O Rings & Rubber Seals


Chances are, you've encountered countless O rings throughout your life, often without even realizing it. Found in a wide array of applications, from automobiles to cameras, these unassuming, donut-shaped components may seem unremarkable at first glance, yet they play an integral role in various industries. O rings represent one of the most significant advancements in mechanical engineering to date, facilitating the creation of innovative machinery, improved products, and safer working conditions. So, what exactly are O-rings used for, and what makes them so ubiquitous? Let's delve into the details.

Product Enquiry

For information on O Rings & Rubber Seals please complete the following quick enquiry or call us on +44(0)1384 252555.

    Product Specification & Key Characteristics

    • Colour: Anthracite
    • Density: <90KG/M³
    • Fire Propagation Index: <12
    • Operating Temperature: -30°C to 100ºC
    • Thickness: 1mm – 100mm (can be laminated for greater thickness)

    Full technical data can be supplied upon request,
    or downloaded from our online portal.

    What Makes O Rings a Popular Choice?

    O-Rings are widely employed for several compelling reasons. Their remarkable properties make them indispensable components in precision-engineered devices. One key attribute is their innate ability to revert to their original shape when subjected to pressure, rendering them a cost-effective and highly reliable means of creating a strong, secure seal.

    Additionally, the extensive variety of materials from which O rings can be crafted contributes to their ubiquity. While the majority of O-rings are constructed from elastomers, which are a category of elastic polymers, there exists a vast array of elastomer options, each with distinct strengths, weaknesses, and tolerances. The specific application for which an O ring is intended dictates the most suitable material. For example,

    When it comes to sealing solutions, O rings shine

    Extreme Temperatures: Silicone and fluorosilicone O-rings exhibit remarkable resilience, capable of withstanding temperatures as low as -100°C. For cryogenic operations, where frigid environments are the norm, a seal like the NES Astra Seal® is your trusted companion. On the flip side, when facing scorching heat, FFKM O-rings can operate efficiently at temperatures as high as 316°C.

    Chemical Resilience: Viton™, also known as FKM/FPM, O-rings stand out with their resistance to a wide array of chemicals, while maintaining their integrity even in high-temperature settings.

    Hot Water and Steam: Ethylene propylene O-rings (EPDM) are the go-to choice for applications involving exposure to hot water, steam, as well as substances like alcohol and strong alkalis often found in automotive systems.

    Grease and Hydraulic Fluids: Buna-N O-rings, also known as nitrile O-rings, are your top pick when grease and hydraulic fluids are abundant in your working environment.

    As you can see, there's an O-ring tailored to virtually any environmental challenge you encounter. This remarkable versatility makes O-rings an indispensable asset in an extensive array of applications, from everyday household appliances to massive industrial machinery, and even within the intricate systems of space shuttles. O-rings, the unsung heroes of sealing solutions, are here to ensure efficiency, reliability, and safety in a diverse range of settings.

    The Versatile Role of O Rings

    O-rings serve as efficient barriers, preventing the escape of liquids or gases in a wide range of applications. Positioned within a specially designed groove to ensure stability, these resilient rings are then compressed between two surfaces. This compression eliminates any clearance for the liquid or gas to pass through, effectively sealing the pathway.

    When the system experiences variations in pressure, O-rings respond by adapting to the conditions. Under pressure, they conform to the opposite groove wall, maintaining a flawless seal even in the face of extreme pressures, whether high or low. The elastomeric materials from which O-rings are crafted possess inherent elasticity, eagerly returning to their original shape once the pressure subsides. This innate springiness ensures they remain prepared for subsequent sealing operations.

    In essence, O-rings find their primary purpose in sealing liquids or gases, standing out as the most reliable and robust solution to guarantee an impermeable seal.


    Different grades of O-Rings

    O-rings come in a variety of grades to suit different applications and environmental conditions. These grades are typically classified based on the material composition and their specific properties. Here are some of the most common grades of O-rings:

    Nitrile (NBR): Nitrile O-ring are known for their excellent resistance to oil, fuel, and grease. They are commonly used in automotive and hydraulic applications.

    Fluorocarbon (Viton or FKM): Fluorocarbon O-ring are highly resistant to a wide range of chemicals and have excellent high-temperature tolerance. They are often used in aerospace, chemical processing, and oil and gas industries.

    Ethylene Propylene (EPDM): EPDM O-ring are valued for their resistance to water, steam, and weathering. They are frequently used in outdoor and automotive applications.

    Silicone: Silicone O-ring have good flexibility and high-temperature resistance. They are commonly used in medical and food-grade applications.

    Neoprene (CR): Neoprene O-ring offer good resistance to weathering, ozone, and general-purpose oils. They are often used in refrigeration and air conditioning systems.

    Polyurethane (PU): Polyurethane O-ring are known for their high abrasion resistance and are used in hydraulic systems and heavy machinery.

    Fluorosilicone: Fluorosilicone O-ring combine the fuel and oil resistance of NBR with the high-temperature capabilities of silicone. They are used in aerospace and automotive applications.

    Perfluoroelastomer (FFKM): FFKM O-ring are the most chemically resistant and high-temperature-resistant O-rings available, making them ideal for extreme conditions in the chemical and semiconductor industries.

    Aflas (TFE/P): Aflas O-rings are highly resistant to aggressive chemicals, high temperatures, and steam. They are commonly used in chemical processing and oilfield applications.

    Kalrez (FFKM): Kalrez O-rings are a subset of FFKM O-ring known for their high-performance sealing in harsh chemical and semiconductor manufacturing environments.


    The Ubiquitous Presence of O-Rings

    O-rings, owing to their exceptional sealing capabilities, find themselves in a myriad of mechanical components and processes, especially in environments characterized by extreme temperature and pressure conditions. While you may readily associate them with engines, boilers, refrigeration systems, and compressors, their surprising applications extend beyond the expected. Consider the following:

    Scuba Gear: O-rings in scuba gear serve as a critical component of the breathing apparatus. Before embarking on each dive, divers meticulously inspect the O-ring nestled in the neck of their air tank to ensure an airtight seal, guaranteeing the delivery of vital breathing air rather than seawater.

    Dental Implants: The preservation of a sterile environment in dental implants is of paramount importance to prevent patient discomfort and infection. Here, biomedical silicone O-rings come to the rescue, forming a pristine seal to safeguard the integrity of the new tooth.

    Paintballing: In the world of paintball, compressed air propels colorful projectiles with precision. O-rings play a pivotal role in maintaining the air seal throughout the paintball gun, ensuring a powerful and accurate shot.

    Your Beer: The simple joy of savoring a pint at your local pub owes a debt to O-rings. These unassuming rings enable the seamless transportation of beer from the cask to the tap and contribute to the carbonation process, delivering that delightful, effervescent refreshment we all love.

    Have a Question about O-Rings ?

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