Lye, also known as sodium hydroxide, is a highly alkaline compound commonly used in cleaning products, as well as in the manufacture of paper, soap, textiles, and detergents. It is also commonly used as a drain cleaner and for certain food preparation tasks.
When rubber materials are exposed to lye, they can suffer from swelling, softening, cracking, and discoloration. The alkaline nature of lye can slowly break down the rubber, leading to decreased elasticity and an increased risk of cracking. Swelling of the rubber can also lead to reduced durability and performance. In extreme cases, the rubber can become permanently damaged.
EPDM o-rings, or ethylene propylene o-rings, are a family of synthetic elastomers with lower cost steam and chemical resistance, particularly for applications involving solvents, acids and other mild chemicals. Marco Rubber has the world’s largest inventory network of EPDM o-rings and made on demand custom manufacturing often without tooling fees, so the EPDM o-rings you need are always available. Whether it’s for water systems, braking systems, medical, pharmaceutical, food or dairy use, you can count on Marco Rubber to deliver your o-rings fast and efficiently.
View some of our other material compatibility ratings with LYE. If you don't see what you're looking for or need more guidance, our team of experienced sealing design engineers can help select the best sealing products and material for your specific application.View Full Chemical Compatibility Guide