Action Seals & Gaskets

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An O-Ring functions as a seal through the mechanical deformation of the elastomeric compound by mating metal surfaces.  This creates a condition of "zero" clearance which blocks the liquid or gas being sealed. The pressure which causes the O-Ring to move is supplied by mechanical pressure or "Squeeze" generated by proper gland design, material selection, and by the system pressure transmitted by the fluid itself.

Figure 1 shows an O-Ring improperly used. As installed, it is not deformed but retains its natural round shape.

With the application of pressure as in Figure 2, the O-Ring is likely to deform (as part of its design characteristic) or open a leakage path.


Figure 3 shows the proper installation of an O-Ring seal. Notice that the clearance for the O-Ring is less than its free outer diameter, that the O-Ring cross-section is squeezed diametrically out-of-round even before the application of pressure. This ensures contact with the inner and outer walls of the passage under static conditions.

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