The Purpose of O-Rings

Dec 9, 2020

An O-ring is a mechanical gasket that is shaped like a ring and they are placed within grooves and are developed to handle compression between two parts. This then works to create a seal, making them one of the most common seals seen in machine design.

The Purpose of O-Rings

The main purpose of O-rings is to prevent fluid or air from escaping as it acts as a sealing device. When the ring is squeezed between two surfaces, it takes up the clearance and then prevents any fluid or air from being released. They also retain their shape, so once they are released, they will naturally return to their previous shape. It is the memory that allows O-rings to seal under low or no pressure. When pressure is applied, the O-ring is squeezed against the wall of the groove and this causes expansion in the opposite direction.

What Material is Used?

They are made from a range of materials depending on the application they are needed for. Some O-rings will come into contact with chemicals or heat and so, they require different materials in order to deal with this. To name a few, O-rings can be made of:

  • Polyurethane
  • Fluorocarbon
  • Neoprene
  • Silicone
  • Nitrile

What Applications Are They Used In?

O-rings are highly versatile which means that they can be used in an array of applications. They are cheap to manufacture while the installation is simple and replacements are cheap. When they are maintained correctly, they are highly durable too.

So, they can be used in applications where hydraulic cylinders move quickly and place pressure on the seals, but the O-ring has the ability to withstand this pressure. However, they can also be used in a range of other applications that can vary from the automotive and aerospace industry to inside computers.

The Benefits

They have the ability to withstand wear and tear while they require no specialist installation tools. Maintenance is simple and they are cost-effective too. They are highly resistant to heat and chemicals which means that they are suitable in a range of applications.

Contact our Sales team at to find out how our O-rings can benefit your application!