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O Ring Vulcanization Process

With years of o ring knowledge and experience in o ring vulcanization, we’re one of the leading experts in providing the right sealing solution for you.

To view our full range, visit our O-ring product page, with a wide selection and something to match every application.

O ring Vulcanization process explained

O-Ring Vulcanization

Vulcanization combines two ends of extruded cord, which is cut and bonded together using selected techniques to create a custom o ring. These techniques involve adhesives, heat, and pressure to ensure a robust, durable finished o ring product.

Vulcanized O-rings are a great choice for static sealing applications or if you’re working with large or non-standard dimensions when only a few pieces are needed. Preventing leaks between two mating surfaces to create a tight seal to provide a reliable barrier.

O-rings can be created from a range of elastomers of any size and length, all to increase strength and elasticity and implement resistance at certain levels.

Vulcanized o rings are suitable for:

  • Hydraulic systems
  • Automotive sector
  • Aerospace industry.

O-ring vulcanization process

Making O-rings starts with choosing the right o ring cord material that will be suitable for your application.

This is because elastomers consist of various properties (fillers, accelerators, and vulcanizing agents) and hence react differently to multiple applications and environments – making choosing the correct one for you, essential. Essential to avoid equipment failure, leaks, contamination, and more.

The most popular materials for the vulcanization process include:

AFLAS – a rubber material resistant to high temperatures, chemicals, electrical properties, ozone, weathering, and more.

Fluor elastomer – an O-ring that performs well in oil, petroleum, and high vacuum applications. These o ring products are also popular due to their resistance against high temperatures, strong acids, and weathering.

Viton (FKM) – these O-rings provide super high heat resistance, making them an excellent choice for high temperatures and potentially explosive environments.

Neoprene – resistant to UV light and weathering, vulcanizing o rings that are made up of neoprene are often used in the refrigeration industry due to their ability to resist ammonia.

Nitrile – this is one of the most widely used and considered a general-purpose o ring.

Providing superior compression, this material is also tear and abrasion-resistant. However, it’s important to note this material doesn’t wear well in sunlight or ozone.

Silicone – not a great sealing solution for dynamic sealing applications as it has a poor/low tensile strength and low absorption resistance—however, it is a great choice for static applications within the automotive industry.

Next, in the O-ring vulcanization process, comes cutting.

At this stage, you will cut the o ring to the specified style and shape, using either a bevel (angled) cut or a butt (straight) cut.

Of course, this will depend on the type of o ring material you have opted for and its intended use.

Finally, often using an O-ring vulcanizing machine, the o ring is subject to heat, pressure, and adhesive to create the final product.

Using moulds in a range of thicknesses, shapes, and sizes, the material is placed inside the mould, locked in place, and the heating process begins.

It’s important to clean and check all moulds before use, loading the mould and ensuring that you completely fill the mould cavity – this ensures O-rings are uniform in their consistency.

The o ring should cool before remoulding, allowing the rubber to solidify. Once cool, you can open the mould and carefully remove the o ring, inspect the product for any defects, and trim to finish it to meet exact specifications and requirements.

O rings should always be inspected at the end of the process to inspect the joint’s quality and ensure consistently high quality and performance standards.

Benefits of vulcanization

  • Excellent sealing solution – tight and consistent, vulcanized O-rings can withstand extreme temperatures, pressure, and chemical exposure, making them resilient and resistant to compression sets.
  • Offer durability and longevity – due to their resistance to wear and tear as well as ageing and environmental factors, these O-rings can stand the test of time while still providing the high performance expected from them.
  • Versatile – due to the choice of material selection, size, shape, and thickness, you can choose the perfect O-ring for your specific application.
  • Cost-effective – due to the great benefits of these O-rings, applications can experience less downtime and increased operational efficiency, reducing maintenance costs.
  • Can be customised – both in design and performance.

Making O-rings

The vulcanization process requires a lot of precision in order to create a reliable sealing solution suitable for a range of applications.

Our team is experts in this sector, trust us, we know o rings. We know what materials are most suitable for specific applications, and we only provide the highest quality and most durable products around.

For information and to see if we have the o ring you’re looking for, call 01535 274 776 today or why not drop an email to our team at sales@specialistsealingproducts.co.uk.

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