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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...

Storing your gaskets!

A strange headline for a gasket article, we know.  However, it’s an important area and one, which in this sector is often overlooked.  When we think about most products or items in and around our homes and business, we will recognise that most come with manufacturing...

Common Reasons Why O-Ring Fails

Industrial O-rings common failureIntroduction

O-ring failure can have expensive and severe consequences. If you want to ensure optimal performance of your design under all possible circumstance, it is important that you acquaint yourself with the most common reasons for O-ring failure.

Common Failures

Abrasion

Abrasion is an O-ring failure that is common in dynamic applications. This is due to repetitive contact and, ultimately, friction between the O-ring surface and housing groove. There are mainly two reasons for abrasion, namely insufficient lubrication and an improper surface finish. Abrasion can be detected by looking at the sliding contact faces of the O-ring. If it has a grazed surface, you may be running the risk of abrasion.

Chemical Attack

If the O-ring’s main elastomer is incompatible with the application media, the O-ring may fail due to a chemical attack. Chemical attacks can be worsened by extreme temperatures and if the O-ring is under stress. A chemical attack on the O-ring can be detected by looking for blisters, cracking, and discolouration on the in the O-ring.

Chemical Swell

When the O-ring’s elastomer allows ingress of chemical media, the O-ring can swell and lose it’s sealing ability. It can also lose its tensile strength. Like chemical attack, this failure is due to lacking compatibility with the chemical media. Monitor the size of the O-ring and compare its current size to its original size to determine if there is chemical swelling.

Compression Set

This is when the circular cross-section of the O-ring becomes less circular and flatten on the sides to increases in temperature. If the O-ring’s elastomer is not compatible with extreme fluctuations in temperature, it can diminish the O-ring’s sealing ability as it doesn’t revert to its original shape when the temperature goes back to normal.

Installation Damage

O-rings that are damaged to careless of improper installation can result in failure. Incorrect sizing, cuts on the surface of the elastomer, dirt, or twisted O-ring, can result in lacking sealing ability. Installation damage can be caused in many different ways, and it can also happen if the O-ring is the correct size for the design.

Solution

There is not one solution for common O-ring failures. Failure may be due to many different circumstances and conditions. There are, however, overlapping causes of O-ring shortcomings that one should take note of.

Incompatibility with chemical media can cause an entire array of common-ring failures. If the material or elastomer of the O-ring is not compatible with the chemical media, it can reduce the O-ring’s sealing integrity. The chemical media or operating fluid may also ingress into the elastomer. To prevent this, make sure that chemical media and elastomer are compatible with each other.

The O-ring’s ability to cope with extreme temperatures is also important to prevent a number of common O-ring failures. If the sealing properties of an O-ring’s elastomer changes under different temperatures are can also lead to failure. This is especially important when it comes to aircraft or vehicles that travel or flies in extreme circumstances.

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