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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...

Static and Dynamic o rings

A range of factors and application dynamics come into play when choosing a particular type of o ring.  You need to understand the type of seal exert you require, the dimensions, and even compounds.  Due to the nature of an o ring and its overall design, o rings use...

Gasket Sealants

Fortunately, no one gasket suits a range of applications, but rather we have a multitude of gasket sealants available to meet various specifications and requirements.  Ultimately, sealants are used to effectively ensure gasket seals.  Helping to extend a gasket's life...

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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