Coating Systems: Common Reasons for O-Ring Failure

red and black o-rings coated by Coating Systems, Inc.

Because o-rings are used in so many applications, performing as both static and dynamic seals under a variety of conditions, they come under significant amounts of stress. By performing what is called failure analysis, manufacturers and engineers who rely on durable seals for their machinery to run properly can deduce the cause of their o-ring failure, and they can either find a solution or a better coating to improve its lifespan.
With over 40 years in the business of industrial o-ring coatings, Coating Systems has seen all manner of o-ring failures. By providing coatings such as Emralon, TM001, MOLYKOTE®, and others, we ensure that your o-rings are properly coated for easy identification and an extended lifespan under any conditions. Our Coating Systems coatings provide resistance to extreme heat, extreme cold, high-pressure environments, and various corrosive materials such as salt spray, chemicals, and more. Here we take a look at five common causes of o-ring failure.
Related Post: Coating Systems: 3 More Reasons for O-ring Failure

Poor O-Ring Design/Fit

Some o-rings will show no signs of damage upon conduction of a failure analysis, yet they may still not perform as they should. This often means that the improper o-ring has been applied – it may be the incorrect size, it may have a bad groove, or the machinery itself may be performing improperly. When you experience failure with no visible evidence of damage to the o-ring, you will want to check on your equipment or machinery and you may want to re-measure to make sure you have the correct size of o-ring. If you need a different size, our Coating Systems experts can help.

Compression Set

This term refers to the amount of lasting change to the shape of the o-ring after pressure has been applied. O-rings which have been affected by compression set will typically have a flat side where they meet with a surface. This issue may be caused by too much heat, too much compressive force, or a poor curing job. To address this issue after performing a failure analysis, you will want to consider something with a lower compression set, and you may want to check how compatible the material of your o-ring is with the surface where it is applied.
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Scraping / Abrasion

If you notice visible abrasions or torn/missing material on your o-ring when you perform a failure analysis, this is a likely sign of excessive friction. This may indicate excessive temperatures which can weaken the o-ring, loose particles in the processing environment, or that the o-ring is applied to a too-rough surface.

Choose Coating Systems for Your O-Ring Coating Solutions

If you’re experiencing frequent o-ring failure, it may be that you need a coating solutions company capable of providing reliable coatings with consistency. Coating Systems, Inc. has over 40 years of experience in providing o-ring coatings for all applications. And with such trusted names as Emralon, Kynar, and Rilsan in our range of coatings, you can be assured that we have the coating to fit your situation. Please contact our Coating Systems team for a free sample and let us show you the caliber of our work. We look forward to hearing from you!