Rubber O-Rings

Rubber O-Rings

Rubber O-rings are mechanical gaskets shaped like a doughnut or a torus. They are used for dynamic or static applications with relative motion between parts with friction. Rubber O-rings are the most dominant type of O-ring seal because they’re easy to manufacture, have low production cost, are easy to install and have exceptional pressure resistance.

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Did You Know

Niels Anton Christensen (16 August 1865 – 5 October 1952) was a Danish-American inventor whose principal invention was the O-Rings, the ubiquitous Hydraulic Seal. 1933 – From his basement, Niels Anton Christensen used trial and error to discover that a ring-shaped piece of rubber in a groove, made a reliable seal of a piston sliding in a cylinder. He applied for a patent and it was granted approximately two years later.

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Depending on the application’s requirements, the seals can be made from different types of rubber, such as silicone, nitrile and others. Properties of the O-ring, such as chemical compatibility, abrasion performance and permeability, depend on the type of rubber material used to make them.

TFC supplies an extensive range of rubber O-rings from industry-leading manufacturers. Clients can choose from our vast collection of C-Class O-rings or work with our technical team to develop customised O-rings specific to their applications and requirements.

Materials Used to Make Rubber O-Rings

Our rubber O-rings come in several rubber materials with varying properties to ensure we provide seals that fit your desired application and various industry requirements. All our rubber O-rings are manufactured to international standards to provide the perfect fit, optimum operational performance and cost-effectiveness.

Common types of O-rings you will find under the TFC staple include;

Nitrile Rubber O-rings

Nitrile is a synthetic rubber comprising acrylonitrile (ACN) and butadiene. O-rings manufactured using this type of rubber vary in performance and applications depending on the composition of the compounds that make up nitrile rubber. A low ACN content produces O0ring with a lower glass transition temperature, while a high CAN content creates seals with resistance to certain types of solvents.

Nitrile rubber O-rings exhibit excellent working properties and are cost-effective. They also have a low compression set, high abrasion resistance and tensile strength with an operating temperature of -400C to 1200C.

FKM Material O-rings

Fluorinated hydrocarbon rubber O-rings are designed for harsh and challenging conditions. O-rings made from this material come in different grades depending on the fluorine composition in the final product.

The most expensive and high-performance FKM O-rings are the grade “A”, which are more expensive than the nitrile ones. This range of O-rings has a broader temperature range, better degradation, weather and ozone degradation and chemical resistance than nitrile O-rings. They also have an extended service life with lower maintenance and service requirements while delivering superior and reliable sealing.

The operating temperatures of FKM material O-rings range from -200C to 2100C. They can also withstand chemicals, acids, oils, gases and silicone fluids. They can maintain a high-quality seal in UV and oxidation exposure as well as in fungus and mould exposure.

Silicone O-rings

Silicone O-rings are made from a combination of materials. Silicone itself is an elastomer made of polymers containing silicon, oxygen, carbon and hydrogen. Other compounds like methyl, phenyl and vinyl are added when making the O-rings.

Silicone O-rings present unique properties like resistance to UV damage, corrosion, solvents and chemicals. Because the seals are non-toxic and extraordinarily clean, they’re also used in food and beverage manufacturing and storage.

The operational temperature of silicone O-rings is from -600C to 2250C. Some unique varieties can go as low as -1000C to as high as 3000C.

Whereas silicone O-rings exhibit excellent performance, they have shortcomings like low tensile strength and poor wear and tear resistance. Some may come fitted with a Teflon sleeve to enhance their durability.

Neoprene Elastomer O-rings

Neoprene, also polychloroprene, is a polymerised version of chloroprene. It is produced by emulsion polymerisation of chloroprene or 2-chlorobutadiene. O-rings made from the resulting Neoprene are UV light resistant and also oxidation and weathering resistant. They are also capable of withstanding petroleum products, oils and fats, among other types of chemicals.

Neoprene O-rings have low flammability because of their sulphur cure, making them ideal in applications involving ammonia, coolants, inter-lubricants, silicone and petroleum oils.

The operation temperature of Neoprene O-rings ranges from -400C to 1210C and features in various industries from automotive production to HVAC systems.

Latex Rubber O-rings

Latex is a natural rubber harvested from the rubber tree. Latex exhibits excellent tensile strength, impressive elongation properties, and is tear-resistant. These properties are extended to O-rings made from latex.

Latex has various weaknesses, including corroding at temperatures over 280C. These are overcome by treating the latex with protective chemicals. As a safety and performance precaution, latex O-rings shouldn’t be used in applications involving solvents or petroleum products because these substances break the seals down.

Polyurethane material

Polyurethane exhibits superior strength, tear, abrasion and permeation resistance. Its operating temperature range is from -540C to 2250C, which varies depending on the application and type of compound used.

Polyurethane O-rings are resistant to a wide range of liquids, gases, and hydrocarbons. Also, these rings flourish in high-impact applications. Because this is a thermoplastic elastomer, the O-rings can be formulated in different ways.

Types of O-Rings

Besides supplying O-rings made from different materials, TFC’s expansive stock also features different O-ring designs for different applications, such as;

  • Back-up O-rings: This range of O-rings protects an O-ring’s seal from extrusion under high pressure and temperature conditions. They prevent the rubber O-ring from extruding through the open area. Using back-up O rings increases the performance of the rubber O ring and enhances its capacity to handle increased pressure and temperature.
  • Coated rubber O rings: The main function of coating O-rings is to increase their abrasion, weather and chemical resistance. After applying the coating, the seals are no longer sticky, nor do they twist and tear once fitted into the assemblies. The coats come in a vast assortment of colours to enhance the appearance and performance of rubber O-rings.
  • Encapsulated rubber Orings: These have a flexible, rubber inner core covered with a jacket of material that protects the seal against corrosion and high temperature. The protective jacket is made from fluorinated ethylene propylene (FEP) and perfluoroalkoxy-copolymer (PFA)

TFC stocks a vast selection of C-Class rubber O-rings to fit various applications. We also have a technical team on hand to help vendors and clients looking for customised O-rings fitting unique requirements and dimensions.

Vendors can access our superior supply management solutions designed to help minimise unnecessary warehousing costs while maintaining reliable, efficient and timely deliveries of seals, springs and fasteners from the world’s best and most reputable brands.

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