O-Ring Details: Mastering the Art of the Seal

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O-rings seal every transition area that you can imagine.

If you work in or manage any industrial business, you’re familiar with o-rings. These critical parts look just like rubber bands, but they play a much greater role in the world of pumps, hoses and hydraulics. This fact includes internal seals that you may not even know are in play. It’s time to master the art of the seal so that leaks are quickly isolated and fixed when time is of the essence.

Get the application right

Before you learn about any aspect of the Parker o-ring, think about the application in question. There are hundreds of machines that use these seals, such as:

  • Hydraulics
  • Pumps
  • Robotics
  • Motors

Every machine has certain static and dynamic motions built into the parts. Each seal must be designed for that particular area. A standard, o-ring might work well in both static and moving situations, but a gasket only thrives in a fixed position.

Select the proper material

Every seal is under specific pressure. There might be air, water or chemicals in contact with the seal. In contrast, the o-ring may be isolated from these areas as the machine’s design dictates.

As you replace or design any device, the o-ring’s material must be chosen with absolute care. There are dozens of materials available today, which might include:

  • EPDM
  • Silicone
  • Polyurethane
  • PTFE

Install the proper o-ring so that the seal lasts for as long as it’s advertised by its designers.

Understand the shapes

Read through the Parker O-Ring Handbook, and you’ll find many pages dedicated to certain shapes. You might wonder what these shapes are designed for in the first place. Each one as a distinct application to avoid failure.

Instead of grabbing for a random o-ring tomorrow, go deeper into the sealing world. These seals fight off the toughest conditions when they’re chosen and installed in the proper positions.

– T-Seals

T-seals are designed to work under both low and high pressures. The seal has a T-cross section that’s configured out of a chosen polymer. Filling in those T-sections is a specialized plastic.

This seal doesn’t have to be adjusted on a regular basis, which makes it useful within a machine’s internal parts. It also fits into tight areas so tolerances can remain within specification from an engineer’s perspective.

– U-Cups

A lip seal is safely covered with the help of U-cups. These o-rings are part of a distinct group of seals that support certain applications, such as:

  • Rod and piston needs
  • Pneumatic designs

Stack U-cups or add a spring mechanism to them. Apply them “as-is” to your seal so that both low- and high-pressure scenarios are covered. These o-rings continue to hold assemblies together in the harshest conditions.

– V- and U-Packing

O-rings in the shape of a “V” or “U” create seals with strength as their main feature. V- and U-packing seals simply reflect their ability to be stacked in any sealing situation. The materials mold to the assembly space so that no liquid or gases leave the area.

– Gaskets

The Parker O-Ring Handbook may not bring up gaskets too often because they’re used in limited applications. They require space for their installation along with a static position. Adjusting them is always required. Service technicians must be able to reach them as a result.

They do serve a purpose as an effective seal with little cost involved in their purchase. Simply keep up with maintenance when it comes to these rubber, metal or polymer seals.

– Standard O-Ring

When you call for an o-ring, you might be sealing a hose, pipe or other specialty part. These rings are the most basic of the sealing resources, and they’re extremely versatile. Use them under moderate pressure with either static or dynamic movements.

Slip an o-ring into almost any assembly because it’s simple to maneuver where tight spaces rule. If you’re new to any industrial business, this seal solves most of your problems when issues arise.

When you have a question about a Parker o-ring or other part, contact the professionals at Motion & Flow Control Products Inc. An expert team takes your questions and comments, and finds a solid answer to the dilemmas. Solve those mystery leaks and improve efficiency. O-rings continue to be the seal that keeps every industry going through the ages.