The Importance of O-Ring Lubrication
A lubricating agent is applied to the surface of molded part or mixed in the elastomer before molding in order to minimize the frictional forces created by a seal. Lubrication of O-Ring seal is a very important aspect for operation and installation of dynamic seals as well as for proper sealing of static seal.
The benefits of lubricants are as follows:
- It is very essential in pneumatic application requiring dynamic service.
- It helps hook and seat the O-Ring properly.
- It minimises the frictional difficulties faced by the seals.
- Lubricants help it protect from damages like abrasions, cuts and pinches.
- It fastens the assembling process and makes automated procedure faster.
- Proper lubrication helps protect from deterioration of external elements of atmosphere such as ozone.
- It acts as surface film and protects it.
- Using lubricants extensively helps in the initial installation of O-Ring.
The lubricant is either
Internal lubricant- It involves the union of friction reducing ingredients into the elastomer formulation but it changes the chemical compounding of the material. This method of reducing friction lasts longer but the affect is comparatively to lesser degree.
External lubricant- It is generally applied to the surface and is put on surface of the seal. Apart from the functions of lubrications, it also acts a barrier between the harmful components and elastomer, thus increasing its life.
Thus, it is very important to lubricate the O-Ring and the metal parts in order to reduce the frictional forces and enhance the overall functioning of O-Ring.
Leak free flanges as well as low/undetectable outgassing of the elastomeric materials can be achieved at pressure levels as low as 10-8 Torr by using well made O-rings in a static vacuum sealenvironment. The use of O-rings has provided ease for running environmental tests on the ground using space simulation chambers.