The sealing integrity of a fluid power system is of paramount importance. O-rings are the most common types of sealing used in various fluid power systems. These seals may fail to perform due to various reasons. Analysis of the sealing application will help you understand the nature of failure. This post guides you through various O-ring failure symptoms, the reasons of their formation, and corrective actions.
Guide to O-Ring Failure Troubleshooting
Various studies suggest that most common causes of O-ring failure are:
Here are a few symptoms and causes of ring failure:
Corrective Action: You can avoid O-ring failure brought by compression set by using an elastomer material, which produces low compression. Also, you need to ensure the right gland design is used for the chosen elastomer.
Corrective Action: You can avoid this type of failure by selecting an appropriate elastomer compound, which is compatible with chemicals used in the process.
Corrective Action: You can avoid this type of failure by selecting an elastomer with a high temperature capability. Also, you can reduce the application temperature, as well as reduce high temperature excursions. You can check with a supplier for a long term data on high temperature exposure.
Corrective Action: The problems brought by abrasion can be avoided by using recommended surface finishes for the gland. You can always consider internally lubed elastomers because they help minimize wear and tear.
Corrective Action: This type of failure can be avoided by using back-up devices, installing proper sized O-rings, increasing rigidity of metal components, and breaking the sharp edges on the gland with a minimum radius of 0.005 inches.
If you are unable to determine the cause of O-ring failure, you can always approach a sealing expert, or the manufacturer. They will guide you regarding replacements or repairs, as well as help you in keeping conditions in check to avoid O-ring failures.
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