Sealing Shielding

A Simple Guide to Selecting an O-Ring

A Simple Guide to Selecting an O-ring, including a visual image of an o-ring application, O-Ring Handbook, O-Ring eHandbook - Parker Hannifin - O-Ring DivisionO-rings are the simplest, most readily available type of seal used across every industry and market. They are arguably the best seal for many applications, but perhaps daunting to an engineer with no experience in seal design. The O-Ring Basics chapter of Parker's eHandbook provides an overview of what an O-ring is, how it works, and finally, the benefits over other seals.


O-ring selection: where to begin

A simple Guide to Selecting an O-Ring - O-ring Handbook cover image - Parker Hannifin O-Ring DivisionThe original content found in the O-Ring Handbook has been streamlined into the eHandbook, presenting O-ring designers with essential information to utilize when teaching sealing principles. Based on the foundation outlined in the industry's standard reference guide, users will still find the same rich information the O-Ring Handbook is known for but in a much more abbreviated and dynamic format.   

After reading the eHandbook O-Ring Basics section, an engineer or student will have a solid visual picture of how an O-ring works to contain fluids. Concise summaries and clear visuals illustrate the fundamental principle of an O-ring in an application, engergized by fluid pressure, creating a powerful and effective sealing element. The final section will detail advantages for using an O-ring as a sealing profile of choice.

Rubber compounds decoded

Do you need your material to be highly saturated? fluorinated? Do you want a nitrile or tetrafluoroethylene-propylene? The language of rubber materials is somewhat confusing and can become overwhelming. Parker's O-Ring eHandbook covers industry terminology and much more in the O-Ring Elastomers chapter. Much like a cake has a recipe, including basic ingredients such as flour, eggs, and sugar; a rubber compound is made according to a recipe that includes key ingredients such as a polymer, accelerator, and curing agents. The O-Ring Elastomer chapter breaks down the benefits of these key ingredients, explaining why they are important and what role they play in your application. 

Further subsections of the Material Selection Guide feature a compound family overview including a description of compound advantages, typical temperature maximum/minimum, and compatible fluids. A list of incompatible fluids are also detailed, allowing the user to receive a concise summary of the most common, and even the more obscure elastomer types. 

Check out the Parker O-Ring eHandbook sections highlighted above or visit the Parker O-Ring Division for further information and useful tips on how to select an O-Ring. 


This article was contributed by:

Dorothy Kern, Applications Engineer Lead, Parker O-Ring Division

Dorothy Kern
Applications Engineer Lead
O-Ring Division


Samantha Sexton, Marketing Communications Manager, Parker O-Ring Division





Samantha J. Sexton
Marketing Communications Manager
O-Ring Division



Other blogs from Parker O-Ring Division:

New O-Ring eHandbook Provides a Premier User Experience

Do Your Seals Meet the Demands of the Oil and Gas Industry?

Proper Installation of an O-Ring: Standard Female Gland


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