O-rings are one of the most versatile and useful components of modern industrial systems, and since their introduction in 1898, they have changed very little, except in what they’re made of. From rubber o-rings to ones made of silicone, Teflon, and neoprene, there are many different materials used to match the needs of the job. This brief guide explores how the technology works and how to pick the perfect ring for the job.
How O-Rings Work
O-rings are commonly used in the tubes and pipes of hydraulic and pneumatic systems to create a better seal. They are placed at joints and connections between different components, and their flexibility allows them to expand into small niches when put under compression. This creates more surface area that is sealed and also reduces friction between components. Because rubber o-rings are often in contact with a specific liquid, they need to be manufactured to hold up when submerged indefinitely.
How to Pick the Right One
Confirming the necessary diameter and thickness your rubber o-ring needs is easy enough, but that’s not all that goes into the process. You also need to consider whether your ring will be able to withstand the temperature, pressure, and corrosive forces of the liquid it’s sealing in. Some polymers are stable in extremely high temperatures but may break down in colder temperatures. Others may be happy in oils but will become unusable when introduced to water.
To find a rubber o-ring that will last, you need to note the specific conditions it will be used under. What temperature range does the machinery operate at? What fluid will it be placed in? What is the pH of that fluid? How much compression will it experience? How much abrasion will it need to endure? Once you have the answers to these questions, you can compare what you need to the properties of nitrile, neoprene, Teflon, Viton, EPR, and the other common rubbers. One of them will check all the boxes you need it to.
If you’re looking for just the right o-ring, get in touch with Rothkopf in Chesterfield, MO. For over 65 years, this rubber o-ring distributor has helped businesses and contractors get their hands on just the part that they need to get the job done. Learn more about their services online, and call (636) 449-2376 to inquire about their stock.