Material for Seals

A number of different industries use o-rings and seals to seal various applications such as pipes, tubes, and other components of hydraulic and pneumatic systems. Since these o-rings are used in a variety of industries, therefore they are available in a wide range of variety. Some material types of o-rings include Nitrile (Buna), Neoprene, Ethylene Propylene (EPDM Rubber), Silicone, Fluorocarbon (Viton), and PTFE (Teflon). This article discusses some commonly used o-ring materials used by seal companies and seal distributor.

Factors to Consider When Picking O-rings

There are a number of factors which you might want to consider while picking o-rings. These include cost, temperature endurance, chemical composition, pressure tolerance, durometer, and size. You can pick the right kind of o-ring for sealing depending on the environment they are placed, and other qualities such as abrasion, tear, ozone, electrical resistance. Moreover, to ensure functionality additional tests can be performed to be certain that the selected seal or o-ring is compatible with the environmental conditions.

O-ring Material Selection Guide

Let’s take a look at some materials seal companies use for making o-rings.

1.      Nitrile Butadiene Rubber (NBR)

NBR is resistant to hydraulic fluids, water, and petroleum oils. However, it must not be used in settings having strong acids, freons, phosphate ester base hydraulic fluids, methanol, ketones, and halogenated hydrocarbons.  It can endure temperature range from -40° to 250°F.

2.      Buna Nitrile

Buna nitrile is used by most seal distributors and seal companies for tube fittings and adapters. It is the most popular elastomer O-ring material because it is cost effective and offers great resistance to water, petroleum-based oils and fuels, silicone greases, alcohols, and hydraulic fluids.

3.      Ethylene-Propylene (EPDM)

Most seal companies prefer EPDM because it offers resistance to sunlight (UV), alkali, heat, ozone, water and steam, and acidic solvents. However it must be avoided in environments of gasoline, petroleum oil and grease, and hydrocarbon environments. It performs well within temperature range of -65° to +450°F.

4.      Neoprene (CR)

Neoprene is a general-purpose elastomer used in o-rings. It has a moderate resistance to petroleum oils, ozone, UV, and oxygen. They are somewhat resistant to ammonia, mild acids, and silicate ester lubricants. However, neoprene offer a great resilience, lesser abrasion, and a relatively low compression set. O-rings made of this material are not recommended for Phosphate ester fluids and ketones. The ideal temperature range for their performance is -45° to +250°F.

5.      Fluorocarbon (Viton)

Fluorocarbon compounds are highly popular materials for making o-rings, as they combine high-temperature resistance with chemical resistance. Due to these properties, they are mainly used in industries related to aircraft and automotive. Seal company use fluorocarbons because of their resistance to petroleum base oils and fluids, some phosphate ester base fluids, silicone and silicate ester base lubricants, acids and halogenated hydrocarbons. They perform well in temperature ranges between -15°F to +400°F.

6.      Perfluoroelastomers (FFKM) (Parfluor)

Perfluoroelastomers (FFKM) are the are the purest compounds available for making o-rings. They extend the compatibilities of the FKM and also the upper temperature limits of the materials. Because of their clean nature, they are a popular choice for seal distributors dealing in semiconductor industry.

Final Words

Based on the different needs of different industries, Bay Seal manufactures o-ring seals in a variety of materials. The nature of materials decides the suitable environment for their application. A reputable name in the seal industry, Bay Seal knows how to make high-performance o-rings which do not collapse in any environmental conditions.


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