Finding the right rubber seals for your company’s applications is very important. Choosing the wrong type of rubber seal can cause serious functionality problems and reduce your equipment’s efficiency. Here are some of the best ways to find rubber seals that meet your organization’s needs.
Search by Usages and Chemical Tolerances
Not all rubber seals have the same purpose or tolerances, and each type of rubber seal is ideal for different uses. You can predict the conditions a seal should be able to tolerate when you know what the seal’s function will be. For example, if you’re looking for o-rings for aircraft engines, you’ll need a material that’s resistant to low-pressure, low-temperature environments and aircraft fuel. Fluorocarbon seals are ideal for that application, and many cars, trucks, and SUVs use them as well.
If you’re looking for parts for automotive braking systems or other car components, you can consider ethylene-propylene rubber seals. They’re very resistant to the acids and solvents often found in brake systems. However, they’re not useful for aircraft or car engines because they don’t have any resistance to hydrocarbon-based fluids like jet fuel or gasoline. Many medical devices contain silicone rubber seals, and they can be resistant to high temperatures and liquids used for sterilization such as isopropyl alcohol.
Search by Size and Gland Format
An o-ring gland supports the o-ring, squeezing or stretching it to keep fluids or gasses from leaking. You can measure the fitting or gland for the rubber seal you need in inches or millimeters. This lets you know the thickness of the o-ring cross-section and the diameter of the fitting. If the gland has an AS or ISO number, you can use it to find out which rubber seals will be compatible. O-ring and gland combinations can be axial or radial.
Axial or face seal configurations apply pressure to the top and bottom of the o-ring cross-section, and radial configurations use pressure on the inner and outer diameters of the o-ring. Radial o-rings usually work with a rod or piston. To find the axial o-ring specifications, measure the outer diameter, inner diameter, groove width, and gland depth of the face fitting. To find the radial measurements, check the bore, piston, groove, rod bore, rod, and rod gland diameters. Also, record the groove width of the piston and rod setup.
Consult an Engineer
If you can’t find the ideal seal for your application, it’s a good idea to speak to an experienced engineer who often works with people in your field. If you’re updating your equipment or developing a new device, you could need a custom seal. You can easily get samples, technical literature, estimates, and more by consulting an expert. You can also find out exactly how long designing and manufacturing the seal will take and decide how many copies you need.
Use the Right O-Rings for Best Results
Rubber seals serve the applications of industries around the world. They’re essential parts in many automotive, aerospace, pharmaceutical, and medical devices. Choosing the right rubber seal is important, and taking the time to get a custom seal designed is often worth the extra effort. It can increase your company’s efficiency and help you manufacture better-quality items that last longer. It can also help your business receive more interest from customers.