What Are O-Rings?

What Are O-Rings?

O-Rings, characterized by their classic doughnut or torus shape, play a crucial role in creating highly effective and leak-proof seals between components, preventing the escape of gases or liquids. These versatile seals are widely utilized in various applications such as pumps, cylinders, connectors, and valves, effectively sealing joints between parts and preventing fluid and gas leakage. They are well-suited for use with static, dynamic, hydraulic, and pneumatic components, making them a widely adopted solution to address engineering challenges.

To ensure compliance with the O-Ring shelf life standards, Global O-Ring and Seal voluntarily adhere to the SAE International Aerospace Standard AS5316. Formerly known as ARP5316 (Recommended Practice), this standard is based on FIFO requirements, cumulative studies, and industry insights regarding practical storage limits. Global O-Ring and Seal are committed to meeting all customer requirements as set forth by these limits and standards, derived from extensive examination and testing of rubber seals with extended shelf ages. Practical experience further confirms that materials with unlimited shelf lives exhibit no chemical potential for degradation due to atmospheric exposure, remaining chemically and physically stable.

According to SAE's Aerospace Recommended Practice ARP 5316, the table below provides the recommended shelf life for various elastomer (rubber) seal materials. Companies may use this information as a guide when establishing their own shelf-life requirements.

[The table with elastomer family, ASTM, and shelf life details is paraphrased as presented in the content]

Storage conditions play a critical role in meeting the AS5316 requirements. To ensure shelf life standards are upheld, it is essential to consider the following factors:

  • Storage temperature should be maintained between 59°F (15°C) and 100°F (38°C).
  • Relative Humidity (RH) should be below 75% unless the seals are stored in sealed moisture-proof bags.
  • Light materials must be protected from direct sunlight and intense artificial light with U.V. content.
  • Sources of ionizing radiation should be blocked to prevent damage.
  • Storage rooms should avoid equipment that generates ozone or combustible gases/vapors. For instance, mercury vapor lamps or high-voltage electrical equipment.
  • Materials must be kept and stored in a strain-free condition to prevent stress and deformation.
  • Avoid contact with dissimilar materials, such as liquids, semi-solids (gasoline, grease, acids, disinfectants, cleaning fluids), metals (copper, manganese, iron), and other elastomers.

The ARP 5316 recommends individual packaging of rubber seals to ensure protection and maintain batch traceability. However, the study found no significant differences between bulk-packaged and unit-packed seals concerning achieving the stated shelf lives. Therefore, unit packaging is not crucial for meeting the shelf life standards.

Cure Date refers to the time of manufacture and does not specify the quarter of cure (ARP 5316).

In various industries and over time, specific o-ring colors have been used to differentiate between materials. The content provides a list of o-ring colors and the most common materials associated with each color.