for an O Ring to be effective

A doughnut-shaped seal that is primarily used to stop liquids and air from escaping or getting into specific spaces is the function and role of an O Ring.  Also known as a mechanical gasket, O rings are designed to fit between a groove and a compression during the...

High-temperatures and O Rings, what you need to know

Fluctuations in temperature and indeed heat is a significant factor across many applications that make use of o rings.  However, what is well known is how destructive heat can be when it comes to compound deterioration.  You are making choosing the ideal o ring...

How to restore your damaged rubber seals

Under the right circumstances and having the right tools to hand, you can restore rubber gasket seals and have them working as good as new in no time.  Rubber gasket seals provide a seal between two separate mechanisms, providing airtight seals to keep liquids and...

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...

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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