Home News A Guide to Purchasing O Rings by Temperature

A Guide to Purchasing O Rings by Temperature

Apr 30, 2019

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When a project or situation needs sealing, the vast majority of the time an o-ring does the trick. O-rings are doughnut-shaped rings, often made of rubber, plastic or another polymer, which are used to prevent fluid or gas loss in a machine.

There are many advantages to using an o-ring for your sealing needs, including their ability to hold a strong seal through a wide range of temperatures. The general accepted range for o-ring use is approximately -75 degrees and 620 degrees Fahrenheit. This wide spectrum is due to the materials from which o-rings can be manufactured.

There are two main categories to decipher when using temperature as a guide to purchasing o-rings. Considering the maximum and minimum temperatures that will provide a seal will help narrow down material choices on each side of the spectrum. Range of withstood temperature is important for applications that will swing from hot to cold and vice versa, in addition to the products that will be used to seal multiple types of projects.

 

Below is a breakdown of these two categories and how the main o-ring material types stack up:

 

Maximum and Minimum Temperatures

As previously mentioned, o-rings provide a wide range of temperature variance where they will still provide a seal. This is not the problem – when you find a category of products that can withstand temperatures from below zero to far above the boiling point of water, range of temperature is not the problem. However, within the o-ring categories, knowing a more specific maximum or minimum temperature is crucial.

As a rule of thumb, temperature determinations should be figured as closely to the seal location as possible. This eliminates incorrect readings or information that may be influenced by outside factors or ambient heat that exist within the project space but do not impact o-ring performance. Additionally, temperature highs and lows are often given in terms of prolonged functional abilities, which may raise the minimum or reduce the maximum – this is important to remember, as your o-rings will not be used once or twice in quick bursts but will be counted on for extended time periods under these heat conditions.

 

Temperature Ranges

Most projects don’t sit within a few degrees throughout the work – fluctuations are going to be a part of the application, and sometimes those swings can be dramatic and potentially compromise the functionality of the o-ring. Once a high-end and low-end temperature are determined, knowing how much change the material can withstand is the next big step in purchase decisions.

Below is a quick reference chart to some of the main o-ring materials and their approximate temperature range amounts:

 

Temperature Range in Degrees Fahrenheit  (F◦)

O-Ring Material

- 75◦ to 250◦

Butyl

- 70◦ to 250◦

Ethylene Propylene

- 15◦ to 400◦

Fluorocarbon

- 100◦ to 350◦

Fluorosilicone

- 23◦ to 300◦

Hydrogenated Nitrile

- 35◦ to 225◦

Neoprene

- 15◦ to 620◦

Perfluoroelastomer

- 5 ◦ to 350◦

Polyacrylate

- 65◦ to 450◦

Silicone

 

Count on Wyatt

Wyatt Seal is your expert in O-rings. We’ve spent decades gathering first-hand knowledge of how different material O-rings perform under different conditions. If you have questions about which material is ideal for your O-ring application or even whether the material you’re currently using is correct for your application, reach out to us today.

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