Sealing Solutions Come in Many Formulations
O-rings and other seals are used in virtually every industry to help tightly seal connections of every type in many complex systems. Due to the infinite number of applications and the assorted variables at play in each, you’ll need access to an equally broad selection of solutions to find the right one. Fortunately, there’s a wide variety of o-ring materials to choose from to customize your approach to each potential problem.
But with all of the options and variables, picking the proper o-ring materials for your specific application also means considering many factors. Some of these factors include (but are not limited to): operating conditions, chemical compatibility, sealing pressure, temperature, durometer, size, and cost.
Depending on the specific situation, you may also want to account for potential abrasion and tearing, ozone influence, and electrical resistance properties. Additionally, the appropriate field tests can ensure the fluid, temperature, pressure, and environmental conditions are compatible o-ring material of your choice.
It’s an immense amount of information to sort through, and necessary. Different o-ring materials have different properties for different applications. Some may be more elastic than others. Some may perform better in static environments, and others fare better in dynamic ones. Yet more may be more weather resistant or perform poorly in the presence of certain chemicals.
The key in o-ring material selection is ensuring the components’ mechanical properties are compatible with the sealing requirements for the device. To assist with your decisions, our engineering team at Marco Rubber & Plastics is always available to help guide you through the many decision points and considerations.
Today, we’ve also provided a breakdown of the broad range of o-ring material types available to choose from.
A Comprehensive List of O-Ring Materials
Material selection is a critical piece of the puzzle in designing a successful sealing solution. While you can find good general information below, be aware that specific formulations of each material are also available that will further tailor the strengths and characteristics of each material.
You can find more information about all of the o-ring materials Marco Rubber uses here, complete with the option to further explore specific formulations by material type.
FFKM is regarded as the best-performing material available for sealing solutions, particularly in demanding environments, and has the best temperature resistance and chemical resistance available. Not recommended for use with molten metals or halogenated freons/fluids. Marco Rubber sample formulation: Z1318.
The most widely used o-ring material in the world, Buna-N provides good mechanical performance with resistance to water, most basic oils, lubricants, and some fuels. The default choice for basic applications, Buna-N is not recommended for exposure to sunlight, ozone, general weathering or chemicals, acids, and ketones. Marco Rubber sample formulation: B1000.
FKM (Viton®, Fluorocarbon)
A versatile and widely used material, FKM has excellent compatibility with a range of chemicals and oils. It operates in temperatures up to 430o F. Key in chemical processing industries, automotive fuel and oil, and oil and gas extraction applications, it should not be used with hot water/steam, amines, ketones, or low molecular esters and ethers. Marco Rubber sample formulation: V1020.
This material fares well for high-temperature applications in static environments and typically has outstanding flex and fatigue life with strong ozone and UV resistance. Odorless and non-toxic, silicone o-rings have no resistance to acids, ketones, or brake fluids. Marco Rubber sample formulation: S1000.
EPDM (Ethylene Propylene)
This family of synthetic elastomers provides a lower-cost option for steam and chemical resistance, including ketones. Commonly used in life sciences, drinking water, and food and medical grade applications. Should not be used with petroleum oils and fuels. Marco Rubber sample formulation: E1055.
TFE/P (Aflas®, Fluoropolymer)
This material provides dependable sealing performance in water, steam, bases, and caustic environments, resulting in common use in the oil exploration and drilling industry. Provides some explosive decompression resistance. Not recommended for use with ketones, brake fluids, acetone, or ethyl acetate. Marco Rubber sample formulation: L1005.
The first commercially developed synthetic rubber, Neoprene, is characterized by good resistance against refrigerants, water, ozone, weathering, and silicone oil. Not recommended for contact with aromatic hydrocarbons, chlorinated hydrocarbons, or polar solvents. Marco Rubber sample formulation: N1000.
This thermoplastic elastomer is widely used due to its high strength and excellent tear and abrasion resistance. Polyurethane also provides excellent permeation resistance. Not resistant to ketones, acids, or chlorinated hydrocarbons, it typically has poor compression set resistance. Marco Rubber sample formulation: P1004.
A hybrid of silicone and FKM, this material has great jet fuel resistance with high and low-temperature performance. Also widely used in semiconductors. This material features excellent flexibility, compression resistance, aging and sunlight resistance, and has an overall wide range of basic chemical resistance. Marco Rubber sample formulation: F1001.
A high-performance plastic, this material results in machined parts that serve as seals, backup rings, and much more. It excels as a gasket in chemical processing, handling, and storage applications, and has a low coefficient of friction. Not suitable for hardware that requires a stretch fit, or fitting over sharp edges or burrs.
Rely on Marco Rubber for O-Ring Materials
With extensive experience and expert-level knowledge from our engineering team, Marco Rubber & Plastics has developed a trove of information for identifying and implementing the right seals needed for your specific applications.
With more than 40 years of experience as an industry leader in developing custom sealing solutions for applications worldwide, Marco Rubber believes the right seal is essential to long-term application success. That’s why we seek to understand your application thoroughly.
Marco Rubber & Plastics offers decades of application-specific material expertise backed by the world’s most extensive inventory and production network. Our industry-leading customer satisfaction and audit scores are built on our easy online ordering and inventory programs, adherence to quality standards, and a commitment to customer service and support.
Contact us today to learn more about all the o-ring materials available and how their performance can lead to ideal sealing solutions.