Knowing the Different O-ring Materials

If you have been using industrial machinery, you would surely know or at least heard of o-rings. It is basically a donut shaped or a torus shaped object that is typically made from an elastomer, PTFE, plastic materials and other metals. These rings are essentially used as a sealing agent in the machines and they can be either solid or hollow. It is a known fact that these rings are used in a variety of applications but not many people know that choosing the right type of ring for their application is crucial to ensure that the machine works to its fullest potential or capacity.

While selecting the right sealing ring for your machine, you need to emphasize on choosing the right material. The seals are made of different materials and each one has its own benefits and drawbacks. Since the ring has the capacity to hinder the proper functioning of the machine, which in turn can slow down the project work, it is important that you choose the right ring material that best suits the application. Some of the common materials that these types of rings are made up of are PTFE or Teflon, Neoprene, silicone rubber, nitrile rubber and Buna N and Viton.

Nitrile Rubber

A nitrile rubber rings are the commonly used type of seals in a variety of applications. The Nitrile rubber is a synthetic rubber that is known for its excellent water resistance abilities and its capacity to resist oils, solvents, hydraulic fuels and other petroleum products. The versatile operating temperature range of -65 degrees F to +275 degrees F has made this material to be the ideal elastomer to produce seals.

The materials have its own drawbacks too; it is not recommended for applications where the seal would be exposed to direct sunlight and certain chemicals like esters, ketones and aromatic hydrocarbons.  However, despite its limitations, the nitrile rubber seals are the first choice of seals for different applications, especially in the automobile industry.

Silicone Rubber

The silicone rubbers are a collection of different elastomeric polymers made from oxygen, carbon, hydrogen and silicon. This type or rubber seals are known to lack resistance to tearing and abrasion. Also, these seals have low tensile strength, which makes them unsuitable for dynamic sealing applications. However, on the positive side, this type of seal have high resistance capacity to the temperature ranging from -150 degrees F to +500 degrees F, which makes it ideal type of seal to be used in applications where the seals are directly exposed to extreme temperatures like in cookware and automotive industry.


This is another type of synthetic rubber material that is widely used in making o rings. This type of elastomer is known for its resistance to vegetable and animal fats as well as oils and other types of solvents. However, the sealing rings that are made up this material is not recommended for applications where the seals would be exposed to aromatic hydrocarbons, ketones, ester and oxidizing acids.