What Are the Best O-Ring Materials for Engineers? The Ultimate List

April 3, 2020

Trying to find the best o-ring materials for your latest engineering project? Check out this comparison guide of the top o-rings and their materials.

When you're working with complicated and expensive machinery, you need to be sure that it's equipped with the right O-ring material.

The question of rubber vs. plastic, for example, can make the difference between success and costly failure.

Keep reading to learn about the best O-ring materials for engineers.


  1. Silicone

When dealing with a wide range of temperatures in the same machine, silicone is your best bet. It's also great for dry heat and general weathering.

Silicone O-rings are often used by pharmaceutical industries, life science industries, and many others.

They should be avoided when you're dealing with acids, silicone oils, and ketones, but they're wonderful for odorless and non-toxic materials.

While the water-resistance of silicone O-rings is far from ideal, they do have a high permeation resistance.


  1. Nitrile

If you're working with silicone greases, petroleum oils, and similar substances, then nitrile o-rings might be just what you need.

You'll likely find nitrile O-rings when dealing with fuel and oil in an automobile, for instance.

They are relatively cheap and easy to replace, yet you should be quite satisfied with the overall resistance of nitrile O-rings.


  1. Fluorocarbon

Fluorocarbon O-rings are ideal when working with acids, chemicals, silicone oils and greases, and more. Conversely, they're not suitable for amines, hot water, steam, and some chemicals and acids.

Fluorocarbon O-rings are high in compression resistance and set resistance.

They are often used as chemical processing seals, aerospace seals, and even in automobiles.


  1. Ethylene-Propylene

The overall resistance of ethylene-propylene O-rings makes them a great choice for handling hot water, steam, brake fluids, but not fuels and petroleum oils.

Ethylene-propylene O-rings are often used for food-grade and medical-grade reliability.

Some drinking water O-rings are also made of Ethylene-propylene.


  1. Chloroprene

When working with dilute acids, freon, and ammonia, chloroprene O-rings are ideal. They are not reliable when dealing with brake fluids, ketones, and gas.

You'll usually see chloroprene O-rings used in the refrigeration industry.

They are moderately expensive but can last for a decent amount of time so you shouldn't expect to replace them too often.


  1. Fluorosilicone

If you're thinking about using fluorosilicone O-rings, then you should know that they aren't ideal for phosphate esters, amines, brake fluids, and ketones. Despite this, you'll find that they are very reliable when dealing with jet fuel, chlorinated solvents, and a wide fluctuation of temperatures.

Their permeation resistance and wear resistance are lacking. However, their compression set and short-term resistance are robust.

Fluorosilicone O-rings are often used in the aerospace industries, the automotive industries, and even during chemical processing.


Ready to Use the Best O-Ring Materials?

Now that you've learned all about the best O-ring materials for engineers, you can be sure that all your machinery is ready to run safely and smoothly.

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