O-rings are a common type of seal used in various manufacturing industries.
Due to their simple production, cost, pressure resistance, and easy installation, they have found their way into many common products including engines and vehicles. The aerospace industry has also put them to good use in different types of rockets.
O-rings work in many different applications since they have a diverse range of materials used in their fabrication.
What Are They Made Of?
Many O-rings are made elastomers or elastic polymers popularly known as rubber. The polymers are cured through the process of vulcanization thus resulting in a more elastic, strong, and durable rubber.
Different materials have different properties, and some will be more elastic while other are more tear resistant along with other qualities.
Due to the diverse range of materials available, determining the best one for a project can be difficult. While contractors and designers can help in making the decision, various deficiencies and efficiencies can influence or guide the decision.
The following are some of the materials used to manufacture O-rings.
1. Nitrile (Buna-N)
Nitrile is best suited for general-purpose seals such as water, petroleum oils, and some hydraulic fluids. This material is resistant against abrasive treatment and tears.
On the other hand, this material can have problems with ketones, automotive brake fluid, nitro and halogenated hydrocarbons, as well as phosphate ester hydraulic fluids.
2. Ethylene Propylene Rubber (EPR)
EPR O-rings work particularly well with hydraulic fluids as well as brake fluids, silicone oils, water, steam, and alcohols.
EPR is, however, not suited for a wide variety of applications because of wear and tear concerns.
3. Fluorocarbon (Viton)
This is an all-round material, which can handle various different applications, especially assorted sealing jobs that require movement. It is also suited for silicone fluids and gases, petroleum oils, acids, as well as some halogenated hydrocarbons including carbon tetrachloride.
Fluorocarbon O-rings are not recommended for hydraulic fluids and hot hydrofluoric acids.
This material can seal refrigerants in air conditioner and refrigeration units as well as petrol oils.
Neoprene products often contain lead-based agents thus making them hazardous to human health. In addition, some people are allergic to it.
This material has extrusion and abrasion resistance and general toughness.
However, polyurethane, is not suited for applications that require heat resistance and good compression.
These are five of the common types of materials used to make O-rings. If you are in the market, this information may help guide your selection.
Tags: epr, ethylene, fluorocarbon, neoprene, nitrile, o-ring seals, polyurethane
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