In previous entries in the Coating Systems blog, we have discussed some of the causes of o-ring failure and how you can identify the reasons for their failure through failure analysis. Here, Coating Systems comes at the problem of o-ring failure from a different angle, looking at how you can ensure the best conditions for optimal o-ring performance in your processes by maintaining the environment in which they must function.
Keep Your Machinery Clean
If your machinery is accumulating dust, dirt, grit, chips, or whatever bits of material might be moving around, then the likelihood of o-ring failure will increase. The reason Coating Systems advises keeping your machinery clean is that these small bits of material can put additional wear on the o-ring, especially in high-pressure and dynamic applications with moving parts.
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Appropriate Surface Finish
The surfaces over which your o-rings are applied should be appropriately finished. In terms of surface roughness, they should range from 16RMS to 32 RMS. The surfaces should display no roughnesses like nicks, scratches, or burrs. If they do, appropriate deburring or polishing measures should be taken. Otherwise, these blemishes could rip or tear an o-ring at the time of installation.
Proper Groove Shape
It is recommended that o-rings be fitted into rectangular grooves. Under pressure they can expand to fill the corners, creating a tight seal. This shape of groove is recommended for most designs unless something else is specifically called for.
Having an appropriate kind of lubricant on your o-ring will also make a significant difference in its susceptibility to failure. Lubricant options include greases, oils, and dry film lubricants. The type of lubricant you use for your o-ring applications will depend on the type of seal you’re using and what conditions it may be exposed to. While all lubricants will have heat and corrosion-resistant properties, certain ones hold up better to certain conditions and chemicals.
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Coating Solutions from Coating Systems, Inc.
With over 40 years of experience providing coating solutions to all manner of industries, Coating Systems has a tried & true reputation for quality work and great customer service. If you’re noticing a higher rate of o-ring failure than you should, contact us to learn what dry film lubricant from Coating Systems can do for you. For proof of the quality of our work, please request a free sample. Or, if you’re ready to improve the identifiability and ease of installment for your o-rings, contact us today to get started!