Versatile Parker O-rings Will Meet Your Sealing Needs

What Is The Right Type Of O-Ring For Your Industrial Application?

O-rings are a versatile type of sealer that is used in many types of equipment, in many industries, to help make equipment run smoothly and reliably. While some are made of metal or thermoplastic material such as PTFE, most are molded from elastomers and work with a supportive gland as an assembly that prevents gas or fluid from escaping.

The O-ring does its job under pressure. When it is put in place, it is mechanically distorted from its rounded shape in order to block floors or gases, which a properly installed O-ring can effectively do until the pressure exceeds the limits of the material used to create it. Many seals can withstand fluid pressures of up to 5000 psi. In order to obtain needed performance from an O-ring, it is important to select the proper material, the right size, the right design, and the right type.

Types Of O-rings

There are several types of O-rings available to meet the challenges of industry

  • Static seals are used in situations where the mated parts of the O-ring do not move or, more likely have minimum movement. For example, seals at pipe or tube connections, undercover plates, or under a boulder head or rivet, serve more as flat gaskets.
  • Reciprocating seals are used when there is fast reciprocating motion between an inner and outer element, so that the O-ring slides or rolls along with the reciprocal motion. Hydraulic actuators within a good piston rod or a piston within a cylinder are examples of reciprocating seals.
  • Oscillating seals are used when the seal will move in relation to other parts of a device and then is moved in the opposite direction to return it to its original position, such as with the valve handle and faucet.
  • Rotary seals, unlike oscillating seals, operated in situations where the ceiling elements turn around the shaft only in one direction, without starting and stopping actions after brief periods of motion, as with seals on motors or wheels on fixed axles.
  • Seat seals function as washers to close a flow passage. The O-ring distorts mechanically whether the sealing occurs with impact or not. Seals at the end of solenoid plungers, or on the face of a spiral threaded valve are examples of this type of o-ring.


  • Pneumatic seals, while they can be any of the previously noted types of seals, are classified as pneumatic when they are used with gas instead of liquid.

Meeting The Installation Needs Of Industry

Some O-rings are installed in specific ways to meet the needs of the application. For example:

  • In vacuum sealing installations, the seal protects a vacuum chamber and does not endure some of the same pressure as other similar seals.
  • In crush installations, an otherwise static O-ring is permanently deformed by the pressure. In cushion installations, the O-ring prevents moving metal parts from absorbing the force of shock or impact.
  • In rod wiper installations, one O-ring cleans a reciprocating chapter rod, so as to protect other O-rings on machinery in dusty and dirty areas.
  • In low-power drive belt installations, O-rings do a superior job.

Finding The Right O-ring

For top performance, finding the right type of O-ring is crucial. When you want a source for properly designed O-rings to meet your application, you can't go wrong with Performance Seals, a supplier of Parker O-rings. By looking at our handy O-ring catalog and using the Parker inPHorm software to custom-design the O-ring glands and seals you need, you can match the capabilities of different types of available seals to the job at hand. When you are ready to make a selection, one of our experienced technical advisors is always on hand to offer design suggestions or a quote, whether you specialize in aerospace, climate control, electro mechanical, filtration, fluid and gas handling, hydraulics, pneumatics, process control, or sealing and shielding.

No matter what your industry, Performance Seals offers O-rings you can use. Click here for a catalog or contact us via our website.

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