All You Need to Know About O-Rings

Across all machine design seals, the O-ring remains the most common type for a variety of reasons. O-rings are fairly inexpensive to produce, simple to manufacturer, highly reliable, and provide for quick installation. Because of this, the O-ring is used in many different applications and provides for a number of uses. In this blog, we will discuss what O-rings are, some of their various types, and their shelf life.

In their most standard form, the O-ring is a torus shaped, mechanical gasket that belongs to FSC 5331, O-Rings. When installed within an assembly, the O-ring is placed between the grooves of two or more components and is then compressed to form a tight seal. O-rings may be used in a variety of static and dynamic applications, including but not limited to rotating pump shafts, hydraulic cylinder pistons, and gas sealing applications. There are many O-rings available for a variety of applications, including aircraft parts and marine parts. Each O-ring type also provides for its own advantages and disadvantages.

Nitrile O-rings are those that are produced from nitrile rubber, a common O-ring manufacturing material. Nitrile is useful for a variety of reasons, such as its resistance to lubricants and low cost of production. Nitrile O-rings are most optimal in a temperature range of -50 to 120 degrees Celsius. While nitrile is fairly resistant to many fluids, it may be damaged from ketones, automotive brake fluids, phosphate ester, halogenated hydrocarbons, and nitro hydrocarbons. Because of these attributes, such O-rings are useful for agriculture, plumbing, mining, dairy, railways, and the automotive industry.

Vitron O-rings are those that are produced from fluorocarbons. With this material, the O-ring can operate within a temperature range of -40 to 250 degrees Celsius, as well as have a low compression set, great mechanical properties, and low gas permeability. The Vitron O-ring is well suited for applications featuring acids, petroleum, halogenated hydrocarbons, silicone fluids, and gases. Vitron O-rings are highly versatile, making them optimal for aircraft parts, automotive, chemical processing, and mechanical engineering applications.

Silicone O-rings are a type that feature the largest operating temperature range of -100 to 300 degrees Celsius. As the material can withstand temperatures exceeding this temperature range for a short amount of time, the silicone O-ring serves well in applications with fluctuating extreme temperatures. As a seal, silicone O-rings work well with petroleum, steam, and water, though may face tearing and abrasion damages over use. Due to its characteristics, the silicone O-ring is best suited for static applications.

When searching for a marine O-ring, aircraft O-ring, or any other standard type, it is important to take the shelf life into consideration. Over time, materials may degrade from a variety of factors, affecting their operational abilities and quality. The rubber industry typically follows SAE aerospace recommendations to establish shelf life. Most often, the supplier will have the expertise and knowledge of the service life of their products and can help customers based on storage, handling, and usage. Across the types of O-rings, service life may range from 3 to 15 years, and beyond.

When it comes time to begin sourcing the O-ring components and other aviation parts that you need for your next project or operation, NSN Sourcing has covered with everything you are searching for. NSN Sourcing is owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, and we can help you find the aircraft and marine parts that you are searching for, new or obsolete. As a premier supplier of parts for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries, we're always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7x365. ASAP Semiconductor is an FAA AC 00-56B accredited and ISO 9001:2015 certified enterprise. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at or call us at +1-720-923-2840.

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