Whether you have designed a new product or are seeking to repair an existing piece of equipment, one thing that you can't afford to get wrong is your choice of O-ring. It's easy to look at O-rings as being inconsequential pieces of rubber, but in fact, they are vital seals that enable your products to operate correctly, and missing them or fitting the wrong size can have disastrous consequences.

How do O-rings work?

An O-ring is developed as a doughnut-shaped item that is normally used to create a seal. When inserted into a gland, the sides of the O-ring should be pressed firmly against the sides of the cavity, entirely blocking it and preventing any leakage from taking place. Here are two things that you should take particular note of when selecting the right O-rings for your application.

What material should you use?

An O-ring can be created for several different materials, and the type of O-ring that you choose will depend on several factors, including the operating fluid, the operating pressure that will be needed and the temperature at which it will be required to work. If you select the wrong O-ring material, then you could find that the operating fluid quickly degrades the O-ring and swells or disintegrates, leading to a failure of the seal. An O-ring that is forced to work in conditions that are too hot or too cold for the material could soon become brittle and lose its natural elasticity. High-pressure applications may benefit from the inclusion of back-up O-rings to reduce the risk of extrusion taking place.

What is the mating surface like?

While many people will focus on the size of the O-rings, it is important to remember that the finish applied to the mating surface is equally important. O-rings are used for sealing purposes, and if you have O-rings connecting with an extremely rough or extremely smooth surface, then the ring may struggle to create a good seal. A surface which is too rough could, over time, cause the O-ring to develop cuts, while a surface that is too smooth could see aqua-planing and leakage.

To find out more about what types of O-rings are available and how they could be used in your equipment, talk to your local supplier today. They will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

To learn more, contact a supplier that carries O-rings in your area.