An O-ring is a gasket that is designed to be mechanical in nature using a loop of elastomer-shaped material in a round design. The o-ring is intended to provide a seal between two or three separate sections where it is fitted between said sections, compresses and provides an air tight seal.
O-rings are typically fitted during assembly rather than after a product has been completed. They may on occasion be fitted after the finished product has been completed, but in most cases this is done during maintenance to replace a tired o-ring rather than as a fundamental change in sealing methodology.
Machine design is replete with the use of o-rings because they are a simple sealing mechanism often using inexpensive materials, easy to fit, tending to be reliable over reasonable periods of time and capable of handling many thousands of psi of pressure.
O-rings themselves are not a new invention, actually coming from Sweden back in 1896. Early use of O-rings include being part of the braking system for street trams. O-rings methodologies were also used by the US government for the manufacturing effort during World War II.
O-Ring kits can be made of many different types of materials. Therefore, not all o-rings use the same material or possess the same properties. For this reason it should be understood that the failure of one type of o-ring does not suggest a fundamental failure in design; usually the case is a limitation with the material used in the o-ring kit itself.
Over twenty different materials have been used over the years in the manufacturer of o-ring kits. Synthetic rubbers are often used and thermoplastics have been utilised in a few different types such as thermoplastic elastomer.
Each material has positives and negatives, so it is important to purchase an o-ring kit that suits the right needs. Some materials being brittle or fail to expand/contract at freezing temperatures or at high temperatures; others are susceptible to ozone gases, poor weather, age, oils or fuel substances.
For this reason, it is important to determine the use for a particular kit as no one type of material used in o-ring manufacturer is suitable for all possible applications; especially those unintended at the time of purchase.
O-Ring Kit Availability
O-ring kits are available for many different o-ring sizes and material combinations. Choose the kit that is right for the purpose it is intended for the best sealing results.