O-rings are used in the industrial and automotive industries as seals to prevent liquid and gas leakage. They are ideal for high-pressure environments where alternatives such as gaskets and corks would not work. Choosing an O-ring can be tedious since you must consider different factors. Below is an excerpt detailing some considerations to make when purchasing O-rings.
The O-ring you purchase must be a perfect size. Examine the O-ring's internal and cross-sectional diameters to determine whether it suits the desired application. Take accurate measurements since slight variations in the O-rings size could lead to leakages or affect the machine's functionality. You do not need to compromise since most manufacturers will make the O-ring to your specifications.
You must assess the O-ring's features, including,
- Examine the O-ring's temperature range. The rule is to consider O-rings with a higher temperature range than you need. This way, the O-ring does not wear out when the machine overheats.
- How hard is the O-ring? Assess the O-ring's application to establish whether it needs to be soft or hard.
- What pressure can the O-ring withstand? It is a vital concern when using the O-ring in high-pressure applications.
The O-ring's material significantly affects its functionality. For instance, Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) O-rings are chemical, steam, acid and oil resistant. They are also hard and resistant to abrasion, which prompts manufacturers to mix the material with other chemicals to improve flexibility. On the other hand, silicone O-rings are resistant to heat, solvents, chemicals and oils. These O-rings are also significantly flexible compared to PTFE O-rings.
Nitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) O-rings suit mechanical operations that need wear-resistant O-rings. These O-rings can also withstand dilute acids and alkalis. They are often used in fluid and hydraulic systems. Ethylene Propylene (EPDM or EPM) O-rings are perfect when you need a weather-resistant O-ring. These rings do not deteriorate when exposed to UV rays. You could also opt for polyurethane O-rings. They are reputable for being abrasion resistant, making them perfect for use in firearms and hydraulic systems.
The O-ring's material and features significantly affect its durability. Nevertheless, the manufacturing standards can substantially affect the O-ring's durability. Conduct due diligence to ensure your preferred manufacturer conducts quality controls to ensure the O-rings supplied are of superior quality. For instance, some manufacturers have certifications from international quality and standardisation agencies. These accreditations prove that the manufacturer pulls all stops to ensure the durability of the O-ring. Moreover, reputable manufacturers will offer product guarantees.