O-Rings Stored in an Orange Container

5 Keys to O-Ring Preservation in Your Industrial Equipment

O-rings are vital to your industrial equipment’s operation. Without O-rings, our modern society would literally fall apart when engines, hydraulic systems, or seals break down much more often if they didn’t have O-rings in place. 

You’ll still need to preserve O-rings as much as possible, even with world-class O-ring coatings, to make them last as long as possible. Take a look at our five keys to O-ring preservation with industrial equipment as a way to protect your investment and keep downtime to a minimum.

Choosing the Right O-Rings & Coating

It all starts with proper planning. Your team needs to choose the correct O-ring for your application. Some materials are more effective than others against chemical intrusions or wide swings in temperatures or pressures. For example, silicone is a relevant choice for high temperatures, while nitrile works well for scuba gear because they are underwater in ordinary temperatures. For team or boiling water-based liquids, you want EPDM.

Then you need suitable O-ring coatings, if any, to enhance the properties of your chosen O-ring. Coatings can improve resistance to chemicals, abrasion, and friction, among other properties.

Before Installing O-Rings on Your Equipment

The packaging encasing your O-rings can actually affect how your O-rings perform.

Packaging for O-rings must protect them from anything that can cause degradation:

  • Light
  • Ozone
  • Oxygen
  • Dirt

Coatings and lubricants can influence the storage life of your O-rings, too. Ozone is particularly damaging to O-rings, so keep them away from any ozone-prone areas in your facility.

When storing O-rings, make sure they are in the proper temperature and humidity ranges. The optimal humidity range is from 40 to 70%, while the temperature should not exceed 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Before installing O-rings, you must bring them back up to room temperature to make them pliable. Otherwise, they may be harder to put on. 

Employ the “first in, first out” (FIFO) method of utilizing your O-rings in storage. Use the cure date and batch number as a starting point. Make sure your inventory team keeps accurate records to ensure this process works to save you money. 

Cleaning & Maintaining O-Rings on Your Equipment

Not every O-ring can be cleaned, of course. It depends on the installation. When you can clean an O-ring, use methods the manufacturer recommends. A simple cleaning solution can remove some dirt and grime. For calcification due to powders or hardened chemicals, you may need an acidic cleaning solution to remove the stubborn calcified substances.

For maintenance, look for signs of wear, cracking, warping, or thinning. Depending on your equipment usage or needs, look at O-ring seals weekly or monthly before a catastrophic failure occurs. Your maintenance schedule for O-rings should be based on what the O-rings can withstand and for how long.

Using O-Ring Surface Treatments by EZ-Coating

Materials for O-rings give them their ideal properties. Our O-ring coatings outperform PTFE in several important factors, such as the coefficient of friction and abrasion resistance, for your industrial equipment, heavy machinery, and manufacturing equipment. 

Contact us for more information or if you need a test sample. We’ll respond within 24 hours.